Raising a Kid as a Single Parent in Northern Nigeria

Updated: Jun 21, 2021
By Happiness Hassan

Raising a child as a single parent is stressful. This stage comes with several unpredictable changes and takes your life off balance. You will have to make crucial decisions. Oftentimes, choosing the happiness of your child over yours. Recently, the percentage of single parents is rampant. This is as a result of a separation or divorce. Which leaves hurting scars on the child involved.

Therefore, as a single parent, you need to equip yourself with the right knowledge and skills to raise a decent child without burning out. Irrespective of your partner’s absence—although it hurts. 

How to Raise a Child as a Single Parent

1. Eliminate perfection

Expecting to be perfect at raising a child even as a single parent is the fastest route to stress. This mindset builds pressure on you and makes you liable to other forms of health challenges such as depression and high blood pressure (hypertension).

Therefore, give yourself some credit and take parenting one step at a time. In addition, don’t give in to self-guilt when you get into mistakes. Such as using violent methods to discipline your child, nagging, abandoning them to the care of someone else, or pampering them. Accept your mistakes and learn from them. 

2. As a Single Develop an Optimistic Attitude

As a parent, you are the first role model of your child. In other words, they are watching every step you take, this includes your attitude. Despite the awful situation surroundings you at the moment, you need to maintain an optimistic attitude. Your attitude influences that of your child.

Therefore, being negative when things go wrong will discourage your child from trusting you. Instead, cheer them up with positive words and an outlook.

3. Tell Your Child About the Separation or Divorce

Be open to tell your child about the absence of your partner. Keeping it a secret will tarnish the blossoming relationship with your child when they find out by themselves. Telling your child about the separation enables them to understand and cooperate with you better. However, don’t create a wrong impression about your partner before your kid, despite what they may have done.

This wrong impression may later result in resentment towards those of the same sex as your departed partners either male or female. 

4. Create a Light Schedule For Yourself

The day you become a single parent marks the dawn of an entirely new life for you. Therefore, things are not going to be the same. And you would need to adapt to the new change. Hence, you need to lighten up your schedule by erasing unnecessary activities. Any activities that add little or no value to your life are best avoided.

Whereas, there are other activities you need to engage in once a month or suspend until your kids are much older. 

5. Financial Stability is Needed 

A stable financial life will be required to keep the family together. This will require effective planning on how to utilize your monthly earnings towards the needful. The needful includes providing the necessities of life and health care facilities for yourself and your child. In addition, affording a standard school for your child and other miscellaneous.

Raising a child as a single parent requires discipline in terms of money management. This will enable you to meet up financial goals and invest your money wisely. Always have a plan B for the unexpected event and the future. Subsequently, as a single parent, don’t rely on one source of earning. Engage in various legit businesses and learn to cut your coat according to your size.

6. Spend Quality Time With Your Kids

Oftentimes, your child may begin to feel the absence of your departed partner and results in emotional disorder. However, to fill in that gap, you need to spend quality time with your child. And engage in the activities that make them happy. Although there may be times you need to stay out late to make extra money.

However, don’t make that your routine which can detach you from your kids. A close, healthy relationship with your kids helps you discover your child’s passion. Likewise, their weaknesses, to help them improve. Spending quality time is one of the activities that can increase the love bond with your kids. 

7. Create a Routine and Stick With it

A balanced routine helps create an order for your day-to-day activities and that of your child. This reduces stress and encourages independence in the life of your child. So, even while you’re away for some time, your child can coordinate him/her self.

There should be a set time to perform the important activities such as a set time for shopping, cooking, doing the home chores, and exercise.

8. Set Limit to Your Action

To control the urge of giving your child whatever they ask for, you will need to set limits and stick to them. Setting boundaries is one of the proper methods of disciplining your child. This helps instruct and guide them on the right code of conduct to put on. Set a limit to what they eat, how they associate with their peer’s and the time spent on the screen.

Instead, occupy them with activities that improve their emotional intelligence and academic performance. 

9. Create a Personal Time

Your health as a single parent influences the wellbeing of your child because if you get sick, there’s no other person to look after your child to your satisfaction. Therefore, don’t become a workaholic, which causes the body system to break down. Create time; a time for yourself away from distractions. A time to relax and meditate. Also, a time to engage in the activities you love and spend time with your friends.

These sets of activities boost your immune system, enabling you to think through your problems from an advantageous perspective. Furthermore, it enhances your mental, physical, social, and emotional health. 

10.  As a Single Parent Take Decision Making Serious 

A large percentage of single parents struggle to make crucial decisions about the well-being of their families. This is because they have become accustomed to sharing ideas with their partner before concluding what to do. Therefore, the departure of their partner leaves them confused. They begin to doubt if the choices they make are right.

On the contrary, as a single parent, you need firm courage in decision-making. Believe that your decision is for the betterment of everyone. Perhaps, you’re unsure about certain decisions, consult a family counsellor or a trusted friend or family member.

11. Share With Other Parents How You Feel

When it comes to healthy parenting, no one is a superhero at training kids. Similarly, every parent needs the advice of other parents to forge ahead when raising a child as a single parent. There will come a time in your life as a single parent where you’re overburdened and feel like giving in to your challenges. During this period, staying alone often leads to depression. Instead, learn to share your feelings with others who are willing to listen to you.  

Seeking the help of others doesn’t mean you’re weak or makes you an irresponsible parent, rather, it helps you ease the burden you feel. However, you should join a single parents club or group. This helps you get advice from other parents who can relate to what you are experiencing in raising a child as a single parent. 

12. Create a Relationship Between Your Child and the Opposite Sex

This kind of relationship depends on the gender of the partner that has departed, either male or female. There is always a need for a child to feel the love of both a mother and a father while growing up. Therefore, create a connection between your child and a trusted person. A person who truly shows and represents the love that your child needs to receive from a mother or a father. This could be a family friend or relatives or counsellor.

Conclusion

Raising a child as a single parent can be made much easier if you take parenting one step at a time. It isn’t compulsory to get it right at first. Gradually, with time, you will succeed at raising a child without the help of a partner.

Perhaps, you have a tight working schedule to meet up with the growing family needs, endeavour to get a babysitter to look after your kids while you’re away. Meanwhile, this practise shouldn’t be a routine. This often distances you from your child, which is one of the parenting mistakes you should avoid.

Finally, share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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