If you are a single parent, you may not think it’s possible to have a strong family or even be a real family at all. But that’s simply not true! Single-parent families are “real” families. You can foster characteristics of strong family life that results in a healthy family dynamic. Find out what characteristics make a family strong apply it to your single-parent situation.
Lots of studies have been done to determine some of the common traits of strong, successful families. These characteristics can be incorporated into your family no matter how many parents or kids there are.
Accept the Challenges
Sometimes, there is resentment and hurt in a single-parent family. Maybe you didn’t ask to be a single parent; maybe you feel betrayed by the other parent. It’s only natural to feel hurt when something like that happens. But experts agree that you can’t stay in the hurt and wallow in it. Eventually, to be a strong family, single parents need to face and meet the inevitable challenges rather than insisting that they shouldn’t have to deal with these issues.
No Blame Game
Even in families where both parents are at home, blaming other family members or the other parent may undermine the family framework. Instead of blaming the other parent, take a look at the situation objectively and focus on how it makes you feel. Then focus on solutions or coping mechanisms. “Attack” the problem, not the person/people.
Spend Time Together
Strong families spend time together – simple in concept, but often difficult in practice! No matter which end of the custody agreement you are on (whether you are primary caregiver or not), try to do as much as possible with your kids whenever you can. Include them in things that perhaps you hadn’t thought of, such as running errands, cooking, or reading.
Sources say that families who join a faith community find that the community acts a bit like a “second family.” A strong faith community can provide extra support, including babysitting if need be. Also, incorporating faith and spirituality into the family dynamic has also shown to strengthen family bonds.
Family Routines and Traditions
Single-parent families can certainly get in on the healthy development of a routine, even if it involves visitation. Routines and traditions help cement a family together, from special road trips to holiday decorating. They give your family a sense of identity. This may be especially valuable for single-parent families, where children may feel confused about their identity.
You see, having a strong family doesn’t depend on how many parents there are. It simply depends on the having the characteristics single parents can most certainly have those.
What do you think makes your family strong? Do you have these characteristics or others? Let us know.