How to Cope with Being a Single Parent

Life as a single parent brings a mix of struggles, but with a few smart strategies and tips to help you cope, you can create a happy home.

Instructions

  • TIP: Save money on clothes by shopping at thrift or second-hand stores.
  • Step 1: Get the tax benefits you qualify for, like the child-care tax credit and federal earned income credit, which can amount to hundreds of dollars in returns.
  • Step 2: Look for ways to better manage your time, squeezing out a few extra minutes on your commute or when running errands. Now, spend the time you save looking forward to your future and enjoying your family.
  • FACT: Average annual child-care costs range between $4,000 and $11,000 for 4-year-olds.
  • Step 3: Streamline the budget, saving on child care by enlisting family to babysit, sharing child care with another single parent, or getting aid through nonprofit agencies.
  • Step 4: Maintain a routine that includes time for family, homework, meals, chores, bedtime, and self-care to help you cope with daily tasks.
  • Step 5: Count your blessings if you divorced out of an unhappy marriage. Celebrate the end of bickering, your power to make decisions, and the time you have for yourself when children visit their other parent.
  • Step 6: Establish house rules in accordance to your situation as a single parent, your values, and your goals. Stick to them and be consistent.
  • TIP: Praise good behavior to keep kids on track.
  • Step 7: Build a community of supporters among family, friends, and co-workers who are willing to help you cope. Ask them for assistance when it's needed.

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