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Go Back Forums > Parenting > Parenting Issues > Single Parents

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Old 07-11-2002, 08:34 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Hayward, CA
Posts: 1
Single parent site! yes

I am a single mother of a 3 1/2 boy named Antonio. I have been reading everything possible that is about parenting, discipline, potty training, the spirit child, raising a son, etc... and 99% is discussed with having a 2 parent home. It would be so nice to share information and ideas with other single parents. I am really hoping that other single parents will find this forum and share information. Regardless of our situations, we're all here for our children! It would just be great to hear different tricks of the trade, rather than hearing how the other parent gives the tired parent a break by taking over. That is nice, but what if there isn't another parent to help? So I hope to be able to get to write to new parent's and share what I've learned too.
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Old 07-20-2002, 09:54 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 66
I am glad to see another single parent here. I have been a single parent for 5 years. I have a ds son age 10 and my dd will be 9 in September. We have little contact with their dad who lives in another state and it is usually conflict when we have contact once or twice a year.
I definately have two "STRONG-WILLED" children. I am fortunate that I have my mother in the same town, but it is a challege to parent my kids without another adult. Boys and girls are different, that's for sure. While I have one of each, neither is easier than the other, just different.
Little boys can be so sweet at Antonio's age! Beleive it or not, I miss that age! lol. I've survived that age, so I'd be glad to be of any help I can.
Happiness is not getting what you want, it's wanting what you've got.
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Old 07-22-2002, 09:42 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 5
I have been a single mom since 1982. My oldest is soon to be 21 and my youngest is soon to be

Since you've asked, I'll give you the gist of my parenting theory and style.

Discipline should always be consistent ... even with 3-1/2 yr olds. NEVER discipline while angry.
Tell you child that their behavior will be dealt with when you are no longer angry. That will teach
them not to respond in angry, and help them to understand that discipline is behavior centered
and not anger centered.

At 3-1/2 your child is more than ready to potty train. Stay away from the pull-ups because they
simply undermine your efforts. Wet underwear teaches them not to ignore their toilet needs.
Take him to the store and allow him to choose a big boy underwear (like the cartoon characters)
and tell him that diapers will no longer be used. He is a big boy now and no longer needs them.

As to parenting, consider how you were raised. Were your parents strict, lenient, or something
inbetween? Do you appreciate how you were raised, or do you want something different for your
child? Always remember though, that you arenít raising just a son, but a future husband and
father. That said, take advantage of every teachable moment.

For your peace of mind, remember that you are the mom, not the dad ... and therefore cannot be
both parents. If you attend church, be as active as possible so that you and your child are well
known. That familiarity will be a good thing.

Dr. Dobson has a wonderful new book out about raising boys. If you havenít yet read it, borrow it
from the library or someone else, or purchase it ... maybe together with another single mom of a

Touch your child physically... hugging, stroking an arm, ruffling his hair, laying your hand on his
shoulder, and touch his heart ... tell him you love him at every opportunity. You can teach your
child to be tactile ... and when heís grown, his wife, will appreciate his gentle touch.
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Old 07-22-2002, 10:40 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 70
chuckle single mom


Bzzemom was right on track about consistent discipline, hugs and kisses, keeping busy and staying on some type of schedule, e.g., nighttime is 8-9 on school nights. I was not a single mom but with a career Navy husband gone 6 to 9 months a year I surely felt like one.

One other suggestion is hopefully you have a male figure for your children - a brother, uncle, a playmate's father, etc. It seems sometimes the male figure can say something and get through to kids moreso than from mom - maybe because that is all they hear is Mom is saying this and Mom is saying that.

Discipline is very important. I started when my boys were very young and it worked even as young adults in their 20's just to prove a point to friends. Called their name with a very stern voice, counted to 10 on my fingers and if not heeded - a swift smack on the backside. As the boys got older they did not want to be embarrased in front of their friends just as much as I did not want to be embarrased in front of my friends.

Also have them help around the house/apt. Have them enrolled in something they like and punishment is not being allowed to go if chores are not done. Not cruel as you are all in the same room, one picking up clothes, one dusting, one making/changing sheets/bed, sorting clothes, starting washer/dryer, folding, etc. This also helps in the kitchen - making salad, stirring eggs, etc. As the boys got older - 10/11 yrs they would surprise everyone by having put a pot roast on, make a salad, cook a vegetable all by themselves, know their way around a kitchen and ctually enjoy cooking to this day.

The most important of all is find and hire a trusted babysitter and go out grocery shopping, holiday shopping , get a haircut, visit with friends, go out with friends to a movie, etc., at least once a week for a couple hours. It is known as MENTAL HEALTH. Even if you work full- time, you still need a couple hours to yourself just to keep and preserve sanity.

Stay cool when angry by just walking away. Then punish and make it stick. As they get older they just may realize the punishment will be worse because you have cooled off and can think rationally without anger (my sons called it black lightning). I know the only time I would back off from punishment is if, and I mean IF, a good justification could be given as to why punishment should be cancelled to allow a certain event to happen and then be put back on afterwards.

Hope some of this helps.
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Old 08-15-2002, 05:00 AM
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Location: FLORIDA!
Posts: 113

Hi my name is Dawn and I have been a single parent for 19 years. It's good to see someone who is as accomplished at it as you are Harriet. I think that it is important to note that to teach children about compassion and understanding, a parent has to show that in how they deal with their children. I am a big believer in showing my kids that I am human and not just an "all knowing" parent. If I make a mistake, I apologize. I don't know alot of parents who will say that they were wrong about something to their children. I think that it makes them understand that we are human and will make mistakes. It also lets them know that when we do, we should apologize and learn from the error. I have never been a big believer in spanking or hitting of any kind. I know that it is a well discussed forum but I do believe that respect can be taught without inflicting pain. It definitely takes alot more time, especially when it comes to strong-willed children. My ds who is 19 never really defied me as a small child. He was so good natured and such a joy to be around. My dd who is 11 was a total challenge in everything concerning discipline. She wouldn't even sit in time-out and had to be held for the duration. Every child is unique and every discipline situation needs to be handled differently. Personally, I have been very satisfied with how I have handled the issue of parenting without spanking. I respect other parents' right to choose and do not wish to debate the subject but I do believe that in the end, hitting teaches to lash out, whereas non-hitting teaches patience. It is by no means easier and at times, I needed a time-out away from my dd, but the results outweigh the stress.
Live, Love and Laugh!
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