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Tips For Single Mums Raising Children

Apr 26, 2008
If I could give advice to single mums regarding raising their kids I would say this:

Give your kids good boundaries. Let your kids know exactly what you expect of them. Sit down and talk to them about these boundaries. Help the kids understand that the household rules are for their benefit.

When kids understand the reason behind rules they are much more likely to abide by them. With my kids I write down consequences and they are stuck up in the kitchen in a prominent place. The kids and I have talked about certain consequences such as withdrawal of privileges like play station and desserts for three days if they are caught using bad language.

This really helps kids. The idea here is that if the kids choose to do something such as using bad language, they automatically know that they have chosen that consequence to go with it because they come hand in hand. And because we have discussed and agreed upon all consequences the kids are less likely to argue about it.

Don't change the household rules without first notifying the kids. Remember, you are not trying to trick your kids but help them to do the right thing. Family meetings are a great way to communicate. You can sit around the table on a certain night each week and discuss how you think the household rules are working and take suggestions from everyone. Kids will feel valued as you are listening to their opinion, even if you don't agree with them. If you listen to them they will feel loved and appreciated.

Make sure you look after yourself. I know this is a hard one: I am single mum to four children. But I have learned over the years that it doesn't pay to neglect yourself. I have figured out that if I am happy the kids end up benefiting also. At least once a month I make sure that I go on an outing with one or more friends, so that I get that social interaction. Yes, it is often hard foe me to orgainse to get away. But I recognise the importance of doing this simple thing so I do it religiously.

All I do is go out dancing with some friends. It doesn't cost me much money but it is something I love to do for recreation. And I do feel more relaxed when I have been out and ready to tackle my parenting head on again afterwards.

Lastly, stick to your boundaries. Don't give in. Children love to push the boundaries but they also want to know that you won't waver. They actually feel more secure when they know that there are limits. Don't expect your child to always like you when you are enforcing the boundaries but long term they will always thank you.
About the Author
Kim Patrick is a single mum with four children who lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. She is author of the book, "Get Your Child To Behave In 30 Days Or Less". For more information on how to get your child to behave , you can go to http://www.parentwithpassion.com/main.html
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