Thursday, June 16, 2011

But I Am Alone!

But I Am Alone! is what one parent said to me when it came to parenting their teen. As a single parent, regardless of why you are a single parent, you have the hardest job in the world, maybe in the universe! You have to meet needs of your teen that you are not equipped for and you need someone to help you during these days.

So what is a single parent to do when they struggle with all the things that two parent families struggle with when there are two of them? Let's face it your teen will push your button and you have no one to bail you out, to give you relief, nor to give you the back up you need when you make a hard call. 

"You will need to get from the outside what you don't possess on the inside." You may have to take a break from a face to face with your teen and tell them you will get back to them on this but not right now. Take an adult break. Find yourself an adult and spend some time with them to refresh your batteries. Now that you are refreshed go back into the 'discussion'. What you cannot do is to feel you are too tired to deal with it and let it go. You can't let it go and think they'll be an adult soon and they won't need you. WRONG! Your child needs you to help set the boundaries and guidelines in their lives.

By the way, because I am older now and have married adult children, they still need some quality parent time. It's important that you are still a part of their lives.

It's been said that one of the biggest mistakes that single parents make is that they do not let their teens fail. They need to learn from their failures and mistakes. If your teen never has faced this in their young lives how will they ever function in the real world of 'dog eat dog, survival of the fittest, competition of winners and losers?" 

 Don't make your child grow up too soon either. That is they are not to be the other parent and they are not your best friend either. You are the parent. The last thing that a teen needs is another friend, they need a parent.

As a single parent if you start dating again and have another person in your life be careful in introducing your new person to your teen too early. Let's face it if this relationship is broken and your heart is broken because of it, what do you think happens to your teens emotions?

I know that there are parenting differences in the lives of individuals when it comes to parenting with your ex, if that is the case. You struggle because of different values, pains from a divorce, suffering because of the new economic woe you are in. Talk with your ex, if possible, and try to agree that you have to put your differences aside for the sake of your child. It is so important that they come first! This may be hard but remember "start with the end in mind."

Finally find yourself a small group at church, a Sunday School Class of like minded singles for support. You will find there are others that have been there and done that and will be able to give help, advice, and support. Maybe there is a man or woman there, a minister, youth pastor or Sunday School teacher that can help with your child as well. IF you can work through these you will maybe just maybe not have to say, But I Am Alone!

BWT 55-59

1 comment:

Christa said...

I love this Daddy! I teach with the end in mind, I try to discipline my little ones at home with "what is my ultimate goal" in mind, I even solve MAZES by starting at the end and going backwards. That way, I know that no matter what, what I'm doing will always be connected to my goal, and find success. Brilliant blog! :D