Children require a lot of unconditional love and attention, whether you are raising them with your spouse or alone. Nurturing a child is an awesome responsibility but the most honorable and exciting job parents can do. Remembering to love your child first, then disciplining him or her is important. You can help your child grow to a responsible adult by being a good role model. It’s important to be a parent to your child, not his or her friends. Children have friends, and don’t need any more.
Love your children, then love them some more. You cannot love your children too much. Part of showing love is tending to their basic needs like food, warmth, housing, and safety. Discipline from love. Setting and maintaining strong boundaries will help your child grow safely and securely. Children will push the limits; you must stand firm and be consistent. Once you back down once, your rules may all be for naught.
Children love rules and structure because there is freedom in them – children know what is expected and what to expect. This makes children more secure in who they are and how they fit into the family unit. Children are not capable of making choices about what to eat, where to sleep, a proper bedtime, and whether to go to school or not. All these decisions belong to the parent who should be responsible.
Once a child begins following rules consistently, you may consider changing some rules to allow for freedom and privileges. You want to teach children how to respect boundaries and self-monitor freedom. It’s okay to want to always know where your child is, especially if you are a single parent and solely responsible for the child.
Being both mom and dad will be difficult at times, but with clear boundaries, rules, and plenty of love, you and your child will thrive.
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