Single Parenting After Divorce
Suddenly discovering that you are a rookie single parent after a divorce can be a stressful situation. Not only do you no longer have the same financial security as when married, you no longer have the emotional support either. However, it might help to remember that you are not alone in your struggle and there are many avenues of support available for newly divorced parents in every area of the country. Adjusting to your life as a single parent can be a little easier if you approach the situation with some common sense and follow these basic tips:
1. Find a support group in your community. There are many self-help and support groups available for the newly divorced. They can usually be found online, or in local papers. Most groups usually meet once a week and will offer advice, support, and counseling. These meetings will also offer some advice on financial and family planning. Group meetings can help you get out of your shell and connect with other people in your same situation. For those who are more spiritual, parenting support can usually be found at local churches or synagogues.
2. Lean on your friends and family. Although it can be tough to open up to friends and family about the details of your situation, it is important to try. Divorce is not the time to push away family and friends. The people that know you best can often be of the greatest help. They can provide advice, they can offer a temporary place to live, perhaps you need monetary help, or simply a shoulder to cry on.
3. Always put your children first. With so many new things to worry about it can be easy to forget that the children might be even more stressed than you are. Although they may not show it, kids often feel responsible for their parents divorce, and may start to get depressed or act out in other ways. One of the first things you can do to help your child cope is to alert their school counselor, or teacher of the home situation. This way you will have someone who will not only help the child, but also alert you if they notice problems at school. Another good option may be enrolling a child in a program like Big Brother’s or Big Sister’s. This can be especially beneficial for only children because it can provide the child with a close confidante and stand-in for a missing father or mother figure. Another tactic is to keep the kids busy. A lot of extra curricular activities can serve as a distraction from problems at home.
It is important to remember that bad times will not last forever and that you need to take the time to emotionally nurture yourself and your children in order to allow everyone to adjust to a new family situation.