A few weeks ago I wrote a few articles that put forth the idea that good parenting is good parenting no matter whether the parent is single or whether there is an active partner. My point was simple; good parenting is good parenting, and that it does not matter whether the parent is single or not.
I still believe that is true! However I do have one piece of advice for single parents… and yet, even this piece of advice can also be used just as effectively by two-parent homes!
Don’t Go it Alone!
As I have said many times in these articles, being a successful and loving parent requires that you think and plan; that you have the confidence to build a parenting strategy that fits your unique personality and the personality of your children. Your plan ought to fit your moral, ethical, and spiritual beleifs. Your plan ought to be constructed so that it preserves the dignity of both you and your children.
That being said, there is no one person who could ever have all of the answers to every problem that might face you and your family!
Help Your Children to Build a Team!
When we were raising our two sons, there were just times when we needed some help or some new perspective in order to be the best parents we could be. We made sure that we had a team of people who cared about and loved our boys. We made sure that our boys knew that we encouraged that they seek out help and advice from others that we all trusted and respected; Grandmas and Grandpas, Aunts and Uncles, coaches, teachers, counselors, pastors, and youth leaders. We let our boys know that we not only approved of them seeking advice and help from these people; we encouraged it!
There were times when some of those other wise folks gave our sons needed help and advice that the boys were simply not comfortable coming to us to get. Give your children the same option. Help them to pick out members of their “Advice Team!”
“Single-Parent” Does NOT Mean “Alone-Parent!”
This concept may be especially applicable to single parents. If you are a single Mom, find some men to join your team to give advice and help to your kids. If you are a single dad, find some trusted women to offer help and advice to your children.
Build Your Own Team as Well
So many parents seem to feel that in order to be a good parent, they must do everything for themselves… and nothing could be further from the truth. The best parents are the ones with lots of people that they can seek out for advice. Successful parents aren't reluctant to seek out the wisdom of others. They know that, when it is all said and done, the decisions about their family are up to them. But… before they make big decisions, there is plenty of wisdom out there that they can consider before those decisions are made.
One of the best ways to develop a “Team of Advisors” to seek out for advice and help as you work to be the best parent that you can be is to start a Parenting with Dignity class! By starting a class you immediately have a whole group of parents who share your desire to be the best that they can be. The discussions during classes develop open channels for seeking advice in the future. Most people find that a parenting class becomes sort of like a support group.
Also, having some common understanding of the skills and the techniques of the Parenting with Dignity Curriculum makes it so much easier to openly discuss problems with other parents who have been through instruction in the same skills.
Starting a Parenting with Dignity Class is not as difficult as it might seem; and often the very best facilitators are parents who are going through the course for the first time! If you think that you might like to start a class, please click on this link ( http://parentingwithdignity.com/PWD/video_series/tape10f.htm ) and do some reading. If this sounds like something you might like to do, just go to our website and order a set of DVD’s and get started.