Life as a single parent comes with plenty of uphill challenges. As a result, single parents work hard every day to make sure their family has everything they need. For any parent, your child’s health, development, and overall wellness are of utmost importance.

Single Parents

Being a single parent is not uncommon. In the United States, there are approximately 13.7 million single parents, meaning that one in four parents is raising children on their own.

On average, single parents are also less financially stable, making it difficult for parents to make ends meet. In American society, being a single parent is often seen as undesirable. However, single parents are just as strong as partnered parents, especially to their children.

For the busy single parent, here are a few ways you can help to ensure your child’s success.

Encourage Education

One of the best ways single parents can provide for their children is by encouraging their education.

The better your child does in school, the more likely they are to do well in life as well. One study showed that third, fourth, and fifth-grade students who learned a foreign language outperformed those who did not learn another language on tests of their basic skills. Be sure to encourage education and offer as much support as you can to them so that they feel prepared to take on any difficult course.

If you’re too busy to help them with their homework due to work or other responsibilities, consider hiring an affordable tutor. You can also look into after school programs to help teach your kid until you’re done with your workday. Being a single parent can be tough, but encouraging scholastic success can come in many different forms.

Encourage Play and Friendships

Similarly, encouraging them to play and make friends is key for their development. For younger children especially, playing is where the brunt of their development takes place. As they grow older, they learn from their friends as well. The social impact of friends is incredibly beneficial for children.

While encouraging play is important, it’s also critical to remember your child’s safety. In the states, nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year with half of those victims being children, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Not only that, but every parent knows that if you leave your child unsupervised for too long, something bad is likely to happen. One day, you might wake up to find marker drawings on your wall or realize that someone has fallen off the playground when your back was turned. While encouraging play and socialization is a good thing, be sure to not forget to keep an eye on them.

As a single parent, it’s important to vet your child’s friends and any daycare services that you rely on. After all, these people will be responsible for your children when you aren’t around. Encourage play and friendships, but make sure the environment is suitable for growth and development.

Strengthen the Relationship

Though this is may happen naturally anyway, establishing a strong bond where communication is encouraged between parent and child is especially beneficial for single-parent families.

When it’s just you and your kids, there’s going to be harder conversations that need to happen. It’s crucial they know you’re there for them, that you support and love them, and that they are just as deserving as any other kid with two parents. If you’re a single parent as a result of an untimely death or a devastating breakup, communication with your child is all the more necessary.

While being a single parent has its differences from partnered parenting, at the end of the day, there are more similarities than anything else. Parents need to support their children, encourage them to grow and do well, and have healthy channels of communication established. Doing so will have the biggest impact on their health and wellness.