single dad

Top Six Things Every Single Dad Should Know

Emily GrahamUncategorized

It's hard enough co-parenting, but remove one parent from the equation, and it can become overwhelming. It's important to remember you aren't alone, and others have been in your situation before. We can learn from our predecessors, and when you're having rough moments, it's good to know these six things.

Teach Your Child to Help Early

While you want your child to stay a child as long as possible, you're going to need to find ways to lessen your burden. Your children should still feel that they have plenty of time to be carefree. However, if you begin to teach them to help around the house when they're young, you will instill in them a work ethic that will serve them later in life. Write down a list of chores or rules, be unafraid to modify*, and have a reward for completion and a punishment if they don’t follow your rules for multiple days or weeks in a row.

single dad

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Have Fun With Your Kids

Almost as important as teaching your child responsibility is remembering to have fun with your kids. Yes, you're tired. Yes, money is tighter. Yes, you're only one person trying to manage one child or more. But just as being a single dad is hard for you, having a nontraditional family is going to be just as hard on your children. Give them memories of their childhood that they can look back on with joy. They won't be children forever, and this precious time should be capitalized on.


Be Proactive About Your Income

Is it time to boost your budget? Good news: solutions abound! You can sell just about any service or skill online now, so consider turning an interest or ability into income. Love working out? Become a personal trainer. Is hunting your thing? Start a vlog. Can you crunch numbers like nobody’s business? Offer bookkeeping services. Whatever you enjoy, monetize it, so you can pad your wallet without draining your energy. Plus, side gigs like these are flexible, so you can tend your parenting obligations, too.

Just ensure you do things the right way so that income doesn’t get you into trouble. Register your limited liability company with your state. This sounds complicated, but it’s not. In fact, there are online services that guide you through this in a few simple steps, so you can get down to business right away.

Find Balance Between Your Kids and Your Love Life

You may not be at the stage where you feel able to reenter the world of dating, and that's okay. Take time to heal but don't become a hermit because love seems too big a challenge. You deserve to have romantic happiness. However, once you dive into dating, it may be tempting to try and act the way you did before you had children. You may want to go out with your new partner every night or have adult-style sleepovers with individuals you may have only recently met. While it is important to have a fulfilling love life, you're a dad first. Your children may be adversely affected if you bring home a new stranger every weekend. Wait for introductions until you're serious about someone, as your children may react negatively to an idea of a “replacement” mom. Further, you'll want to give them stability.

Be the Best Role Model You Can Be

As a father, and especially as a single one, you need to be the best role model possible. If your child's mother is still around, you're going to have to learn how to control wanting to vent to your children. It may be hard, but if you share custody, you have to learn to speak well of their mother so that your children don’t feel the need to split their loyalties, or say nothing at all. If their mother isn't in the picture, you still need to teach them how to treat people with respect and dignity. They will learn from your behavior just as much as they will from your words.


You Have to Take Care of Yourself First

This goes back to the line about putting on your oxygen mask first. You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of your children. This means getting enough rest, eating well, tapping into a support network of family and friends, exercising and finding time to unwind. It may sound impossible, but it doesn’t have to be. Revisit your schedule for a full audit. Maybe you can fit something in while your daughter is in her STEM class, or perhaps you can turn to a childcare center like ScuttleBugs Child Development Center so your toddler can have time with other kids while you get to focus on other things.

No one ever said parenting was easy. It's even harder when you go it alone. But if you look after yourself and give your kids wonderful memories and the tools they need to become responsible adults, you will have been a success.

Whether you have a six-week-old or a six-year-old, ScuttleBugs Child Development Center has a place for your child to learn and grow. Book your virtual tour today!

About the Author

Emily Graham is the creator of Mighty Moms. She believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life. On her site, she offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms -- from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family.

She’s a teacher.

*ScuttleBugs occasionally accepts blogs from guest authors. We do so only if we believe the topic or contents might be of use or interest to families, employees or associates of ScuttleBugs. That said, we are not advocating or supporting one way or the other for any services or entities mentioned as we understand readers will make their own judgements. If we do want to support some good cause, you can believe we will clearly say so 🙂