This was a complaint made by a newly single father: “When we were married, both of us could look into the disciplinary problems of our children.
Now I am all alone and have to face everything by myself, and I do not even know whether I am handling the kids right or wrong.
I feel so insecure. What do I do? How can I regain the control I seem to have lost somewhere along the way?”
This is a common enough complaint of single fathers; when there are two people involved in the upbringing and in all important disciplining of children, it becomes an easier task than if one single parent had to handle it alone.
More often than not, a single parent is tired and cranky, and would like nothing better than to rest for a while.
Anything that goes beyond preparing a meal for the children and making sure that they eat it, and that all homework gets done seems to be an insurmountable burden on the single parent.
Don’t worry, there is still hope for you if you are a single parent, and that too, a single dad.
Here are some tips for you:
- No matter what you say or do, try to be consistent. Remember how it was when you were still married and things got done a particular way. Do the same thing now because your children are used to it, and will not make a fuss about it.
- Make sure that you have established reasonable limits to everything that gets done: just because you are a single parent does not mean that your children can take you for granted and flout all the rules. Also make sure that the rules you have made are enforced within limits. Your children will definitely respect you for it. Remember that just because you are making sure that your children follow the rules will not make them love you less. Also, offer very limited choices: it should be either this or that, not these or those.
- Use the rewards and punishment system, in which good behaviour is reinforced with a reward and bad, by taking away some privileges.
- Try your best to understand your child’s behaviour, and why your child is behaving the way he is. Does he need attention, does he need love, and is he feeling neglected? Never jump to conclusions and never be ready with a punishment. Understand your child, and thereby, pave the way to a better relationship with your children.