Tag Archives: parenting help

Help Your Teens Make The Right Choices

Teens can be scary for everyone, not just single moms. It’s important you help your teen make the right choices at such a vulnerable time in their early adulthood. You might be asking yourself, “when did my baby become a teenager?” You suddenly wake up one morning and find out you’re sharing your house with another adult. They may not be as mature at most of the adults you know, but they are asserting their independence more and more everyday.

Congratulations, Mom. You’ve successfully raised your baby and are almost at the finish line. But that doesn’t mean your job gets any easier. You might not have to keep your eye on the kids every second, but their health and safety is still your responsibility. The trick is to be responsible even when the kids are spending more and more time away from your parenting influence and making more choices without you.

Help them make responsible choices when they are out in the world by letting them practice their decision making skills in the safety of their own home by giving them choices at every opportunity. When you first start, make sure the available choices fall within certain boundaries that you are willing to accept. If you let the child choose the menu, you might find yourself eating pizza every night. Instead, give them the option of spaghetti or beef roast. Carrots or green beans. This way they’ll realize that most choices in life are based on the options available, not a wish list.

If your teen chooses an available option that you believe isn’t the right option, resist the urge to further influence their decision. Respect the choice even if you think they’ll regret it.

Let the teen make choices in prioritizing their own schedule. If they have chores around the house, homework and plans with friends, they’ll soon learn that if they choose to unwind after school with video games, they may have to give up later plans with friends because they still have to walk the dog, take out the garbage and get that homework done. Be consistent about the list being completed on a regular basis, while being flexible enough to realize that things do come up. But, if you regularly give in and walk the dog and take out the garbage yourself, the only thing your teen is learning is how to avoid responsibility.

5 Tips for Raising Elementary Kids

Raising elementary kids can be one of the most fun times for you and your children. From age five till age nine, children are at the very beginning of one of the biggest adventures of their life: The school years. Parenting children as a single mom during this time is much like racing turtles. It requires, slow, steady, consistent nurturing to ensure that the kids can navigate the new waters of school and come out as fairly well adjusted and centered before entering the tumultuous waters of middle school and puberty. Here are some tips to help you in raising elementary kids as a single mom.

Be Confident in Them

It’s normal for a young elementary aged child to be unsure about his or her abilities and to lack some self-confidence. This is a time when they are becoming fully aware of peer pressure and the need to succeed. No matter what happens, ensure your child that you are confident in his ability to succeed. Highlight his talents, and help him find activities that focus on them so he can have many opportunities to succeed.

Be Consistent

You must be consistent with discipline during these years. Even as young as five, children see through half-hearted attempts at discipline. Without a second adult to come in and take over from time to time, it can get tiring to be consistent each and every time your child acts out, but you must. Always discipline with love and showing your child that you are confident in her ability to behave. Never let your child feel like you have given up on her, even if you are disciplining or correcting for the 50th time in a day.

Foster Friendships

The elementary years are a time when children learn much about social interaction. Gone are the days when they can blurt out whatever is on their mind and their peers think nothing of it. They need many opportunities to make friends. Regular play dates may no longer be feasible, but a sleepover or Saturday playtime at your house are important to help your child foster strong friendship and learn that everyone does things a little bit differently, and that’s OK.

Value-Centered Parenting

These years allow a child to solidify his values and decide what’s truly important in life. You need to be constantly conversing about your values. Don’t just tell your child what you want him to do, but talk about the why. Why is it important to share? Why do we need to talk kindly with our siblings and friends? Why must we show respect to mom?

Prepare for Questions

If you have been sailing through the single parent life up until now with few questions, prepare for the hard questions now. Your child is going to want to know why there is no daddy in her home. Be honest, but positive when discussing these questions with your child. Even if you harbor ill feelings towards the absent father, be guarded in how much of this you show to your children. He is their father, after all, and he may have a role to play in their life, if not now, but in the future, and they should have the opportunity to come to their own conclusions if it is reasonable to let them do so. Of course, always keep your child’s safety a priority if there are abuse issues at hand.

Reading Skills Of Your Children Shouldn’t Be Compared To Others

Many parents are overly concerned about comparing the child’s reading skills to other kids the same age. While reading skills benefit most areas of life, many children show aptitudes in other areas of reading besides just memorizing the words.

Reading skill levels are based on classroom averages. It makes it easier for the schools to teach by having children grouped by overall reading skills, but this comparison doesn’t accurately depict how well the child retains what they are reading.

Some kid’s do well reading out loud to their parents or in front of the classroom. Their sentences flow and they seldom struggle with the words. But, when they reach the end of the page or the story, they have no idea what they just read.

Others struggle when they read aloud. It could be shyness or lack of confidence. But, this same child might be able to recap the entire story he has read silently.

The age when children are ready to read also happens at different stages of childhood. Those parents who have more than one child know that while one of the kids is always ready to snuggle in for a reading session, the other child may be more interested in dancing after rainbows.

The main focus should be on making reading as rewarding as possible for each child. Learn about the different tools that can be used by the child learning to read. If a word seems to be giving the child problems, it’s okay to help them out if the word seems unusually difficult. Just don’t get in the habit of providing the answer before the child has had a chance to discover the answer for himself.

If the child has a hard time recognizing the word by sounding it out, suggest other tips that will help him increase his reading ability.

Encourage the child to look for a hint to the word in the illustration on the page. It’s not cheating; it’s a tool the child can use to solve a problem.

Encourage the child to skip over the word and continue reading to the end of the sentence or paragraph. This gives the child a sense of what the word might be when he comes back to it to work it out.

A child often feels that they are only capable of reading school materials. Once they realize that they can read the back of the cereal box, their whole world can open up as they push boundaries to read more exciting things. Speak with the teacher or librarian about books that might interest your child.