“A parent’s love is whole no matter how many times divided.” ~ Robert Brault
Not all heroes wear capes. Cliche? Maybe a little. But there are no truer words, especially for single parents. While parents everywhere face peculiar challenges raising children, single-parent families feel the heat in double doses.
From caring for the family’s emotional needs to keeping up with all the bills, single parents can easily become overwhelmed. So, it’s with the utmost respect that I say Happy National Single Parent Day to all the parents going through this journey alone! Today, it’s time to take a little moment away from holding down the fort all by yourself. Give yourself a treat, get a babysitter, and pat yourself on the back; you’re doing well!
But more than celebrating yourself, today is also the time for self-appraisal. How have you been coping with the challenges of single parenthood? What will you continue, and what’s to change?
As a single parent, one of the most difficulties you’ll likely face is tackling child bullying. According to statistics, about 29% of middle school students reported being bullied in classrooms, while 29% reported being bullied in the hallway or at their lockers in the United States.
The number of affected children keeps increasing by the day, and so do the physical, mental, psychological and emotional effects of bullying; they can last well into adulthood.
Today, I’ll discuss single parenting and some useful tips for navigating child bullying. This article will empower you to take control of your life and show you all the ways to help your child. You’ve got this!
Why Is it Important to Empower Single Parents?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), single-parent families have become more common than nuclear families. In 2020, about 15.31 million American children were living with a single mother and 3.27 million with single fathers. However, as the number of single parents rises, so do the challenges:
- Maintaining a work-life balance and spending quality time with your kids can be challenging as a single parent. From juggling many jobs to keeping up with homework, single parenthood can be a struggle.
- Single parents are typically more prone to financial hardships than two-parent families.
- Raising your children alone means being responsible for their discipline all by yourself. You’ll have to guide them into making the right decisions alone. That can be a tough job, and sometimes, you’ll feel like you’re always the “bad guy.”
The challenges of single parenthood can take their toll on you and your kids, but this doesn’t have to be your reality. Since being an only parent can be overwhelming, you need all the help you can get to overcome the challenges. This is especially true when you have to handle something as challenging as bullying.
Teaching yourself to know and do better is essential for overcoming peculiar issues. Your child(ren) will keep growing and depend on you for guidance. Having a parent who knows enough to teach them the right things is one step in the right direction.
Tackling Child Bullying as a Single Parent
Like with most other challenges you may face as an only parent, dealing with a bullied kid is extra overwhelming. You have to handle it alone, deal with all your emotions, and comfort your child.
I know what it feels like to be a parent in your shoes because I’ve been there. My son’s bullying started in middle school within the first two months of his first day at school. First, he was bullied for his haircut, and then his clothes and sneakers. I taught him to ignore and be grateful for what he had instead.
He took my advice but the bullying got worse. It got to the point he just couldn’t take it anymore and he snapped! It was at that point I knew that I couldn’t lose my son to bullying. I had to be tough on the problem, and I had to find a solution fast.
Fortunately, I was able to help my child through this phase with some tested and trusted strategies. But one thing I can tell you for free is that it took a lot of struggle and mistakes to get here. You can read my personal story here: A Time to Fight Back
Here are some useful tips that helped me tackle my son’s bullying as a single parent.
Put Your Mask On First
No parent enjoys seeing their child bullied. However, the first step to dealing with this situation is being in the right mental state yourself. In an airplane, they always tell you to secure your mask FIRST before helping your child with theirs. This is helpful advice even in the single-parent world. Take deep breaths and get a hold of yourself. You can only help your child out of this situation when your head is in the right place.
Encourage Your Child To Speak Up and Listen To Them When They Do
Create an atmosphere in your home that allows your children to tell you everything. Encourage them to always speak up about what’s going on with them. When they do, be patient enough to listen to them without interruption.
Teach Them The Right Way To React
When your child is done speaking, counsel them on the right approach to the situation. Guide them on how to stand up for themselves without escalating the matter and teach them safety measures.
Report To The School
Ensure your kid’s school is aware of what’s going on. But, more importantly, make it clear that you’re taking the problem seriously, and they have to do something productive about it.
“There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So, just be a real one.” ~ Sue Atkins
Single parenting isn’t an easy task, mostly when dealing with something as serious as child bullying. As much as we love our children, we must know that the world will not always be kind to them. It is up to us to help them in those times; yes, we have a superpower.
I understand how much work single parenting can be, and that’s why I’ve dedicated the I’m Just Me blog to help you deal with this problem head-on. You can be the amazing single parent you want to be; you’ve got this!
Happy Single Parent Day from the I’m Just Me family.
We would love your comments, thoughts, and/or personal story about being a single parent. Please share in the comment section!