Tips to make life as a single parent easier

*Try to cultivate friendships with men who will become positive male role models.

*Help your male friends understand their significance in your boy's life.

*Be aware that the men in a boy's life teach him by example how to treat a woman.

*Don't bad-mouth your ex-spouse to your children. It teaches them you don't mean what you say about being kind to others.

*Talk to your child about marriages they are familiar with: What do you think works? What doesn't? Why? What role do compromise and negotiation play? If they don't learn this by example at home, it helps to talk it through.

*The worst thing you should do when boys say "Leave me alone" is to do it. Let the umbilical cord loosen as they grow older, but never disconnect it.

*Parents need to realize that, despite divorce, they remain co-parents throughout a child's life.

*The more time sons spend with their dads, assuming it is positive and appropriate, the better.

*Connect with other single parents as much as possible.

*Let people help when they offer.

*Be sure you live in a community that is varied and accepting of you and your child.

Culled from interviews with educators, counselors, authors, and single parents.

Jennifer Wolcott

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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