Notes from the workshop!
For the many who requested my notes from this workshop at the I Am Woman Expo, I’m posting them and I hope to add more articles to this topic.
The first thing I learned in order to balance my life as a single parent is to organize two important things.
- Time (Schedule)
Not only will I organize this, but I will make sure I involve my children in doing this. I want them to connect with these two factors because I want them to feel they have a lot to do with the family.
My mother taught me a lot of what I base my mothering on. Even though she was not a single mother, she passed on the knowledge of raising good children. The first lesson she taught me was:
Children are like clay. You can mold them or you can let the world mold them.
In my lecture, I discuss a lot of other lessons she taught me, but to hear more, you can come to one of them or schedule me to come to your conference.
I move on to rules I’ve instilled in my household in order to “balance” my life.
1. School is the number one priority. If I work 8 hours a day a job, in turn in order to earn what I give them, they have to do their 8 hours at school. Their paychecks are their progress reports. You don’t bring home good progress reports, you aren’t doing your job right.
Tip: Highest GPA child gets the ruling vote in the house
2. If you don’t do it in front of Momma, don’t do it at all.
3. You don’t have to love me, but you have to respect me. Love is the cherry on top of a very good sundae. How you treat me, my rules and my property are how you show your love to me. The physical kind with the kisses or words of love are the cherries for me.
In this rule, you have to know what it takes to love you. There are five ways to love and be loved. Know yourself and you can love your children even better and they will understand how to love you.
Tips: random expressions of love produce great just becauses
4. Protect the Family
Like the mafia, when you walk out of that door every day you have one thing to do and that is not to disrupt the family.
- Breaking any of the above rules.
- Calls or School disruptions
- Your conduct in public
- Causing any financial problems – going over minutes, leaving lights and heaters on.
Tips: Reporting others for breaking this rule, produces good just becauses
5. I don’t want anyone to tell me how bad my kids are. If you have done something bad, tell me before someone else tells me.
6. Don’t make me be a Mommy in public
5 keys to happiness for the single parent on a weekly basis
Whether it has to do with you or the kids, these tips are to help spiritual, mental, physical and emotional happiness.
1. Express Yourself
Find healthy ways for therapy for yourself.
a. Schedule regular time with your friends in your similar situation away from the kids where you can talk about your problems, fears and desires for you and your children.
b. Journal or write encourage your children to do this as well. Make a fun exercise
c. Eat dinner together.
d. Open a door. Do a one on one.
2. Treat yourself (Make yourself feel good) Just Because rules
a. Get your hair done or learn how to do it. Change of hairstyle every month or so freshens up the perspective, keep you on your toes.
b. Wear makeup and dress up just because. Some women only wear it for church, on special occassions or work. A fresh pace is good for the visual health.
c. Encourage the children to look good. Compliment for no reason at all.
d. Give them just because gifts just because
3. Laugh | Have silly moments
“Laughter is the best medicine.”
For you: Whether it’s a movie, spending time on your socials, or spending time with someone special who keeps you laughing, do things to make yourself want to laugh
For the children: Find out what makes them laugh or keeps them happy and share it with them.
Nothing brings a family closer or makes times or memorable than good times.
Have fun rituals. Go to a museum, science center, or somewhere.
For me I like to incorporate learning or a Moral lesson into our fun because it enhances moments and they learn a little more without knowing.
4. Have spiritual moments
No matter the religion you have to Not only find the God in you, but allow the children to have a spirituality as well.
A family that prays together stays together
Church, Yoga, chanting, singing… do something together to strengthen the God in yourself and together.
5. Get your independence
a. Spend at least one hour alone during the day doing something you want to do by yourself. read a book, find a hobby (beading, needlework, some type of craft)
b. Power nap
c. Make sure there is a room for the kids or a space to call their own in the house
d. find out what they can do or involve them in sports, afterschool or extra curriculum activity
e. Do your dream/Find out their dream and encourage them to do it.
Simple lessons to instill around the house and in life:
- I’m your Mommy not your maid
Encourage them to think on their own. When they’ve broken the rules Allow them to figure out why they did wrong and what they can do right.
For You: Never make a threat with your mouth that your butt can’t handle, because they’ll bounce it every time. In my opinion, children don’t mean to test you, but they want to know your boundaries.
- 0 – 5: Give them five years where their boundaries are short. You tell them I’m going to get you, get them immediately. Not one more chance, not a compromise
- 5 – 10: After five years, give them strikes. They know the rules so you’re going to trust them to make the right decision, but they are children and they mess up.
- 10 -13/14: Punish harder than you have before in the past. They know the rules and they must pay the cost for breaking the rules. This is the way of the court system. Use it in your house and remind they’d rather have you punish them than the world punish them because at least you won’t kill them – yet.
- 15 + Severe loss of entertainment and support. By this time no punishments are needed. Guilt and the look of disappointment on your face every time they look at you clearly tells them they are not living up to their full potential.
- Encourage imagination.
Don’t give them time to let their anger simmer and take seed. Punishments can be severe but do not allow them to:
1. Sit alone by themselves afterwards. I usually give them a chore to do like clean their room or do something else.
2. Take their anger out on other family members.
I’m not going to guarantee perfect children. I would never say mine aren’t but according to everyone else they are pretty cool and I have three people in my house I don’t mind supporting.
They do their best to be appreciative, supportive and understanding to me and my dreams, while I do my best to be the same.
No one can ever tell you how to be a good parent. I’m a work in progress, but I listen to God and I listen to my children and that shapes me to be the parent I am today.