Although raising a child alone may not be ideal, it is an increasing reality. Some experts speculate that single moms now head half of all family homes. With the divorce rate around 50%, and more women making the choice to be single moms, they need positive role models, sound information and encouragement to make their home a stronghold of love to launch children into a lifetime of purpose and meaning. Successful Single Moms (SSM) have seven secrets for success:
Love is a Practice: SSM say I love you a lot, not only with words, but with actions and honesty. SSM show how to love life and do not traffic in self-pity. They honor their own dreams and those of the child. If the child wants to be a pilot, they get books from the library about planes, make paper planes and encourage the child’s enthusiasm. Being a SSM is contagious.
Spirited Single Moms Grow Along with Their Children: They work hard on breaking destructive patterns from childhood. For example, if she grew up in a family of abuse, the SSM realizes she may be attracted to the wrong sort of friends and relationships, so she refuses to allow destructive people to become important in the lives of her children. Even if she struggles everyday with challenges, she learns to make positive life-affirming choices. If she has on-going problems with depression or anxiety she seeks help.
Spirited Single Moms Know the Difference between Pretenders & Partners: There are many men who are excellent and entertaining dates, but they are not marriage material. If possible, it is wise to wait to introduce the children to a date until Mom thinks he may be around for a while and has reason to believe he will treat her children with care. A good way to find out about potential for the future is by learning about the date’s family history. If there has been abuse, cruelty, dishonesty, trouble with the law, etc, then these patterns are likely to repeat. SSM base their decisions on what is REAL about a potential mate and never marry “potential”. Also, adults should both pledge that they will never marry someone that does not love the children, treating them with respect.
Spirited Single Moms Celebrate Life: Laughter is prosperity during hardship. Mother There’sa once said, “Our best protection is a joyful heart”. Show your child how to celebrate. Children learn most from who we are and what we do, not what we say. Celebrate things considered “everyday,” such as the first day of fall, a puppy, even new crayons. Celebrate one another on a daily basis by saying “gratefuls,” things you are grateful for and “appreciations,” things you appreciate about one another.
Spirited Single Moms Model Giving: It is a privilege and a joy to spend our lives giving love. SSM model this behavior by doing things like, surprising a teacher with cookies, making a card for an elderly neighbor, or taking time to complement a super employee at WAL-MART.
Spirited Single Moms Refrain from Bad-mouthing the Ex: They make every attempt to co-parent with the child’s other parent, since the child’s self esteem is founded on feeling loved. Pity parties are held in private, since children need to feel safe and cannot handle their parent’s Big emotions. Tell your child, “I am so glad you were born” to help them feel important. Feeling positive reduces anxiety and children are better able to learn and explore. When you say an ex is “bad” it is like telling the young child that a part of him/her is bad also.
Spirited Single Moms are not Alone: Successful single Moms get help from family, friends and the community. Dr. Linda had a Co-Mom, Pamela Smith. They took turns caring for the children. Recently one of the Smith children, Melissa named one of her twin boys, Miles in honor of her “second” Mom. SSM do not allow toxic people into the lives of the children. They choose friends and dates as wisely as they wish their children to do.