Our Kids: Single Parent Tips

Cheyenne, Wyo. (KGWN) What to Say to Our Kids When Their Dad or Their Mom Isn’t In Their Life

The following tips are courtesy Ronn Jeffrey of Youth Alternatives.

1.Anthony, last week we discussed how single parents can cope with holidays like Valentines Day. I recently visited with a group of single parent mothers who felt their children’s fathers were not a positive influence in their child’s life.

2.One mother stated her baby’s dad was drinking and doing drugs and he never saw his kid. She wandered how to handle it when the child ask questions about where is his father. got older and wanted answers about his dad.

3.Each parents circumstance is different. Every parent should approach this with the following three considerations in mind; 1) Your mind-set, 2) Is your response appropriate for your specific child, and 3) What do you hope for as an outcome. Although, this is very difficult for any single parent the following tips may help you discuss this subject with your child.

1.Tell the Truth (Sort of)!

• Your children are perceptive.
• Lying generally gets you into more trouble, however, there’s a fine line between answering their questions and telling them more than they need to know.
•Don’t Share Inappropriate Details: There is no need to tell your children specific details about the other parent.
•Think First: Are you saying things to help your child understand or are you fulfilling a vengeful need.
•Remember, some details are adult in nature, and while you want to answer all their questions, there are some details that you should not discuss.

2.Don’t Speak Negatively about the Other Parent!

•Your children are the product of two parents and it may be hard for them to separate your feeling about the other parent and your feelings about them.

•So no matter how angry you might be at the other parent, remember your child may consciously or unconsciously feel your criticizing him.

3.Don’t Expect Your Child to Take Sides!

•Sometimes when you’ve been hurt by someone it’s difficult to not want your children to support you. Let your children be children and don’t push them.

•Children are perceptive and will find out what they need to know when they get older.

4.Make Sure Your Actions Support Your Words!

•This one is tricky. When your hurting and angry it’s difficult for you to stay positive and patient.
•Make sure the message your giving your kids with your words matches the message your giving with your actions.

5.Remind Your Children That You Love Them Unconditionally!

•This is critical. When children start asking questions about an absent parent they may be feeling insecure.
•It’s important to let them know that you’re their for them.

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