Being a single parent and raising your children alone is a tough job to do on its own, but single parents always dread what if their child asks them about their other parent? Be it at school, in the neighbors, or in the movies; our kids are used to seeing a traditional family with a mother and a father with the kids –which is why when they find an absence of one of the members at their home they are bound to ask questions.
But parents often find it hard to answer and end up avoiding the question altogether; some parents even make up stories to distract their children or brush away their concerns as if they mean nothing – and that is where they are wrong. Jonah Engler emphasizes that single parents need to take their child’s concerns about the other parent very seriously. As a child, it’s their right to question. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to answer and explain it to them.
However, that being said, we do agree that answering this question and explaining to children about the absence of their parents is quite difficult when your child is still small. The concept of death and divorce are too complex for children to grasp – hence today, Jonah Engler has brought you some tips to help you explain single parenting to your child.
Jonah Engler: Explaining Single Parenting to your Child
1. Think Your Answer Beforehand
You never know when your child will come back from school with questions about their missing parent in their head – you don’t want to be caught off guard. It is essential to be on the safe side, think about your answer as early as possible, and stick with it.
If your child asks you suddenly, you are likely to get surprised and give an answer that is either not believable or seems like a lie. This will not satisfy your child’s concerns and can even make you seem suspicious – hence, Jonah says it’s best to avoid the awkwardness and be prepared early on.
2. Don’t Wait for “The Right Time.”
There is no such thing as “right time” to talk to your child about the realities of their life. Indeed, some things are too complicated for a toddler’s small brain, but you still need to give them something substantial to believe in.
And once you know, they are old enough to understand, open this topic yourself and tell them the truth. Don’t wait for the right time; the more you delay opening up t your child, the more likely they will think you “hid” something from them. Be casual, introduce the topic yourself and tell them everything.
3. Don’t Talk About it Too Much
Once you know your child knows the truth, stop bringing up the topic repeatedly. Don’t ever make this a dinner table discussion topic; talk about it only when your child has more questions. If you keep talking about it, they think something is missing in their life. Jonah Engler advises single parents to be positive and ensure their children nothing in life changes because of this!
Jonah Engler: Single Parenting Tips
Single parenting is quite challenging on its own; not telling your children the truth, hiding the reality for them, and faking scenarios are only going to make it more difficult. There is no need for so much added stress. Jonah Engler says make your and their life easier – never shy away from telling your kids the realities of their life.