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When my husband told me that he was no longer willing to support me and my three month old son, I was devastated beyond words. I had left my career to be home maker and suddenly now I had to take responsibility of a mom to a newborn and also the bread winner for my family. Though my husband promised financial support but soon that too stopped. I had a family business to lean on immediately for financial support but I knew eventually I had to take care of my finances myself.
The biggest question in my mind now was, is it possible to raise a son alone without a dad.I did some research online and found a few tips that help me and would probably help others too.
Here is no denying that fathers ARE important, in the same way every parent is important. If that parent is loving, supportive, and positively engaged with the child, the effect will have positive ripples for the rest of that child's life. If that parent is harsh, the ripples will be negative. If that parent leaves the child, whether by choice or by fate, there will be a loss that will stay with the child forever. Can a child overcome the loss of a parent? Of course, with enough love and support from the remaining parent (or parent figure.) But as with all loss, the child is changed forever, and the emotional work is very real.
Bottom line: Kids can survive anything, and heal, if they have another parent there to help them process their emotions.
If you're a mom raising kids without a Dad, you'll want to know that:
1. What children need to thrive is unconditional love.
Regulating your own emotions, accepting your child's emotions, renouncing punishment in favor of empathic limit-setting, seeing things from your child's perspective, keeping your own cup full so you can remain generous with your child -- all of this is more important than whether your child has one or two parents.
2. Negative presence is worse than no presence.
When a father or stepfather treats a child in a harsh or critical way, it is worse for the child than if that parental figure leaves, as long as the remaining parent is loving. The child may grieve the loss of the parent, but that grief can heal with enough support from the remaining parent, whereas the constant negativity is permanently disabling to the child.
3. Single parenting is part of the risk
It isn't just hard because Dad left. It's hard because Mom is single parenting. Parenting is hard enough; single parenting will earn you angel wings. The risk for your kids is less that they don't have a dad than that Mom is so overwhelmed. Can a single parent raise great kids? Of course! But you don't need me to tell you how hard it is. If you find yourself in this position, by choice or by fate, do whatever is necessary to keep yourself healthy and centered so you can do double-duty for your child.
4. Both women and men have male and female energy.
Research shows that dads and moms parent differently, which benefits children. For instance, fathers roughhouse more and that's great for kids. But women can roughhouse as well as men can, and men who actively parent have more oxytocin and other "nurturing" hormones circulating in their bloodstreams than other guys do. To be emotionally healthy, all of us need to embrace all of ourselves, including those traits that our culture has told us are the province of the other gender. Nobody can be everything; we all give our children what we can. If you notice your child needs something he or she isn't getting, you may be able to dig deep and find a part of yourself you didn't know was there. But you can also call in reinforcements. For instance, your son may find a mentor at a martial arts studio who offers him something you can't.
5. It isn't divorce that leaves children scarred; it's the way it's handled.
The truth is that every child whose parents divorce is scarred. But the wound can be relatively small, heal quickly, and be much less of a problem than living in a situation where the parents are at war. The real wounds come when a child feels rejected by one parent, forced to choose between parents, or when a stepparent introduces negativity toward the child. That's when the wound is serious, and the scar tissue extensive. Bottom line, if divorce is part of your life, you owe it to your child to do everything in your power to keep things amicable, which is a huge predictor for whether your ex will stay in your child's life in a positive way..
6. Same-sex couples raise great kids.
The American Academy of Pediatrics reviewed three decades of research and concluded that children of same-sex couples grow up just as emotionally healthy as the rest of the population. There's no risk factor here, and it's further proof that the love of the parent is what's important, not the gender. (And yes, a 2012 University of Texas study claimed the opposite, but most of the kids in that study had not lived with their gay parent most of their lives. So that study tells us nothing about whether same-sex couples can raise kids well.)
7.Providing Role Models
While your son’s biological father may not be around, finding a father figure a boy can look up to is important. Psychologist Peggy Drexler believes that boys and girls should be surrounded by both sexes. Boys can have many male role models, including family members, teachers, or close friends. Of course, a single mom will be the ultimate role model for her son. Remember that your attitude, mood, and outlook can alter your child’s. It’s more important than ever to suck up your frustrations and maintain a positive demeanor. Taking time for yourself, whether it's meditation, a soak in the tub or going out with friends when you're not the parent in charge, can help you maintain this all-important balance.
Many single parents try to compensate for the absence of a father by spoiling their child or by allowing their kids to ‘rule the roost.' Kids need structure and limits. Teach your son the rules of the house and the expectations you've set for him. Discipline and consequences for poor behavior should be consistent to teach young children responsibly, respect, and consideration for others. Children can be raised successfully without a two-parent household. According to Dr. Drexler, it’s all about how the family acts -- not how it is made up -- which determines whether a child will succeed or fail in his future endeavors.
9.Arranging Family Time
When young boys belong to a one-parent household, with mom being the primary caregiver, it’s essential for you, the single mom, can spend quality time with your son. Kids are not picky with what activities you do together, as long as you’re giving him the one-on-one attention he thrives on. Prioritize some time to read, play, or just sit and talk with him. Remember, you don’t need dad to play a good game of baseball. Your son just wants to have fun. He'll probably be delighted to see you pitch to him (and at his age, how hard is pitching?). You pitch a slow one. He hits it with his plastic bat and runs around the backyard bases. You tag him just before he touches home plate -- or you let him slide into home. He loves it. And so do you.
As you bear the brunt of the parenting responsibilities in your household, it can be easy to forget to tell your son how much you love him. You may feel exhausted, flustered, and you may just want to sit down and have a good cry – and that’s OK – as long as you provide unconditional love to your child. Young boys need praise, support, and a sense of security, now that dad isn’t around. According to clinical psychologist Dr. Laura Markham, it’s important to try to see things from your son's perspective, as you accept his emotions and regulate your own to provide him with everything he’ll need to be happy – with or without a dad.