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13 Essential Single Parenting Secrets To Ensure Success!

Updated: Jul 13, 2022

13 Essential Single Parenting Secrets To Ensure Success! As if raising children isn't hard enough, some of us need to do it on our own. Raising children requires patience, organization skills, the ability to deal with unexpected disasters, the capability to understand the kid’s complicated

Parenting tips to ensure success homework
Helping with homework builds a stronger bond

inner world, and of course, managing money. All of this is hard as it is, even for two parents, and it’s twice as hard when there is no “other parent”, and it’s all on you.

But it is not impossible. Many single parents discover they are capable of more than what they thought, thanks to some techniques they learned through the years, and you can discover your strength too - with the help of these same techniques that other single parents had to discover on their own.


One of the hardest things to manage as you raise children on your own is money. Most people aren’t educated in finances, which is too bad. But you don’t have to be super educated to know how to manage your money and stay out of debt.

The most effective and simple way to keep your money under control is budgeting. It doesn’t require you to do or understand anything complicated, it only requires you to put limits on your spending.

Estimate how much do you need for expenses such as: food, clothing, utilities, treats, kids’ activities, gas, insurance, personal grooming, etc. average it for the last 3 months and set this as your budget.

Budgeting is a MUST single parenting process
It's not a complicated process - It's easy!

Then here is a very smart trick: go the bank and create a separate account. Put 10% of every single dollar that comes into your household and put it in this separate account as a reserve. If you get a check or payment of, say $20 put $2.00 into this account. Be EXTREMELY strict with yourself and do this with every single check no matter what or where it comes from.

Couple this 10% trick with being extremely strict with yourself to stay within the budgeted amount you established based upon your 3 month analysis and you should start to feel more in control and as that reserve begins to gain some traction you will have a small pot of money at the ready when something unexpectedly breaks and you need to replace it.

Disciplining Children

Did we mention that being a parent is hard? I wonder if being a single parent is even harder? Hmmm. With such a hard job, the last thing you need is rebellious kids. Let’s see if we can outline a plan or some strategies to make parenting little ones (and older ones too!) a bit easier as well as make your home a much more enjoyable and safer place.

Parenting tips on disciplining children is a must
Discipling children with care is critical

Show those rascals just how much you love them. A little bit of your unconditional love and support every day words wonders. Set aside time each day to spend with each of the children will mean the world. You can read to each other, softly sing songs, do a simple puzzle, snuggle, sit quietly, or enjoy the setting sun.

Routines are your friend. Write down daily routine and the approximate time these routines will take place. It’s important that children know what is going to be happening. It’s easier to remember that the schedule is the boss rather than make you the bad guy. Make sure your tasks are on that list too so they can see that you too must follow the routine.

Find quality childcare. If you need regular childcare, look for a qualified caregiver who can support your routine and provide a safe environment for your precious little ones. Don't rely on an older child as your childcare. Avoid asking a new friend or partner to watch your child. Work with other caregivers in your child's life to provide consistent discipline.

Reward!! When your kids follow the routine along with you make sure you heap some rewards on them - catch them doing what you want them to. Praise them for helping unasked and for giving you little to no grief for following the routine.

Dump the guilt. Only bad things can happen if you continue to blame yourself for being a single parent. A common reaction is to over-compensate and spoil your child to make up for being a single parent. This is an ugly cycle so do not start it or if you find yourself in the midst of it. You break the cycle by asking for help which is our next point.

Lean on others. One of the best ways to develop a circle of support is to join a support group for single parents, or surrounded yourself with loved ones that you can trust, friends and neighbors who can help. Facebook is a treasure trove of groups for moms. USE THEM!

Maintain a group of friends is important for single parents
Have a friends is CRITICAL as a single parent

Stay positive. It's OK to be honest with your child if you're having a difficult time, but remind them things will get better, that this is NOT their fault and they are loved, important, smart, kind and “the apple of your eye!”. Keep your sense of humor when dealing with everyday challenges.

Loneliness. This is said to be one of the hardest things about being a single parent. Sure, you love your kids and enjoy the time you spend with them. Your relationship with your kiddos cannot replace or substitute for a partner to lean on, love and enjoy adulting with as you travel the journey of life.

While you may not be able to eliminate loneliness completely, there are several little things you can do on a day-to-day basis to keep it at bay, so how do you cope?

It is so important, in the chaos of raising children on your own, to find time to be good to yourself. In order for you to keep your head above the water, you need to be nice to yourself, give yourself reasons to keep going, treat yourself, give yourself rest and refreshment so you can be a better parent for your children.

It doesn’t have to be big, it only needs to be for you: 10 minutes of Pilates in the morning, or 20 minutes nap after lunch, or just 5 minutes skincare routine before bedtime, so you feel nurtured, and remind yourself that your health and happiness matter, even in the middle of all that madness.

Start with taking care of yourself. As a mother, it can be tempting to prioritize everyone (and everything) in the world before yourself but making sure that your needs are being met is an important part of thriving as a mom.

When self-care falls by the wayside, you are much more likely to feel rundown, which is when loneliness can hit the hardest.

As a single parent don't let loneliness be a lifestyle
Don't let loneliness or isolation become prevalent

Keep screen time to a bare minimum along with social media. Do enough to stay connected but not much more. Do not fall into this rabbit hole!

Build and maintain face-to-face friendships especially in moms’ group. If you are religious, find out if local churches have support groups, and pursue interests or hobbies. It can be tempting to allow feelings of loneliness to cause you to withdraw and cut yourself off from the people and things you love, but all of these things can help take your focus off of feeling lonely and replace that feeling with a sense of fulfillment and purpose.

Do not fall into the trap of isolation by avoiding others and focusing on your loneliness and feelings. You must take the initiative and reach out to others for companionship and support or to the explore the resources available for single moms in your area

Be honest about the situation

It’s important to be honest about what is going on and to let them know what the situation is at a level of understanding appropriate to their age. Be doubly sure that you are not to scaring them or making them sad but being factual. Take great pains not to blame anyone and make triply sure they do not sense that this situation is their fault. The fact that you are a single parent isn’t a bad thing, it’s just something you need to compensate for not only for you but also for them.

Don’t let the children take on a ton of responsibilities AND be particularly careful not to make them feel like they need to carry too much on their shoulders. They’re still the kids, you’re still the parent.

They are going to compare their household with their friend’s household and know that they are different so you might as well discuss it often and honestly at a level they can understand. This will make the need to budget, discipline and routine easier for them to understand.

Date or not to Date

Such a big question for single parents. We can never know what dating would do to us or to our kids. A lot of single parents out there don’t have the time to date, and some that have the time are afraid to bring someone new into their kids’ life.

Everything has its pros and cons, obviously, and it’s mostly up to what kind of person you are to determine if dating is right for you or not. And of course, timing plays a big role here too. Maybe you do want to date, but you think it’s better to wait until the kids are a little more grown up. Maybe you don’t want to date at all. Maybe you are already dating and you’re just waiting for it to feel right.

The best advice you can get here in this situation is balance: Don’t ignore your need in having a relationship, and don’t ignore your children’s need for stability in their lives. It’ll be best if you just talked to your kids about that topic (if they’re mature enough, of course. Don’t consult a two-year-old). You can openly discuss with your kids: How would you feel if mommy/daddy would have another person in their life? How can I make it easier for you?

Parenting tip on dating for this couple sitting on a bench.
You will eventually be ready to date again!

Fantasies. Children especially younger ones have this fantasy that their parents will someday get back together. Even if the marriage was rocky and unpleasant. They may blame dad, themselves, or you. IT IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT YOU DO NOT TALK NEGATIVELY ABOUT OR MANIPULATE YOUR CHILDREN AGAINST YOUR EX! Be sensitive to your kids’ feelings for your ex and have an open discussion with them.

If you do decide to date it would be wise to keep this on the downlow until you are dead certain that this potential partner will treat both you and your child with respect. Consider waiting until you have established a solid relationship and feel this is the “right one” with someone before introducing him or her to your child.

When you're ready to make the introduction, explain to your child some of your new partner's positive qualities. Don't expect your new partner and your child to become close immediately, however. Give them time to get to know each other and be clear that the new partner isn't trying to replace the other parent.

Supporting Figures

If you choose not to date (or obviously if you do choose to date), you can still bring into your life and into your children’s life more supportive figures, other than just yourself.

If you choose to not have a partner, maybe invite your family to be around with you from time to time - your parents, siblings, aunts, and uncles - and other parents too. They can be your kid’s friend’s parent or your friends who are parents (more on that in the next point).

The points of such things are to give your children a sense of stability, security, the feeling that they are not alone and that you are not alone.

So, go ahead and invite other comforting people in their life. Invite other strong figures that they can go to if they’re in a fight with you. It’s better they’ll go to people that you know, trust and appreciate than turn to different things that you are not supportive of.

Finding friends for you!

Please see another of my blog posts on this topic entitled: Ways to Find Mom Friends

Time management skills are important for single parents
Time management is critical for single parents

Time Management

Please see another of my blog posts on this topic entitled: Time Management Tips for Moms


Reality is being a parent is one of the, if not THE most difficult and rewarding jobs in your lifetime. One filled with ups and downs forcing you to pivot sometimes at a moment’s notice. Suddenly, finding yourself going it alone is a scary proposition. No one is fully ready for it and no one is going to be perfect at it.

Remember, your kids depend on you to be there for them and to be their source of strength, love, guidance, and support. It’s up to you to come up with a plan that provides the boundaries, structure and guidance in place to make them feel safe and secure. Insulate this plan with love, and time alone with each of them – listening, guiding, coaching, supporting, cheerleading, and having a bit of fun will be a recipe for success.

I hope this overview brought you some ideas or at least made you stop and think about what’s going on in your life. Hopefully you resonate with and will use an idea or two!


You’ve got this!

Arthur Ellis, is owner and photographer at Arthur Ellis Photography, in Charleston, SC. He specializes in Family & Children, Portraits, Headshots, and Boudoir photography. He can be reached through his website:


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