Monday, 19 September 2011

Good cop, bad cop

The difficulties in being two parents in one!!

I have a great admiration for single parents. They have to be everything.....cook,breadwinner, primary carer, disciplinarian.......the list is endless. Whilst I cannot totally understand what single parents face on a daily basis, I can offer advice on how to deal with behaviour issues. After all, single parents have to be the good guy and the bad guy in this situation. There is no in between!!

If you have more than one child, it is important to try and divide your time with them as equally as possible. This can be difficult if one child is more demanding than the others (or is a baby and therefore needs more than older siblings may) It is hard to treat them all in an equally fair manner, but this is also important in keeping things as harmonious as is possible. This is when things can become overwhelming, so you may need support from others to keep yourself on the straight and narrow, whether it be family or friends.

Make sure that you care for yourself every now and then. By having a bit of me time, you can make yourself feel more relaxed and therefore have a calmer approach to dealing with any behaviour issues that may arise with your children. Again, this would come with support from family and friends, and also if your children spend time with your ex partner, every other weekend perhaps.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when dealing with behaviour as a single parent:

1. Are you consistent with your expectations and reactions to unwanted behaviour? Mixed messages can cause many problems.

2. Am I including the children in my decision making? For example, allowing them to make some choices themselves.

3. Am I taking good care of myself?

4. Are the children reacting to any changes or events they have witnessed which may be causing the behaviour?

5. Am I spending enough one on one time with my children?

6. Am I confident with my parenting? Do I need a little support?

It can be difficult to admit when you need help, but it is important that you do so when you need it. Even parents in couples need help at some point. Parenting is never easy, neither is dealing with behaviour. You may have to be the Bad cop sometimes, but as long as you balance it with good cop now and again you cannot go wrong!!

Thankyou to zoe for suggesting this post.

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