It’s Father’s Day!
Sunday, 19th June, is Father’s Day. We’re celebrating the main-man in your kid’s world. (And to those men who are a paw-parent, happy Dad’s Day to you too!) To help make your male role model’s day a little more special, how about getting your little person to fill in the blanks prompting them to tell their hero just why he’s such a special, important person. If he / she is too young to read or write, get them to tell you their thoughts and jot them down. In a modern world where time and effort are precious, these things speak volumes in terms of love.
We have some ideas that you and your kid can do together to make father’s day extra special this year.
- Buy him his favourite beer or chocolate or cereal (whatever), and draw / make your own labels. Stick them on with Pritt or sticky tape
- Make him breakfast in bed
- Fill in our “About My Dad!” questionnaire
- Pick up the dog poop!
- Mow the lawn
- Help him take out the garbage
- Ask mom to buy him some new socks & undies
- Read or tell HIM a story
Time spent together is always worthwhile. But at the end of a busy work day, when there is still supper to be made, kids to be bathed, homework, and, and, and to be done, sometimes sitting down to read a book with your little person may feel like something that can honestly be left till another day.
Child rearing can be difficult under any circumstances. And without a partner, the stakes are higher. We are mindful that there are a lot of single moms out there and that father’s day may be something of a thorn in your side. So, we wanted to address this and give you some thoughts and reassurance on life.
If you’re raising a child on your own, you’re in good company. Single-parent families are more common than ever. Know how to manage some of the special challenges single parents experience and what you can do to raise a happy, healthy child. Child rearing can be difficult under any circumstances. Without a partner, the stakes are higher. As a single parent, you might have sole responsibility for all aspects of day-to-day child care.
To reduce stress in your single-parent family:
- Show your love. Remember to praise your child. Give him or her your unconditional love and support. Set aside time each day to play, read or simply sit with your child. 15 – 30 minutes a day spent together is the best bonding time.
- Create a routine. Structure — such as regularly scheduled meals, bedtimes & reading routines — helps your child know what to expect. It creates stability and reading to a child at bedtime helps to settle and slow them down, ensuring a better night’s sleep.
- Find quality child care. If you need regular child care, look for a qualified caregiver who can provide stimulation in a safe environment. Don’t rely on an older child as your only baby sitter. Be careful about asking a new friend or partner to watch your child. Many school’s offer after-care. Set up play dates.
- Set limits. Explain house rules and expectations to your child — such as speaking respectfully — and enforce them. Work with the other caregivers / role models in your child’s life to provide consistent discipline. Consider re-evaluating certain limits, such as your child’s screen time.
- Don’t feel guilty. Don’t blame yourself or spoil your child to make up for being a single parent.
- Take care of yourself. Include physical activity in your daily routine, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep. Arrange time to do activities you enjoy alone or with friends. Give yourself a “timeout” by arranging for child care at least a few hours a week.
- Lean on others. Work out a carpool schedule with other parents. Join a support group for single parents or seek social services. Call on loved ones, friends and neighbours for help. Faith communities can be helpful resources, too.
- Stay positive. It’s OK to be honest with your child if you’re having a difficult time, but remind him or her that things will get better. Give your child an age-appropriate level of responsibility rather than expecting him or her to behave like a “little adult.” Keep your sense of humour when dealing with everyday challenges.
Male and female role models
If your child’s other parent isn’t involved in his or her life, you might worry about the lack of a male or female parental role model in your child’s life. To send positive messages about the opposite sex:
- Look for opportunities to be positive. Point out accomplishments or positive characteristics of members of the opposite sex in your family, the community or even the media. Avoid making broad, negative statements about the opposite sex.
- Contradict negative stereotypes about the opposite sex. Share an example of a member of the opposite sex who doesn’t fit the stereotype.
- Include in your life members of the opposite sex who aren’t romantic partners. Seek out positive relationships with responsible members of the opposite sex who might serve as role models for your child. Show your child that it’s possible to have long-term, positive relationships with members of the opposite sex.
Being a single parent can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By showing your child love and respect, talking honestly and staying positive, you can lessen your stress and help your child thrive.
It may seem like a small thing, but time spent together reading for 15-30 minutes daily, will create a better routine, happier child, and ultimately, better life for your both. And you’re not only creating wonderful bonding time, but you’re setting your child up and giving him the best chance at a great future. Because, READERS ARE LEADERS!!!
So, to the Dads, the male role models, the Moms-having-to-be-Dads, the grandads, the new dads, the old dads, single dads, and everyone out there helping to raise a child, we salute and celebrate you.
Until July, keep reading! Keep imagining!