Single Parents and Relationships: Self-Regulation
Single parents, whether they like or not, need to practice some sort of restraint or self-regulation when it comes to their dating activities, as their child could take it the wrong way and end up resenting his or her parent. Or, worse, believe that his or her parent's impulsive dating actions are good and acceptable. While nobody can really pinpoint what is good or bad for a child because every single parent set-up is unique, one thing remains the same: the child should be given the primary protection. And that means you, as a single parent, should learn to regulate your actions, especially those infront of your child. Imagine when you were still single and childless. When you bring a date back to your house, you were always concerned that somebody, your parents, might walk in and discover the two of you necking.
Now imagine if, as an actively dating single parent, your child walks in and finds you in such. Isn't the thought actually more alarming? Keeping romantic relationships is not taboo with single parents. However, you must understand that there is a certain level of restraint should be exercised, or you could inflict some psychological harm on your child, no matter how minor you might think it is. And it's not just about dating. Regulation should also govern with parent to child relationships, as most single parents make the mistake of letting their kids call the shots because of guilt.
Remember this: there is no reason to feel guilty for your separation with your child's other parent. While children with intact, two-parent homes have the best of both worlds, this is not always the case. In fact, studies show that kids in single-parent homes have a higher sense of self-esteem than those who come from unhappy intact homes. So, if you feel guilty for the choices you made, seek counselling. Don't act out your guilt toward your kids. If you provide a happy home for your child and keep your role as a single parent straight, your will for your kid as much as any parent, or two, can ever be. Another pitfall of single parenting is trying to please children too much. Again, usually out of guilt. And while regulating your actions will help ensure a smooth relationship path for you and your kids, you must also not do so at your personal expense. Don't deprive yourself on their behalf or use them as a smoke-screen to avoid from having to get out and face the world and continue living.
You have a life to live. And though your kids mean the world to you and should always be at the forefront, you must not forget to take care of yourself. Although many single parents are seeking involvement, each of us must decide for ourselves what kinds of relationships we can handle at this time. Thus, you might have found that romantic attachments are not a priority right now. If you're a single parent looking for involvement, you know how demanding such a lifestyle can be. Knowing that you can choose to manage your children and a signficant other at the same time gives you the freedom to explore all the possibilities in store out there.
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