6 Tips to Become the Best Single Dad

10 June 2022

It’s quite a rollercoaster to raise kids when you’re a single dad. There are many ups and downs, highs and lows, but for sure, you’re up for a thrilling adventure that you would want to experience over and over again. It’s difficult but there are single parents who went through what you’re going through and they’re more than willing to share what worked for them to hopefully ease a fellow single parent’s predicament. Plus, having kids is rewarding and they can learn from expert tips in their road to becoming the best single dad they can be.

1. Surround yourself with the right people.

You would need a strong support system when you’re raising a kid on your own. You won’t be able to do it all by yourself. You have to humble yourself that you need the help of others to give your kids a good upbringing.

It’s not because you’re a single parent, even moms and dads together count on their family and friends for help whenever they need it. These people might have already experienced what you are going through and will be able to guide you to the right path.

Your kids will most likely grow up with this group of people so choose wisely. They can also serve as the mother figure that your kids need at this time as well.

This can also mean enrolling your kids to classes or activities where they will be surrounded with like-minded and inspiring people.

2. Find the balance between work and your personal life.

Yes, you have to earn money to support your kid’s living. But that doesn’t mean you should sacrifice bonding time with them.

Let’s be realistic though. Since you are a single dad, this will mean you need to work extra harder. This means you won’t have anyone to share the bill with or to split the roles between two parents.

You can create this balance by first managing the expectations of your kids. Let them know that you are working hard for your present and future. But also block off important events in your schedule. Have time to talk to the kids everyday, even if it’s just for half an hour. Try your best to have time to help them with school work, eat meals together, and bond over shared likes and interests.

You also need to understand your kid’s desire for a parent. As a single dad, you should practice your listening skills. You want your kids to be comfortable sharing their thoughts, stories, and feelings with you. Build that relationship with them wherein you could count on each other’s ears and shoulders at any time.

You can also strike a balance between personal life and work by investing in the right tools to ensure that you work efficiently and productively. Investing in ergonomic pieces will help you stay focused and more alert during the workday so that your tasks won’t be piling up.

3. Do not talk ill of your ex.

If the cause of you being a single parent is because you got divorced with your ex-wife, then you should be careful with the stories that you tell your kids. You don’t want them to hate on their mother or think that they have been abandoned by her. Plus, you don’t want to have bad blood between you and your ex because it will only affect the children more than it will affect the both of you. Always practice respect in the name of your children’s present and future.

4. Be involved in your kid’s lives as much as you can.

It doesn’t mean that you don’t have a conventional family set-up that you’re not family anymore. Your kids may live under your roof or not; it doesn’t matter. You are still their dad. Try as much as possible to present when it matters the most. Attend their life milestones and show them that even if your marriage with their mom didn’t work or they were children out of wedlock, you still love them very much as their dad.

You can learn more about them through communication. Ask what their interests and likes are. Tap into these and volunteer to do it with them. Know their friends and the people they are surrounded with. Know their schedules by heart and whenever you’re free, make sure to be present. Never make your children feel that you left them or that you don’t have as much affection as you had for them before.

5. Do not regard routine as a bad thing.

Create a routine that the kids would gradually adjust to. People often associate routine to boredom but it’s actually very helpful in developing your kid’s character and attitude in life. The routine must be something that works for your setup, yourself and the kids. It doesn’t have to look perfect so don’t go on having unrealistic expectations of your current setup. Manage and be realistic as much as you can. What are examples of routines? Maybe you go out for a run every morning and then take breakfast together as a family. You never skip on your afternoon walks with the dogs and you have movie nights every single week. The more consistent you are with a parenting routine; the more your kids' personalities and characters are developed well and good.

6. Do not ever forget about yourself.

To be a good parent, you must love yourself first. You must never exhaust yourself to the point of getting burnout because this might just worsen things. You might become hot-tempered and irrational when dealing with your kids when you work hard to the point of extreme exhaustion. Remember that you need to love and take care of yourself before you can give the right care and upbringing to your children.

This means that you’d have to learn proper time management. Prioritize what you need to accomplish as well as want to go to or do every week. Be realistic so that you are able to plan and execute smoothly.