Challenges Faced By Single Parents
Bringing up kids in todayâ€™s complicated world can truly be a challenge. With digitalisation and the buzz of internet, there are too many distractions in a teenagerâ€™s life and it can be immensely difficult to try and understand your teenager. On the top of it all, bringing up a teenager being a single parent can be even more difficult. Being a parent is not at a cake walk. From understand the needs of a child to setting careful boundaries for them and making them actually follow it are completely different.
According to experts, a parent must know their teen at the deepest level apart from just their likes and dislikes. Most of the teens undergo depression without even realising it and the best possible sign for it could be change in behaviour and mood swings. Moreover, while most of the parents try to be friends with their kids, it is not even required. The point is to make them feel comfortable around you for them to be able to share things. But certainly not to a point where it leads to rebellion.
As a parent, you need to teach your teenâ€™s values instead of letting them go all wild under the name of friendship. You do not have to please them all the time. Some wishes can be accepted but not all. This will actually make them conscious of the boundaries that you have set. As a parent you are supposed to help in your teenâ€™s development and be there for him/her at the same time.
All sort of information is available out there and you donâ€™t want the fragile mind of your teen to get affected by the overwhelming information out there. Parenting as it is, is a difficult task and single parenting is even more tough.
Below are the five challenges that single parents face while bringing up their teens:
Teenage is all about experimenting. The kids are no more juvenile and want to experience everything popular without the filter of good or bad. They do not care whether it turns out to be harmful for them. They just want to try their hands on something exciting and thrilling. In college parties, teens usually get exposed to alcohol and drugs. While this might seem very thrilling for them, it is not quite as happening.
Alcohol is the reason behind drunk driving, accidents and even other offensive crimes. Getting into the habit of drinking regulary can turn out to be devastating for the teens. As a parent, you must educate your kid about why and how alcohol consumption can be harmful for them. Kids who are exposed to dirnking parents are also less likely to get into it as they see the after effects of it.
There is a fair enough reason as to why teens are denied from drinking. The reason being that they cannot handle the post-drinking effects of it. As a single parent, you should keep an eye on your teen and regularly keep checking on him/her. You can also subtly bring the topic up and give them a nice lecture about why it is not safe for their age.
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Do you also happen to have a teen with random sleep cycles? They would crash the whole day and stay up late at night. Most of their time is spent in playing video games and staying up hooked to their mobile phones. This makes them even more cranky the next day and it is a viscious cycle. This sleep deprivation affects their psychology and health alike. It is not natural for them sleep on time due to the hormonal changes. Yet, they need to be pushed to bed on time so that they can function well the next day.Â
As a single parent it gets difficult to communicate with your teen that has hormones raging all the time. But at the same time, it is very important for you to make it a point that your teen gets at least six hours of proper sleep in a day. At the end of the day, it is your responsibility to ensure that the health of your teen is maintained.
you saw this coming, didnâ€™t you? The internet has created a havoc among the teens and they are completely hooked to their phones almost all the time. Due to the internet, the teens get in touch with all sorts of people, even random strangers. Especially for girls, it is not safe at all. The people that they might be socialising with online might not even be legit. Online dating, video calling strangers and stuff like this might take a toll on their emotional well being.Â
As a single parent, you must be vigilant about what your teen browsers. The gadgets they use must be monitored and internet access should also be checked. Most of the cyber crimes are committed by teens. Parents need to limit the screen time for their kids. You can use apps that if downloaded on your teenâ€™s computer will enable you to know what kind of websites he/she is engaging with. Simple as that. With the digitalisation taking over, your ways of keeping an eye on the teens should also change.
Negotiate with your teen regarding their screen time. Give them access for a certain hours and then take the device back. Too much time on the internet also affects studies and make it clear to your children that no means no.
Teenagers are curbed from indulging in sex for a reason. They are not physically and emotionally ready to experience it and hence the age barrier. However, a lot of them have sex in the flow of things and are usually disturbed after it. Sex education is one thing and porn is another. The manner in which the internet portrays sex appeals to the teens. They try and imitate the same but having sex fewer than eighteen is just not right.Â
As a parent, you need to sit them down and explain exactly why they should not be getting involved in this at their age. Teens of course do not have that kind of maturity to understand the right and wrong and you have to make a conversation explaining exactly why they need to shun this. Do not worry about the awkwardness; just say it to them outright. It is always better that you make the tough conversation now than to bear the negative consequences later on.
Teenagers also have major body issues these days. Because of the social media and following celebrities, they feel that their bodies should look like that of the models. This is utter nonsense and single parents raising teens should teach them about self love. Tell them how important it is to love and accept yourself for just the way you are.
Make it point to clearly tell them why they need to accept themselves so that whatever their peers or the internet might say does not affect their self esteem. In the flow of things, teens end up making reckless choices for themselves and you need to teach them the importance of self acceptance.
There are days when your teen is all sweet and nice to you and then suddenly they do not even want to see your face. Forget about making conversations, they are not even comfortable with having you around. While you might wonder what the heck is wrong with them, it is just another phase of teenage. According to experts, this happens because teens think that their way of doing things is the only way possible and they do not like you nagging around them.
Single parents must remember that this is just a phase in the lives of their teens wherein they do not want to listen to the opinions of anyone at all. Rebellion is at peak and they are reckless with anything and everything that they do. Until and unless there is a reason to get worried about or there is a major decision that has to be made, parents should just keep calm and let things run their course.
In contrast to monitoring them all the time, during such situations, it is best to let them be on their own. Let them go through the phase of rebellion and stay out of it. However, remind them of their basic duties and responsibilities and you can ignore the tantrums that they throw at you. Being a single parent is not easy but it is not that difficult if you get a few things right.
So do not worry about the detest. Leave them on their own for a while and they will be back to normal. It is all about striking the right balance between holding on and letting go. This is also applicable in single parenting your teen.
Thus, parenting a teen while being a single parent is challenging and you need to know how to do it right. With the havoc of internet and social media, it is very easy to get swayed away and distracted by all the wrong things out there. The digital space is not safe for the teens and there are cyber crimes happening every now and again. Do not let your child get into the influence by it. Limit their screen time and set clear rules and boundaries.
While being strict to your kids also ensure that you teach them values right from the beginning. Values like self love and self acceptance will help them in the long run. Once they realise how important it is to appreciate them for the way they are, they will surely not fall prey to all the humbug that social media induces. They will feel more confident about themselves and will not pay heed to any negative thing said by their peers.
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Teach your teen about sex and why it should only be done after crossing the teenage. Obviously, the teens will not have the maturity to understand but you can surely educate them. Do not shy away with the thought that things will be awkward. As a single parent bringing up a teenager, there is no other option that to initiate the difficult conversation and get your point across. The safety of your teen is more important than anything else.
To prevent your kids from getting into drugs and alcoholism, watch their circle of friends and warn them right away if you dislike any of their friends. In teenage, friends have the most influence on your kids. The company that they are in is responsible for the choices that they make. So ensure that any problem is simply nipped at the bud. Alcohol can really take a toll on your teenâ€™s health and overall well being. You should be vigilant and monitor if they are not getting into bad company.
As a single parent, it can seem like a tough task to raise a teenager, to bear all the mood swings and still stay sane. With the right amount of patience and communication you can achieve it. There are various smart apps out there for parents of this generation. It is almost impossible to convince your teen to not use gadgets but you can always limit their screen time and negotiate with them about the same.
Lastly, no matter how difficult the parenting journey might be for you. Remember that it is just a phase and shall soon pass. However, while your teen is traversing from this you need to be there for them and show your compassion and love. Be a supportive parent and be strict about boundaries and limits at the same time.
Nagging around will not always be fruitful. Try and understand the mood of your teen and then react to whatever they do. Single parenting is known to get difficult due to only one person handling every responsibility but you can do it! Seek help from fellow parents and friend as well as family. All the Best!