Can a single parent raise a happy child? How can a single mom or dad provide a child all the love and care he needs? Is it possible to fill the need gap single-handedly or you need two to run the village?
As per an African proverb, it is said that it takes a whole village to raise a child, believing that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.
In single parenting, things are pretty different and the environment not only becomes unconducive for the upbringing of the child’s mental health and well-being but also quite challenging if you are a single mother or a father.
How can a single parent raise a happy child?
For single mothers or fathers, the initial setup with the child is the most difficult part. Your marriage might not have worked out for several reasons to mention and now you have no legal obligation to look after each other but all this and a lot more goes behind. You are no more married parents who co-parent a child.
The positive attitude and little sense of security foes for a toss. One chapter closes and a new one begins. A lifelong one, balancing the mother-father after and long-term effect on the child and not letting all this mess get inside the child’s head is another level of whammy.
Raising a child on your own can be stressful but once you are in the game you have to play it. You have to develop healthy boundaries with the people around you and develop some relationship rules for both of you. You can be a team of two and play this game beautifully if you stand by each other strong.
Some truths to told be here, you might occasionally go into self-doubt, you will feel alone and isolated with very little support. You will feel intruded, you may doubt your own realities because that is how we are conditioned to think and analyze.
All of this will lower your self-esteem and decision-making ability. To fight this, you will have to develop your own coping mechanisms and be a rock-solid support system of your own to raise a happy child.
With the given environment, financial constraints (if any), emotional trauma, mental distress, and past life trauma, the million-dollar question, can a single parent raise a happy child? I say YES, a single parent can equally raise a positive and happy child once they set their priorities and responsibilities right from the beginning.
8 Workable approaches to raise a child alone
Now is the time to set some goal, live your life guilt-free, pursue your passion, and make a new circle. Children of divorce or separation require sensitive caregiving. With this thought when you see this phase as a new beginning of your life, you will be pushed to make a difference in your life. There is always a bright side, there is always something to be grateful and no I am not saying this just because I believe in these affirmations, but it really works.
When you start counting your blessings you realize that the universe is abundant and there lies a whole new world full of opportunities is waiting for you to bless you and help you unleash your hidden powers, we all have superpowers, powers to heal, powers to overcome obstacles, and power to come back from every setback.
With this positive mindset if you plan your life ahead with your child you will know how can single fathers or moms raise a happy child. I always believe in conscious parenting as it is a mix of mindfulness and self-awareness. It requires more of working on a parent job than on the child. Here are a few approaches that can help you establish a stronger bond with your child:
1.) Set your priorities right
This is the time to re-define your priorities, now it is you and your child, and managing all the expectations between you two could be overwhelming or it can be manageable based upon the rules you enforce. Your house, your work, your health, your financial stability all these factors will play a very vital role in your single parenting, make sure you are able to prioritize all this every day.
Because if you are able to manage these, you will be mentally strong and stress-free, when you are stress-free, you are happier as a parent, to pass on that happiness to your child.
2.) Make peace with your past
You had a past that leads you to the present, now this could be the most unpleasant and unresourceful memory of your life but maybe a few years down the lane, you will be in the position to let it go completely and free yourself from the burden of hatred, anger, and guilt.
Maybe you got separated, divorced or you lost your partner to an accident or illness, but you stop living a peaceful life, if you lose self-control, if you stop forgiving yourself, you will not be able to pass on that deserved happiness to your child. Work on yourself, that inner healing is very important.
3.) Take time for yourself
I know, societal pressure, family expectations, doesn’t let you grieve or take time to heal. But please take time to figure out things, take time to make peace with yourself, and don’t feel guilty about being an alone parent to your child. You are there for him/ her and that is important.
Can a single parent raise a happy child? Yes, work on yourself, get into self-care and physical activities, cycling, swimming, yoga, and meditation, pick anyone you like. Eat a good diet, forget about gaining weight, sleep as much as you want to, Do things you loved to do when you were young and spend some time in nature.
4.) Don’t seek perfection
Perfection is a myth, our society has set some standards based on their limiting beliefs and which they very conveniently alter and amend from time to time. Parenting is an art we all learn while parenting, we learn from our children and we both grow together. We can develop our own version of positive parenting and take care of the child’s wellbeing and our family life. There is nothing like perfect parenting, all you need to thrive for is a happy one.
If your child is happy you are imperfectly a perfect mom/dad. How can a single parent raise a happy child? You got to remember that in order to fill some gaps, don’t blame yourself or spoil your child to make up for being a single parent.
5.) Structure your day
Can a single parent raise a happy child and manage everything smoothly? Structuring a day helps you both develop healthy habits and makes your life a little less tedious. Your child knows when and what to expect. You know what to do and you both get enough time to spend with each other towards the end of the day.
6.) Be honest with your kids
Most of the time single-parenting arrangements are the result of divorce or separation. If this is the case with you, you must talk to your child about the changes you’re facing. Being honest with your kids will help you form a strong bond in your relationship.
Listen to your child’s feelings and try to answer his or her questions honestly, avoiding unnecessary details or negativity about the other parent. This will help with behavioral control measures and your parenting style. Remind your child that he or she did nothing to cause the divorce or separation and that you’ll always love him or her.
7.) Stay positive
Staying positive will instill a positive mindset in your children. Here staying positive doesn’t mean staying hopeful for things that will not work out or unrealistic desires but looking at life from a positive perspective helps to see good in one’s life. This is how we build resilience in our children, by preparing them for their life.
When we radiate positivity in our attitude children learn to see things differently which imbibes a lot of courage and strength in them that could help them in their upbringing and future life. If you really want to raise a successful child, be honest with your child regarding your feelings but remind him or her that things will get better with time.
8.) Ask for help
Can a single parent raise a happy child? Yes, they can if they have a small support group. Assemble all your supportive people, have mindful communication, keep them informed, and stay connected with them. Isolation is not the solution. Socializing in a healthy group will help your child to feel loved and cared for.
To conclude, I would say that, parenting never comes with a manual and I repeat there is nothing like perfect parenting. There are only happy parents and children. No one ever prepares or tells you once you have a child, you will never sleep the same.
Being a single mother is the icing on the cake. As a co-parent, we worry about our child’s safety and as a single parent, we feel that we carry the whole world on our shoulders, to keep our child in the safest environment.
How can a single parent raise a happy child? Little things will help you to keep rolling and form a positive relationship with your child. Remember to praise your child. Spend quality time with your children and give them your unconditional love and support.
Be their friends and emotional coach rather than being a controlling parent and you both will develop a beautiful bond. Healthier relationships create confident kids.
Love and Light!
Priyanka Nair is the author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you and Ardhaviram. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.