If you’ve recently found yourself struggling through a messy divorce, or you’ve become widowed by sickness or an accident, you may be wondering how you’re going to get through parenthood alone.
If you have teens, you may be even more anxious as this age group can be especially trying at times. If you’re feeling lonely, sad or overwhelmed, the following five parenting tips can console you and help you raise good teens.
Set Small Goals
Whether your partner has passed on or you’ve been blindsided by a divorce, raising children alone can seem scary. But you can get over the trauma and overcome life’s obstacles to be there for your children. Although it can be difficult to get through the day at the start of a tragedy, it will get easier as time goes on.
At the beginning, set small goals for yourself such as setting up a different routine for you and your teens. You can make an even greater effort by including your children in the process of goal setting. After all, this can be a trying experience for your children and one that they may need assistance in getting through. If the holidays were a big deal in your family, set up new traditions for the family such as going out to a movie or going out to a restaurant for dinner with family and friends. As you cross off the minor goals, set new milestones for the family to get through.
Without a backup team, you’re going to have to make sacrifices along the way. To ensure your teens stay out of trouble, you need to be there for them. Spend time with them as much as possible such as after school, evenings and weekends. You will also need to provide monetary assistance with food, clothing and curriculum at school.
If you’re short on cash, see if you can take on a second job, working at home. To ensure that you don’t take time away from your teens, you can perform the tasks after hours once they go to bed. If your children get in trouble, get them the help they need immediately.
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Enlist the Help of Friends, Family and Co-workers
Parenting teens may seem overwhelming, especially if they’re challenging your every move. If you find yourself struggling, enlist the help of a strong support group. Consisting of friends, family and co-workers, this group of people may be able to offer insight and advice. Your network may also be a great sounding board where you can come to scream, vent or complain. Family members can also make excellent role models when your children begin to get out of hand, and they need additional attention after a death or divorce.
Make Them Feel They Are Contributing
Your teens are old enough to assist you through the trying times. You can make them feel like they are contributing to the household by asking your teen for assistance. Assign your teen household duties they’ll be able to master. Whether it’s babysitting younger siblings, caring for the family pet, doing laundry or starting dinner, these are simple and important duties that will lift stress off your shoulders. You can also ask them to choose which duties they would like to assist you with.
Take Care of Yourself
If you have teens to raise, you don’t want to head off on a luxurious vacation without them. While this time away can help you regroup, it can build animosity within your family. You can still gain that breath of fresh air that’s needed with a little pampering.
While the children are at school or an after-hours activity, set up coffee with your girlfriends. You may also want to include your teens in the extravagance. If you have daughters, schedule a manicure and pedicure. Another way to take a break from everyday life stresses is by gathering up the family and heading to the nature park for a picnic lunch and a walk afterward. This special time together can ease your anxiety and put you in touch with your teens.
Because their hormones are already raging, and they’re trying to find their place in the world, parenting teens solo can seem especially challenging. The above strategies will help you get your life back on track and help you raise good kids that you can be proud of.