Single Parenting: Struggle or Ease?

 By Nina Atwood

One reader (cbdubya) comments that she’s deeply offended that single parenting is lumped into a statement on dating wounded people. It was an incomplete statement on the author’s part. To complete the thought: there are single parents who are ready to date, and there are single parents who are not.

The number one priority for ANY parent, single or not, should be raising children to be fully functioning adults who are prepared to make good choices in life. That’s a tall order in today’s world, with so many temptations to take the focus off of good parenting. Take that challenge and magnify it many times and you have single parenting.

Though numerous studies as well as statictical evidence show that children from divorced families do not fare as well as those from intact families, the reality is that some marriages cannot be sustained.

A single parent with the right priorities is focused on the children’s needs first, personal needs second. That doesn’t mean that you don’t take care of yourself. If you want to have energy for your children, you must take good care of yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. It does mean that dating is not the first priority, and if you do date, you would be wise to be extremely cautious about when and how to introduce someone you’re dating to your children.

If you’re not a single parent and you’re considering dating someone who is, you need to know the difference between someone who is ready for a relationship and someone who is not. The wounded single parent is someone who is overly bitter toward an ex spouse, who is cynical or jaded about relationships, or who is desperate to latch onto the first provider who comes along. The wounded single parent is not ready for a relationship with someone new. In that case, you might want to take a pass OR offer to check back in with that person in a few months after time for healing.

Entry Filed under: Divorce

1 Comment

  • 1. Katheryn B  |  May 6th, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Good blog Nina. Single parents (I was one for 10 years) – it is so important for the healthy development of your children that you practice self-care and positive parenting – dating comes after that! While statistics may show that kids fare better from an intact family – the role model of being a good solid single parent still beats modeling an unhealthy marriage any day! Remember to be the example for your kids. Model self-care and healthy relationships and self-sufficiency. Being single does not mean you are broken.


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