Sunday, January 21, 2018

A Guide To Success As A Single Dad by Daniel Sherwin

Image by Pixabay

"We as teachers work with students from all cultures and family situations."

Here's a thought-provoking question: What do superheroes look like? Do you picture a towering figure in tights and a cape who flies through the air and bends steel in his bare hands? If so, then you're wrong. In the real world, supermen wear aprons and oven gloves, drive sensibly on their way to daycare and bend their schedule in knots as they walk a tightrope between earning a living and caring for their little one.

Sound familiar? Perhaps it should. All those traits fit the typical single dad, who's doing the world's most important job while trying to keep his sanity. These brave, loyal and often unsung heroes head up more than 2.6 million US households, according to HuffPost. Are you one of them? If so, then this post is for you. In it, you'll find timely tips for meeting the challenges that come your way. It also offers advice on the oft-neglected topic of self-care since even action heroes need a little pampering from time to time.

Tip # 1: Be a Dad

The first thing you need to know about being a father is that you're a parent, not a best buddy or a chauffeur or even a nurse for ailing young bodies. Your job is to raise your child to become a responsible, productive, law-abiding and reasonably well-adjusted adult. Doing your duty means your kid will sometimes dislike you. On occasion, she may even hate you (or at least think she does).

Having said that, we also stress that there's a rock-solid, uncrossable line between discipline and abuse. You child should always respect you but never fear you. She should know that misbehaving brings consequences, but rational, reasonable ones that can help her to learn and grow. Talk to a social worker, child rearing expert or other qualified authority if you need help clarifying this crucial distinction.

Tip # 2: Respect the child's mom

Relationships end for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes the blame lies with one partner more than the other, other times not. In any case, you should never verbalize any harsh feelings you harbor toward your ex around your child. Your children will look to their mother to craft their views of women in general, so always speak of the mother with respect. If your little one asks what caused your breakup, then answer the question with both honesty and tact.

Tip # 3  Money Doesn't Measure Success

We're not going to tell you that money is meaningless; it's not. But we will say that material possessions can never define how well you fulfill your role as a parent. So long as your kids have the essentials, including access to self-improvement opportunities, then rest assured you're holding up your end of the bargain.

Tip # 4: Take Time for Yourself

The way we eat, drink, love, and cope with stress, depression, anxiety, and sadness all play a big role in the state our mental health is in. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing for you, and not the easiest thing. This includes those occasions when you deny your own needs for too long. Take time to relax, socialize and even to be with a special someone. These things will help you to be a better parent.

It’s important to safeguard your mental health. Depression, worry, and anger are part of everyday life. But seek help if you find yourself unable to cope.

Being a single dad is tougher than tangling with a supervillain, but the rewards are worth the effort.

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