As we watch our children grow up, we hope for the best. We hope that our efforts teach them to respect others, think independently, make responsible decisions, and pursue their own happiness. The best way to ensure they do these things is by doing more than simply taking care of their basic needs… you have to really work at building a relationship with your children.

As a single parent, you have your work cut out for you. You have to manage your resources, build a support network, and deal with the anxieties of parenthood– all on your own. However, when it comes to building a relationship with your children, you form a deeper bond. Research also shows that single parents tend to be kinder to their children than parents who are married. Your child or children see how hard you work, how you are there for them, and they appreciate it in a way that is different from a two parent family.

Setting A Positive Example as a Single Parent
Being a single parent is not easy in any sense of the word. It’s important to take care of your mental health as you deal with complications that arise. Not only will it help you deal with what life throws are you, but it also sets a good example for your children. Life isn’t easy, as your children will learn as they grow. They need a positive role model that can show them it’s okay to admit when you need help and that making your mental health a priority is a good thing.
● Take care of yourself physically– the mind/body connection is real! Eat right, exercise, and get a sufficient amount of sleep.
● Make time for the things you enjoy.
● Practice healthy coping mechanisms for stress.
● Ask for help from your support system if you need it.

Establishing a Deeper Relationship with Your Children
The parent/child relationship is not supposed to be that of buddies. You still have to act as an authority figure and a moral guide as your kids grow. The cool news is your relationship with your child is more unique and more profound than that of a friend. Here are some ways to build a deeper relationship as your child grows.
● If you have more than one child, make time to spend with them individually. It doesn’t have to be a big production, but make a date night once a month where you can catch up and give them your full attention.
● Be encouraging when it comes to the dreams and desires. However, it’s also important to be honest about the work that it will take to get there.
● Don’t be afraid to get into their space. Pay attention to what they like when it comes to movies, books, and other media. Ask them questions about their day and really work to get answers out of them. Sometimes children don’t speak up because they think no one cares, so it’s important you show them that you do.
● Be honest and real with your children. Sugarcoating things isn’t going to do them any favors in the real world.
● Have fun with you kids! Letting them see your silly side as well as your authoritative side prepares them for the duality of life.
As a single parent, you have double the amount of work when it comes to raising your children. However, the bond between a single parent and their kids can be much deeper and kinder than that of married parents and theirs. Set a good example for them by taking care of your mental health– you can’t care for anyone else until you care for yourself. It’s also important to establish a bond with your children without trying to be their buddy. Be there for them even when they don’t seem like they want you to be… They will appreciate it as they grow into healthy, well
adjusted adults.

Daniel is a single dad raising two children. At, he aims to provide other single dads with information and resources to help them better equip themselves on the journey that is parenthood.