Where do you live?
On 21 March, the world celebrates Single Parent Day. At Infino we want to use this day to celebrate all single parents. Being a "Single Parent" can take many forms: those who chose to be or for whom things turned out differently than expected. Those who co-parent with an ex-partner or in a new relationship. Even in a classic household where tasks are not equally divided for one reason or another, someone can (sometimes) feel like a single parent.
82.6% of the minors grow up in a two-parent family, 14.6% live in a one-parent family. The proportion of children in a one-parent family increases with the age of the children.
We would like to give six reasons why you are our hero today!
You and your child have a unique bond. You spend a lot of time together and this can lead to conflict. Don't act like the CEO, but as a teammate. Discuss with your child what you would otherwise agree with a partner at that time. Adapted to their age, of course. As a self-organising team, run the household your way.
Give your child a say and make the household a game you play together. Even a four-year-old can help make a shopping list or a weekly schedule. Look at it from a business point of view; in the end, you share a lot of strategic goals. The big advantage? You are all set.
As a Single Parent you have several roles to fulfil, which means that the role of strict educator sometimes takes precedence. However, do not set the bar too high for yourself. Even though it sometimes feels as if your method of upbringing is viewed with a magnifying glass, your bond with your child is the most important.
You improvise and invariably come up with a fun plot twist. Giving your child leftovers for an evening and presenting it as a festive tapas evening is very okay. Does it take a little while before your toddler can eat with knife and fork? Then you'll have fewer dishes to wash. Is tying the laces a struggle? There are also shoes with Velcro. You can adapt your parenting style to what you and your child need. Thinking outside the box, for example.
Anyone who has been through a painful break-up will confirm it: you miss especially the little things. Birthdays are still celebrated and first or big steps can be shared with friends and family. However, everyone also likes to share small victories, witty sayings from your child or memories of that first swimming lesson.
You're not too shy to share those little moments too. Take a photo, write a diary or send messages to friends. You might want to ask them beforehand if that's OK. Maybe your child has a godfather or grandparent who will even respond enthusiastically to a photo of that first filled steaming potty.
No matter how small or large your network, raising a child is more successful if you have a village. Practical and emotional support can make the difference between encouraging and encouraging. You do not have to do everything alone. Are you reluctant to teach your child to ride a bike? There is surely someone in your wider community who would be happy to take on this project. You don't give this task away, you involve your surroundings and increase the social safety net for yourself and your child.
You can also choose the layout of your village. You don't have to furnish your house the way your grandparents did. Your situation is different. Is your coffee table a children's garden table? Fine. Is your tidy crockery unbreakable and very colourful? Superhip. Do you always eat at 5pm, even when your child is not around? There must be some diet guru recommending it.
Of course, you sometimes have questions or frustrations. Do not hesitate to consult someone who can advise you without judgement. Parent groups on Facebook can be a help, although opinions often differ there. Don't get too confused. Look for a confidant who can clear up your doubts from a distance and with the necessary qualifications.
You can call in a child psychologist or seek professional help for yourself. There are also many organisations that offer their time and expertise free of charge for smaller and bigger questions. Kind & Gezin, CLB, the Opvoedingswinkel, the CAW... You can go to them for all kinds of advice on parenting, development, parenting plans, etc.
There are many self-help books and podcasts to help you become the parent you want to be. They all have one thing in common: be gentle with yourself. The most important thing for your child is that you are there. So don't feel guilty if you need time to take it easy once in a while. Leave your child in day care for a longer period of time so that he or she can take a shower? Both your child and the school will definitely appreciate your shiny appearance and good mood. It's also great that you took the time to read this blog. Way to go, you!
So put on your cape today and give yourself a pat on the back or eighty. This is your day. And rightly so.
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