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Single Parenting Part II

10 ways to reduce stress

1. Get a handle on finances.

Learn how to budget your time and money. Know when your paycheck or other income will arrive, and keep track of household bills.

2. Talk early and often.

Don’t leave your child in the dark about the changes in the family. Sit quietly with your child just before bedtime. It may be a great time for your child to talk with you.

3. Find support and use it.

Don’t try to handle everything by yourself. Get help whenever you can. You will need the support that family and friends can give. Get to know other single parents through support groups. Your pediatrician can also be a great source of help and information.

4. Take time for family.

Set aside some time each day to enjoy your children and your relationship with them. Spend quiet time playing, reading, working on arts-and-crafts projects, or just listening to music together. Time spent together is one of the most important things you can give to your child.

5. Take time for yourself.

Whether you are reading, relaxing, or visiting with friends, time spent away from your children is important for you, and for them. Go to a movie. Find a hobby. Do things that interest you.

6. Keep a daily routine.

Making rules, setting a good example, and providing support is tough, but giving in to your child’s demands will not help. Schedule meal times, chores, and bedtimes. A consistent routine will help your child feel more secure.

7. Maintain consistent discipline.

If others help in the care of your child, talk to them about your own methods of discipline. Discipline doesn’t have to mean physical punishment. Many good methods have been developed. Learning good ways to handle your child’s behavior will reduce stress for both of you.

8. Treat kids like kids.

Resist treating your children like substitutes for a partner. Avoid expressing your frustration to them. Try not to rely on them for comfort or sympathy. As children grow older, they will be able to take on more responsibility and help around the house. Don’t expect too much too soon.

9. Stay positive.

Be aware that your children will always be affected by your mood and attitude. They will need your praise and your love through hard times. It’s okay to be honest about your own feelings of sadness and loss, but let them know better times lie ahead for both of you.

10. Take care of yourself.

This is a difficult time for you, too. Exercising regularly, maintaining a proper diet, and getting enough rest can help you better deal with stress. Visit your own doctor on a regular basis. Ask your pediatrician not only about help for your child, but also about help for yourself.

 

Information on this site is intended for Angel Kids Pediatrics patients only. Always consult your doctor before beginning, modifying, or discontinuing any treatment plan.

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