Teens’ Corner: Can a single parent cope with an adolescent child and succeed?

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On impulse, many will reply No! But on a second careful thought, one can agree otherwise.
Single parenting is a two-way thing depending on how you look at it. And either way, the one who receives or deals with the result is the child.
An adolescent needs all the love, cares, attention and discipline he can get from the parents or parent.

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A parent who cares for his/her child will understand that he needs to take extra care of himself in order to take very care of his child.
When it comes to creating a healthy family, it is not about the number of parents in residence, but the quality of parenting a child receives. Unless custodial single mothers and fathers disbelieve the popular prejudice that single parents preside over a broken home that produces troubled children, particularly during adolescence, they are in danger of doubting their adequacy and undercutting their confidence and this can be pathetic because some single parents can actually do a very good job at proper parenting if only they can decide to make a difference and be a successful single parent; the best parent to their children.
Single parenting can be nightmarish, extremely tough, overwhelming and still wonderful, all at the same time. It is usually said that, “what you cannot help, you are sure to embrace”. Therefore, a single parent can surmount the whole challenges facing single parenting and do just as good a job with their children as a happily married couple would.
Some of the major initial challenges most single parents face are:
-Coping with the loss of the partner which could have resulted from personal circumstance, divorce, abandonment or death.
-Understanding and dealing with the possible psychological crisis their children could be going through as a result of the absence of one of their parents, although, this depends on how old the child was when the separation took place and how the child decided to deal with it.
-Assuming dual roles and responsibilities.
-Enabling and adjusting to the new role and circumstance.
-Providing continuity and avoiding disruption for the child and family.
-battling societal prejudice and stigma of single parenting and care-giving.
-Maintaining self-confidence and dealing with feelings of doubt, low self-esteem and inadequacy.
-Balancing effective parenting with career
-Time and financial constraints.
-Dealing with the rest of the family, step-family, new-romantic-interests, dating and support.
-Being a perfect role model to their children.
Some tips to help the single parent cope with pressure and give the best to the child
In all things, put God first, let the Bible be your guide: There is no situation, challenge or circumstance that the Bible cannot profer solutions to. Moreso, a family that prays together, stays together. Daily devotional supplications to God can help a great deal!
A single parent must take the family role very seriously. There must be a high level of commitment to the welfare of oneself, the family and the children.
However, in order not to break down, make every second count by working smarter not harder in regards to family roles.
Learn to speak directly with your child not at your child. Speak up in a clear and straight forward manner when difficult issues arise and treat any conflict not as a challenge to your authority but as a talking point.
Sometimes, be democratic and diplomatic in dealing with your child but be authoritative when necessary.
Never be too rigid or too flexible in the system you have chosen to deal with the follies of your adolescent child in particular.
Try being organized. With so much to do and one parent to do it, single parents need to create efficient family system to manage the diverse responsibilities which now rest on them.
In trying to meet up with financial requirements of the family, single parents should not allow their career or businesses to hinder them from being sensitive and attentive to the needs of their child.
You don’t have to do it all alone! You can call on support and reach out to people close to you for help when you need to so as not to, lose you sanity.
Adolescents can pose a hard nut to crack especially to the single parent. That notwithstanding, there is no nut too hard that it cannot be cracked, it only takes skills, patience, wisdom and strong will.

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