10 Ways to Reduce the Stress of Single Parenting

Lauren Wood | Daily Journal Troy and her son Hunter, 4, work on homework at their house on Sept. 17. Even though he is not yet in school, Troy makes sure Hunter completes his homework certain nights of the week to prepare him for kindergarten.

Check out these 10 ways you can reduce the amount of stress in your life as a single parent:

1. Get a handle on your finances! Finances are one of the greatest challenges for single parents. Learn how to budget your time and money. Ask for Gods help with your financial planning, He has unlimited resources … For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. — Psalm 50:10

2. Talk to your kids early and often about the special circumstances of your family. Leaving them in the dark about family issues may breed resentment when they discover the truth.

3. Find support and use it. Get help whenever you can. Most churches and communities have support groups for single parents, so take advantage of the resources God makes available to you … Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in the abundance of counsellors there is victory. — Prov. 11:14

4. Take time for the family. Working, fixing dinner, cleaning the house and paying the bills can be overwhelming. Set aside time each day to enjoy your children and develop your relationship with them.

5. Take time for yourself. Being a single parent doesn’t mean you don’t have an adult life. You need interaction with other adults to maintain a healthy perspective.

6. Keep a daily routine. Making rules, setting a good example and providing support is tough, but kids need structure. Schedule meals, chores and bedtime at regular times so your child knows what to expect. A routine will help your child feel more secure.

7. Maintain consistent discipline. If others help in the care of your child, talk with them about your methods of discipline. Kids will test their limits and it’s important to have consistent boundaries for acceptable behaviour.

8. Treat the kids like kids. Children have the right to enjoy childhood and mature at their own pace. Though single parenting can get lonely, resist the temptation to treat your children as a substitute for an adult partner.

9. Stay positive. If you consistently verbalize doom and gloom, your kids will grow up with a distorted perception of reality. They are hanging on every word you say, so guard your tongue. God promised He’d take care of you … Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. — Matt. 6:26

10. Take care of yourself. Exercise, eat right and get enough rest. If you’re out of action, your kids are at risk. If you can’t cope, get help. Don’t wait until you’re out of control. Many churches and healthcare facilities have single parent help available.