Parenting is not easy. Neither is divorce. Especially not when you’re the one that has to do it all, as a single mother. You may think that establishing a parenting plan for your children can help you make all the decisions. But there’s more to it than simply dividing up what days you spend with your children and who should be picking them up from school, which parent they should live with, and where they will go to school next year. Singular decisions like these need to be integrated into an overall parenting plan for it to be effective and fair for both the parents and children.
It’s important to establish boundaries and rules with your children. Not only will you be teaching them life lessons, but respect for others is also one of the most important things that children learn. When you have the opportunity to teach them about making decisions about their lives and how to accept responsibility for their actions, it will help them later in life when they are faced with tough choices.
How to create a parallel parenting plan?
Creating a parallel parenting plan can be difficult for single parents, especially when there is a history of going through the toughest of times in family court, fighting over child custody and visitation rights. Some issues between the couple may have been traumatic that neither parent wants to do anything with the other except for setting up a parallel parenting plan for their children.
Effectively establishing a parallel parenting plan requires you to remember your relationship with your ex-spouse before facing the responsibilities of caring for your children and the burden of paying bills alone. It will also help to ask yourself if you would want them or your children involved in any aspect of your life that they shouldn’t be involved in.
Here are some parenting tips for a single mother:
1. Establish rules and boundaries for the children
During a joint parenting plan, it’s easy to forget that you are the adult and they are the children. The optimum path towards parallel parenting is by establishing rules and boundaries for your children and the ex-partners involved. A set of defined rules and guidelines that are agreed upon by both the partners will make it easier and more convenient for you and most importantly, for your children. The rules should also clarify what kind of behavior you will tolerate from your children and the kind of behavior that is expected from their ex-partner or whoever may be involved with them daily.
2. Define rules for their involvement in your life
You may have involved your children in an activity that you wouldn’t want your ex-spouse to participate in. If this is the case, you must keep them both out of it. Sometimes, you’ll have to attend engagements without your children but make efforts to learn that you’re only doing what’s best for them. You may feel constrained from discussing some aspects of your life, but acknowledge the parts of your life that are off-limits and protect yourself by creating boundaries.
3. Create a schedule for family time with the children
You will want a consistent schedule for family time with the children to help the children adjust better after their parents’ divorce. Set up consistent time frames in the parenting plan, so the children know what to expect and know that they have your support when it’s their turn to be with you.
4. Create rewards for good behavior
Having a set of rules and boundaries lets the children know what they can expect from you. They need to know when to expect to be rewarded or disciplined for their actions. As a parent, the children must understand how their actions affect the entire family. Creating these rules helps them see themselves as part of a unit.
5. Create a support system for yourself
Being a single parent can be isolating and lonely at times, so having a support system that can help you relieve stress and are there to support your back. You don’t want to lose yourself in your children’s lives to the point where you no longer enjoy them for who they are or care about them. Awareness of what is appropriate and best for your children, having a sense of control, and exercising your powers in times of need is the best way to establish a parallel parenting plan that allows everyone to make decisions that work best for everyone involved.
As parents, we know how much value and importance our children hold in our lives. That’s why we have to do everything to keep them safe and secure while raising freethinkers and emotionally intelligent children. While taking care of the family make sure you look after your own needs as well, this will help to achieve the best possible outcomes for all of you.