Friday, September 19, 2008

How to Adjust to Life as a Single Father

When a child begins school he or she must learn to deal with the demands of a new environment. The child who can take advantage of the skills that he or she has is most apt to succeed in school. When man suddenly becomes a single father, he too is thrown into a new environment. He must make use of the skills that he has, especially the skills that will most benefit his children.

The single father should keep in mind the needs of his children. Every child seeks certain qualities in a parent. The single father must concentrate on providing his children with those qualities that he finds most able to develop fully.

A child seeks security. A single father must work to emphasize his readiness to provide his children with security. The single father might want to channel his discipline so as to highlight how any type of discipline can make his children feel more secure.

Sometimes a single father wants to feel securely in demand. He might thus consider using a rather aggressive discipline tactic. That was what happened to Gregory Keer, a writer for L.A. Parent Magazine.

Keer could remember the characters in Dickens' novels. Keer thought that he would try to copy the discipline technique used by one character. One day he grabbed one of his children by the collar and growled at him with a cockney accent. Keer has reported that this technique did not bring him the behavior he had wanted. In fact, Keer has written that his children actually laughed at him.

A child needs protection and confidence. A single father should appreciate a child's desire for protection. A single father must couch his advice in terms that underline his desire to provide protection. He must use that display of protection to give his children a feeling of confidence.

A child needs a feeling of belonging. The single father must make sure that each child feels that he or she belongs in the family. If the father has only one daughter, he must try to avoid doing only things that interest men and boys. Both boys and girls like animals; a single father might plan to take his children to the zoo.

A single father on a budget might want to try a trick used by an uncle in Los Angeles County. He used to spend time with a niece and nephew. This uncle had to entertain his niece and nephew while also entertaining his own two sons. The uncle would take the children to a car dealership and act like he was interested in buying a new car. The five of them would then get a demonstration ride in the dealership's most impressive vehicle.

When the uncle had a birthday party for his younger son, he of course invited his niece and nephew. The uncle's spouse did not want the niece to be without any female companionship at the party, and so she invited the daughter of a co-worker. Unfortunately, the invited daughter got sick on the day of the party, and so the niece was the lone girl at that party.

A single father can learn from that experience. A single father should try to be ready for such "emergencies." Maybe a single father could use such an "emergency" as an excuse to telephone a single mother with a daughter.

In addition to the items mentioned above, children also need role models. A father can be a good role model for both daughters and sons. Today many women work outside of the home. Even women who stay at home often choose to become involved in some organization, such as the PTA. A young girl can thus learn important skills from her father.

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