Do you want to be the best father possible? Single dads have a lot to offer their children, but being a father also comes with a steep learning curve. You’re going to get a lot right, and a lot wrong.
A lot of what you learn about being a single father will be hands-on, but a little advice can go a long way in your journey of being the best dad you can be.
Advice that no one ever gave you, that can help you as a single father, includes:
Express Your Love to Your Child
Single dads must express their love to their children. Communication and reassurance will build confidence in a child and also lead to bonding. Remember, a dad who succeeds is the one who:
- Focuses on the needs of the child
- Reassures the child that they’ll always be there
- Provides a feeling of continual safety
- Repeated assure your child that none of what’s happening with mom and dad is their fault.
If you, as a father, use your time wisely, you can create a loving environment that will help your child grow and prosper.
Kids Will Push Your Boundaries
Family members, a former spouse or ex, are all very influential in a child’s life. Your child may be told, “dad makes more money, ask him.” Kids naturally try to push the boundaries, in relationships.
For example, your child may ask for items that are teetering on the realm of being outrageous.
They’re seeking attention. As a dad, the best advice that you can receive is to set practical, healthy boundaries that show that love can’t be bought. Attention is the currency of love so very often, spending quality time with your child is what they want most. When you couple this point with the last one, you’ll show your child that love doesn’t have a price tag.
I had to rephrase “The single dad who remains focused on what his child needs, to feel loved, feel they will always be safe, and that their dad will always be there for them, is the dad who succeeds” because it is far too close to the original to not be plagiarism.
That makes sense. I like what you wrote. It is also pointed out several times and in several different ways in my “Single Dad Essentials” book. I may have even said it first ;~)) Maybe a link to my book here would be helpful?
Kids Will Test You: It’s Normal
Your child will test you. When parents are no longer together, there’s an innate fear that dad or mom will leave them. Kids will often cause arguments or disagree with new children in your life, and they will vie for your attention any way that they can.
Competing with another child isn’t done out of malice – your child is concerned that they’ll lose your love. Remember attention is the currency of love that they will understand so spend it wisely.
You need to show equal love and be able to withstand the bouts of jealousy and boasting that is associated with this behavior. Children do not mean to purposely hurt you. It’s best to give your child attention, even if that means doing simple chores together and not necessarily talking about the deep meaning of life.
It’s Okay to Do Things Differently
Mom and dad do things differently. You might order pizza in instead of cooking, or you may want to spend the weekend camping rather than relaxing at home. It’s okay and normal for dad to do things differently. This difference is healthy and normal for them to experience, it’s why they need a dad and a mom.
You’re different than your ex, and kids will accept that even if they:
Parenting is a learning process, and while you may want to be perfect, even dad makes mistakes. The advice above can help make parenting as a single father a little bit easier for you and your child.