If you've heard all the stories and statistics about single-parent homes, you've probably had moments where you've sat up and worried that your kids won't turn out normally. Every parent wants to do the best they can, but sometimes life has other plans. However, contrary to popular myth, raising a well-rounded, well-adjusted child is possible, even if you're a single parent. The key is to try not to do it alone.
So many times single moms feel like they have to do everything by themselves, but that's not true. In fact, your kids will benefit tremendously from having a "village" to help raise them. Each person who has a positive influence on your kids will teach them something new, provide advice or friendship and add another flavor into the mix of how they're raised. In essence, that's what would happen if you weren't single. Moms and dads each provide a unique influence to their children, but if you're alone, why deprive them of the benefits of having loving adults in their lives?
Finding Quality People Around You
When you're a parent, you're called to a higher standard because you have kids to think of. The people in your life, those who are around your kids the most, should be those who set a good example of adult behavior. Most people won't ask to be such a deep part of your kids' lives, so you may need to specifically ask. As you're looking around you, think about which of your friends or family members would be a good fit to draw closer into your life. As you get to know them on a deeper level, you'll be able to tell if your kids are benefitting from the relationship. If so, ask them if they'd like to be a more permanent and meaningful part of your kids' lives. Lay out plans for what that would look like and then talk to your kids about it, too.
Finding Quality People Outside Your Circle
If family members and close friends aren't an option, you'll need to look a little outside of your immediate circle for people who can be part of your kids' lives. A great place to start is their school. Get to know other parents. One of the perks is that you'll probably make some friends of your own, too. It's worth the effort to get involved in friendships with adults who are in a similar phase of life as you. This way, when you need help or advice, you have someone you can talk to and your kids will already know it's a relationship they can trust for when they need help.
Well-Rounded or Partially-Rounded?
Being "well-rounded" is a definition that differs from person to person. The most important thing is that your kids grow up loved and cared for. Some two-parent families have it worse, with two unloving adults rather than one loving one. Provide as much love as you can for your kids by surrounding them with people who truly care. It'll make a lasting difference.