As a parent, especially as the lone parent it can be quite wearisome to always do the right thing. After all, you are the one who has to play both good cop and bad cop and do rules, playtime and hugs – sometimes all in the same day! That old threat that our mothers used – “Wait till your father gets home” is clearly not relevant here, as he’s never coming home…So do you give in because it makes things easier in the short run? Here’s what one of the single mums in my book had to say:
The biggest mistake that I made was over-compensating with things to make him happy for that moment. But it continued on and that’s when I go away from what I thought my true parenting skills were, you know–being so diligent about making sure that he had his chores and making sure that he appreciated money. I think at that time I was so tired that I started falling away from what I really believed I should be doing as a parent, and that’s when I just started spending the money on him. It would make him happy and then that would make me feel so happy but then 2, 3 weeks later he’d start again and he’d want something else to make him feel better. Of course he was just a kid and he didn’t realise that it was just a Band-Aid, and it’s not going to make it better in the long run. I knew that too but I think it was just easier to do. I don’t think I was trying to take the easy way out but I was tired and that became the new normal for me, just to hand things over like that. So at this point even now he’s struggling with the value of a dollar and how to balance his cheque book, and I ‘m trying to help him be good with his money and to help him realise that it’s not a free ride- you don’t just stick your hand out and someone gives you something. So that’s something I look back on and really wish that I’d reached out to someone and gotten help sooner or stopped it early on.
So don’t be afraid to do the right thing, even if it’s tough. parenting isn’t a popularity contest and your children need loving but firm guidelines to help them feel secure at this challenging time for all of you.
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