Job Ideas for Single Moms

Finding a job as a single mother can be challenging, to put it mildly. But if anybody can manage it, it’s the Superwomen among us who are handling all the responsibility of raising a family already. With the strength, creativity, energy and commitment you’re already committing to that task, there’s no question you have what it takes to succeed in any job you desire.

Without a doubt, the best way to get a GOOD job is to go back to school and get training so you can qualify for better-paid job positions. Without an education, your job options will be limited. It is difficult to go back to school as a single mom, but it’s certainly possible.

The biggest issue you will have will be how to finance your schooling.

Here are a couple ‘private’ programs to look at:

 

10k Scholarship for Working Adults – Moms and dads welcome to sign up! Register for this and you get entered into a 10k Scholarship draw several times a year! For the chance at that kind of money, it’s worth the 5 minutes of your time to sign up!

10k Scholarship for Dads – A similar sort of program. Register on the site for a chance at 10k Scholarship money. This one is aimed at Dads.

Win a $50,000 Scholarship – free sign up for a chance to win a 50k Scholarship for school. You have nothing to lose but 5 minutes of time!

 

Some other online offers / programs worth checking out:
  • The Cute Kid — Enter a Photo of your child and sign him or her up for a chance at a scholarship AND at winning paid modeling gigs
  • Career Scholarship Guide — sign up for this program and you’ll be given help on finding Scholarships, Jobs, and the like
  • Get Paid To Take Free Online Surveys – the gist of it is you fill out a survey and for doing so, you get paid. It’s not life changing money, but it’s something to do for some extra chow when you have time
  • Look at FDP (Federal Funding Programs) which is a pay service that will help walk you through applying for federal assistance programs; many of which you may have not heard about on your own.

 

IF going back to school is simply not an option for you, all is not lost. There are still other job opportunities out there.

 

First Things First

If you have never held a job before, or don’t have a clear idea of what kind of work you’re qualified for, there are many sources that have tools to help you evaluate your career options.

For public programs/other information keep reading…

Here are some public programs that specialize in helping you get jobs:

US Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (ETA)

The ETA’s website has a “Find Job and Career Info” section with programs, resources and online tools to help workers in all stages of job and career development. Assessing your skills, deciding on a career that fits those skills, and help on preparing for your career are all included.

 

http://www.doleta.gov/jobseekers

Workforce/One Stop Centers

The ETA (above) partially funds Workforce and One Stop centers, a valuable resource for the job seeker in every state. They have online and onsite job postings and you can make an appointment for in-person help with resumes and the job search. For Workforce Centers/One Stop centers in your state, click the following link:

http://www.doleta.gov/regions/stateresources/Pages/eta_default.cfm?CFID=67434241&CFTOKEN=93021265

USA.gov

This is a “one-stop shop” for government services, so you’ll find lots of other links to government programs and services. Some of the information is a duplicate of what you’ll find in the two previous links, since it’s a consolidation of all government resources, but it allows you to search more broadly within categories related to jobs and careers and might turn up just the link you’re looking for.

http://www.usa.gov/Citizen/Topics/Education_Training/Finding_Jobs.shtml

 

More Training?

If your assessment of skills and possible jobs reveals that you need more training or education, first see if government financial aid is available to help you get qualified. The links above will be helpful for that, as well.

If no aid is available for the kind of training you need, you might be able to find a scholarship designed to help single mothers acquire the skills they need to advance. The following site has links to just such specialized scholarships, and also has an advanced search feature so you can find even more opportunities to help fund any further training or education you need.

http://www.scholarships.com/financial-aid/college-scholarships/scholarships-by-type/college-scholarships-and-grants-for-single-mothers/

 

Job Ideas For Single Mothers

Now we’re assuming that you have some marketable skills, don’t need any further basic education, and know that the above resources are not the route you want to take. You’re looking for ideas! Here are some things to kick-start your own creativity:

 

Temporary Work Agencies

Temporary work is an excellent entry point to employment, both due to the flexibility it affords and the opportunities it presents for exploring the job market. Some people enjoy the variety of work so much they never consider accepting an offer of permanent employment. This can be ideal for the single mom, since you can continually tailor your assignments to work around the needs of your children over time.

For most people with generalized skills, continuous full- or part-time employment can be maintained just by sticking with a temp agency that treats them well and works with them to find the best matching positions.

There are both national and local temporary agencies; given here are links to some of the better-known national agencies. For local companies, look in your phone book, in the newspaper, or search online for temporary agencies in your area.

Manpower

http://www.manpower.com/

Kelly Services

http://www.kellyservices.com/web/global/services/en/pages/index.html

Robert Half

http://www.rhi.com/

http://www.officeteam.com/

Adecco

http://www.adeccousa.com/Pages/Welcome.aspx

Child Day Care

If finding day care for your children while you’re working is a problem, why not provide it yourself? It’s best to become certified, but perhaps you can find a job at or near your child’s own day care center while you’re undergoing the training to become a child care professional yourself:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/600789/how_to_become_certified_as_an_athome.html

Earn Extra Income

Become an online freelancer, pet-sit for neighbors, transform a unique skill into a money-making venture. Here are six good ideas for earning extra income:

http://singleparents.about.com/od/financialhelp/tp/earnextraincome.htm

Work-At-Home Moms Organization

HBWM is a professional association and online community of parents who work at home and those who would like to. HBWM provides its members with support, networking, free advertising options, information, a monthly (print) newsletter, email discussion list, searchable member directory, member spotlights and corporate discounts on various products and services.

http://www.hbwm.com/

American Home Business Association

AHBA is a national association offering innovative benefits and services dedicated to supporting the needs of home business, small business and entrepreneurs. It provides its members with access to the best in traditional business benefits, Internet support services, resources and timely information that is critical to conduct a successful home, small or Internet business.

http://www.homebusinessworks.com/FLAX/default.asp?PageID=1001

Small Business Administration

Manage your business from start to finish

http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business

Selling on EBay

People who put the time into learning how to do this really can make money. Rarely a fortune, but if you’d enjoy this sort of thing, you won’t mind working hard to earn a living. Read a few stories about how people have found success selling on EBay:

http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/02/can-you-still-make-a-living-selling-on-amazon-and-ebay/

http://www.skipmcgrath.com/articles/sellonebay.shtml

http://www.wholesalematch.com/blog/ebay-success-stories-starting-small-buying-wholesale-and-avoiding-fraud/3873/

Sell handmade/vintage items online

If you have the ability to create unique products yourself—sewing custom baby items, creating art or jewelry, designing cards or personalized stationery—you can also find success by selling your own items on EBay or similar sites. One such site is:

http://www.etsy.com/

Writing for blogs and websites

http://helpforsinglemother.net/online-jobs-for-single-mothers-no-scams

Virtual Assistant

Here are some tips on how to avoid scams when looking for a virtual assistant job:

http://www.ehow.com/how_4704473_virtual-assistant-jobs.html

ChaCha Guide

Depending upon how much time you can put into it, acting as a ChaCha guide will earn you change for snacks or some serious money.

http://becomeaguide.chacha.com/faqs

Writing topical articles on national or local events or features

http://apply.examiner.com/lpB/?editionid=921

Affiliate Marketing

Many people use affiliate marketing to earn extra income. All you need is one or more websites or blogs, into which you insert links, blurbs, recommendations—anything that will cause a visitor to your site to click through to the primary vendor. If you’re registered as an affiliate, you earn income for that traffic.

This can be a complicated endeavor—it’s recommended that you research it thoroughly on your own. This website explains the concept more thoroughly:

http://homebusiness.about.com/od/homebusinessglossar1/g/affiliate-mktg.htm

Single and Pregnant: To Abort or Not to Abort

This is a sticky topic, we realize and one that you, as a potential single parent are going to have to tackle. We take no moral stance on abortion here, but simply give you a list of factors to consider, both for and against an abortion.

You’re single, for whatever reason. That’s fine. But, you’ve just discovered you’re pregnant. Maybe this is fine too…but in a lot of cases, it isn’t the greatest news you ever got. Unplanned pregnancy can be scary for married moms who have the support of a partner, but it’s even more problematic for single moms to be.

The question of abortion is always going to be a controversial one. If you’re Pro Life (meaning you don’t believe that any one should have the right to abort a fetus, whatever its age, physical condition or provenance) the decision is already made. For you, the only remaining question is whether you keep the baby yourself and raise her as a single parent or whether  you offer her up for adoption. Important decisions.

If, on the other hand, you are Pro Choice (meaning that you believe not that abortion is essential but that every woman has a right to weigh up her individual situation and decide whether she should go through with the pregnancy or not), you have the added consideration of whether or not to have an abortion.

No one but you can, or should make the choice. Certain circumstances (including rape, mental illness, serious health problems for mom or baby…) can change the picture and make an abortion more likely to be right…but not for everyone. If the circumstances are relatively normal, ie, do not include issues as mentioned above, the following questions to ask yourself should help with your decision. No one but you can supply the answers, but here are the questions:

Questions to consider

·        Am I making this decision free from pressure from anyone else?

This one’s important: no one should put pressure on you to decide. You should, if you are in a relationship, discuss it with the father of the child, but ultimately it is your choice. If he insists that you should abort the baby and you don’t want to do this, you may have to walk away from the relationship. No woman should have to undergo an abortion she doesn’t feel is right, whatever the father may say.

If, however, it goes the other way it can be more of a problem. You want to have the abortion but he wants to be a dad. It’s kind of tough on him, but it should still be your decision. It’s your body, and your life that will undergo the changes of pregnancy, the pain of birth and everything that comes later. You might suggest that he adopts the child if he feels very strongly…if he is in a situation where he can raise a child himself.

·         Are you in a financially stable situation?

It’s not the be all and end all, many single moms receive state aid and manage just fine, but it is a factor to consider. If you aren’t financially secure and know you will have to rely on state aid if you become a single mom, do your homework and find out what financial aid you will be entitled to. Finances shouldn’t force you into an abortion alone, but you have to face up to the fact that if you don’t have much cash before motherhood, you’ll have even less after!

·         Will Dad stick around?

Once more, this is just a question worth thinking about, not a reason to decide one way or the other alone. It comes down to how you feel about his decision. Are you prepared to sacrifice your relationship in order to keep the baby? Or, if he is so insistent on your having an abortion you don’t want, do you want to be in a relationship with him anyway? Sure, it’s best to raise a child in the context of a loving relationship, or at least for the child to be able to have a regular relationship with the father even if you are no longer a couple, but single moms have been bringing up babies alone for centuries and usually make a darned good job of it too.

·         Have I got a strong support network of family and friends?

This is pretty crucial: being totally alone and having a baby is not an enviable situation for anyone. But again: It can be done if it’s what you want! However, having supportive family and friends around who can help with the chores and bring in the shopping etc. in the early days is invaluable for new moms. Later on, you’ll need help if you are sick, or if th child is sick and you still have to go to work…and in many other unforseen nstances that life throws at you

·         Am I prepared for the future as a single mom?

You do need to realize just what a difference a baby will make to your life. You’ll no longer be young, free and single…just young and single. It can make it harder to find and form relationships with potential partners if you have the demands of a child at home. Now, this isn’t saying there aren’t as many blessings to life wth a baby as there are downsides, but you do need to think the whole thing through. It’s not a reversible decision!

·         I’ve already got a child/children. What impact will the new baby have on my child/children?

If you already have kids from a previous relationship, think about how a pregnancy and a new baby may affect them. It’s your place to decide, not theirs, of course, but the dynamics of your family will change with a new arrival and you needd to be prepared to deal with any jealousies or other problems that may arise.

·         What will happen to my career/education if I go ahead and have this baby?

Some single moms are working when they fall pregnant, others may still be in school. Either way,  your life will have to be put on hold for a while. If you’re working, hopefully you’ll get some maternity leave, but when that’s over you’ll need to find reliable child care when you go to work. And, you’ll have to find a way to pay for it. If you’re still in education, you may have to shelve your lessons for a while. Later, if you can wait til the kids are at school or get child care, you can always pick up your learning again, though it must be said, not all single moms do.

·         How do I feel about having my baby adopted?

Many moms forget that this is another option. They immediately think about the choice between abortion or motherhood…but adoption can be a good choice for some moms. If your religious beliefs or moral principles prevent you from choosing abortion but you don’t feel in a position to keep the baby yourself, choosing adoption can bring much joy to a childless couple. It can also offer your child the chance of a life with a loving family.

The downside to adoption is that it can be tough to say goodbye to the baby you’ve carried for nine months and struggled to bring into the world. Whatever you may feel about your pregnancy before the baby is born, it’s quite common to be taken suprise by a rush of mother love after the birth and during those first few days. Once the baby has been legally adopted, there’s no going back for you, and you need to be prepared to live with the knowledge that yor child is calling someone else ‘Mom’, being soothed to sleep by another woman each night and that whatever name you called him in your head isn’t the name he’ll be known by for the rest of his life.

So, adoption has pros and cons. Once more, sorry, there are no easy answers, just questions to ask yourself.

·         Do I really want an abortion?

Having an abortion isn’t an easy choice for most moms. Leaving aside the moral or religious issues surrounding abortion (for ths sake of this article we’ll assume you are Pro Choice) it is a medical or surgical procedure that will have a physical effect on your body. It can be invasive, painful and can have risks associated with it just like any other surgical procedures.

An abortion is also a highly charged emotional affair. Some women who have been through abortion say they have never recovered emotionally and suffer feelings of guilt and depression throughout their lives. That said, it may be that abortion is still the best answer for you. Sometimes it can be the lesser of two evils.

·         Do I have someone who can support me through the procedure and afterwards?

If you decide to go through with an abortion, you’ll need someone you can trust to help you through at all stages. Last minute doubts and panics can be helped if there’s a friend on hand to talk it all through. Having someone to take yo to the hospital or clinic can help calm your fears. Then afer, you need someone to drive you home, put you to bed and look after you for a few days. The friend you choose to help you at this time needs to be cmpletely accepting of your decision and keep her own feelings about abortion to herself.

·         Can I afford to pay for an abortion?

Sadly, medical procedures cost money, and abortions are no exception.
There are so many issues to think about if you’re single and you’ve just found out you’re pregnant. As made plain earlier, no one but you can supply the answers, but if you know the right questions to consider you are halfway to making the right decision. Whatever you decide, if it’s right for you, then it’s the only answer.

Successful Co Parenting with Your Ex

If you happen to be a single mom whose ex partner and father of your kids is still around and wants to maintain contact with his children, you may find yourself facing issues and problems from time to time. After all, if you couldn’t get on well enough to stay together, how are you going to manage to agree now you’ve split up?

It’s a thorny issue and not one that’s easy to resolve. But, it’s best for your kids if you can put past differences behind you and manage co- parenting effectively.

 

Why you can co-parent effectively after divorce

In some ways, contrary to expectations, it can be easier to maintain a calm co- parenting relationship with your ex after you’ve split up or divorced.  Once the initial anger or bitterness that divorce throws up has eased, there is often a sensation of relief experienced by both parents. You are no longer husband and wife, lovers or partners in a couples relationship, but you are still both parents to your children. As long as you both recognize this and want to be good parents, there are ways of making co-parenting work better then your marriage did!

Of course, the sense of relief doesn’t happen to everyone. If, for example, your man left you to move in with your best friend, you are likely to be feeling hurt and angry. These feelings can last for a long time, and you have every right to feel them. However, for the sake of your children, you need to find a way of setting these emotions aside when it comes to parenting. Whatever your ex did, it is not your children’s fault and they do not deserve to suffer for it.

 

Tips for effective co-parenting

  • Put your anger and hurt towards your ex into a mental box. There are times that you can talk about your feelings and let out your pent up anger, but these times don’t include when you or your ex are with your children. Find a friend you can sound off to, or join a forum of single moms who may be feeling the same way that you do. If you really need to, schedule a talk with your ex so you can let him know how you feel: but not when the kids are around.
  • Decide exactly what areas of parenting you will share responsibility for. This doesnt just mean custody or visiting days, but things like buying and choosing the kids’ clothes, setting rules for behavior or deadlines for being home in the evenings, rules concerning nutrition and candy, bedtimes, television watching, doing homework…the list goes on. Draw up your own list first and ask your ex to do the same. Then make an appointment to go through the lists together and make your decisions. Write it all down and keep a copy each. If you think there may be problems in the future, ask an impartial third party to keep a copy too. It can also be a good idea, if the kids are old enough, to have a family conference where you and your ex present a united front on the family rules you’ve drawn up. That way the kids know right from the start that there’s no playing one of you off against the other.
  • Never enter into a competition with your ex for the children’s affections. It can be all too easy to fall into the trap of one upmanship, especially if you are feeling a little insecure, but it is really important to avoid doing this. Your kids are not pawns in your relationships, so don’t use them this way.
  • Discuss things like birthday or Christmas presents well in advance with your ex. You don’t want to be giving them the same present twice, and you don’t want one parent to give an unequal amount or value of gifts either.
  • Be sure to stand together on the topic of discipline. Kids can be very clever at exploiting Mom and Dad’s relationship problems to get what they want, and it isn’t unusual to hear them say: ‘But Dad lets me stay out ’til ten o’clock on Saturdays!’ Make a set of rules about basics like this and stick to them.
  • Be consistent. Neither you nor your ex should change the rules just because you’re too tired to enforce them. Kids thrive on having a realistic and fair set of rules to adhere to, and understanding the consequences of breaking those rules.
  • Keep your ex in the loop. This means making sure he knows about events that are important in your kids’ lives and that he has the chance to get involved. If a child is taking part in a school play, sports event or concert, say, make sure he receives an invitation to go along. If he isn’t getting involved at all, try to encourage him to do so. Co- parenting means both being there for your children.
  • Don’t break promises. If you have promised him he can have the kids on a certain day, don’t change your mind because something else has come up. Equally, he needs to understand that he can’t just cancel his days with the children because he has a more interesting invitation that doesn’t include kids.
  • Learn how to listen to your ex. Put aside the difficulties of your relationship as a couple. You had different priorities then. Now your relationship is as co- parents, and this demands a very much more grown up attitude from you both. Asking him for his opinion on important issues is a great way to begin this more mature approach to dealing with each other. Hopefully, it will lead him to offer you the same consideration.
  • Even if it is hard to find the words, make sure you tell your ex that you value his part in your children’s lives. Like it or not, he is their father, and he’s important to them and to their happiness. People in general (even irritiating ex husbands!) respond better to praise then to criticism.

Co parenting after divorce can be a tough nut to crack, but it’s possible with a little dedication to the cause. And, there’s no more important cause then the well being of your children.

Giving Birth as a Single Mom

If your relationship has broken up during your pregnancy and you find yourself alone, giving birth can be a scary prospect. However, assuming you have decided to go through with the pregnancy and the great day approaches, it’s something you won’t be able to avoid!

 

You don’t have to give birth alone!

Remember, whatever your situation, you don’t have to give birth alone unless you want to do it that way. There are loads of options to explore when it comes to finding a birthing partner. It’s also important to remind yourself that this really is your choice. Yours, and nobody else’s. Giving birth is one of the most incredible things you will ever do in your life and the person you choose to share it with needs to be pretty incredible too.

Of course, the pretty incredible person that you choose is likely to be a female close family member, or a good friend. But, she doesn’t have to be! She…or he, (yes, you can choose a male birthing partner if you wish!) can be anyone you like as long as she (or he) is in agreement and happy to help you. It’s even possible to hire a professional birthing partner if you want.

It’s also essential that your chosen birth partner respects your situation as a single mom and doesn’t question it. For this reason, sometimes your ex partner’s mother or sister, for example,  may not be a good choice, if she harbours resentment towards you for the break up in any way. The last thing you want to have to do just before giving birth is to justify yourself to anyone. Pick someone you are totally comortable with, and ideally, someone who can come along to your ante natal classes with you too.

 

Finding a birth partner

There are many ways to find a birth partner. Start thinking about it as soon as you can to give yourself time to decide on the right person, and of course, to find them!

 

Your birth partner

The person you choose as your birth partner needs to be tuned into your feelings about the birth. So set aside plenty of time to chat. Discuss your options with them. The choices are all yours, but if your partner is experienced in giving birth herself or in helping others, she may have some good advice. Again, though, all the choices of how you want to give birth are yours to make, whatever anyone else’s opinions. The only person you need to listen to is your doctor or midwife if there are medical issues to consider.

You will need to share your birth plan, once decided, with your birthing partner. He or she will be the one who will have to stand up for you once it comes to the event and insist that if medically feasible, you have the birth that you want and have planned. If you are giving birth in a hospital, sometimes you can find that staff want to do thngs their way but you need to have your partner ready to really stand your ground for you…you will be a little busy getting on with more important business at the time!

 

Going it alone

Some women don’t want a birth partner, and there’s nothing wrong with this decision either. You’ll have your midwife and maybe a doctor present anyway, so if you’re comfortable with this then go for it. Tell the hospital or midwife in advance of your wishes to give birth alone so that is a well meaning friend or family member does turn up they will be settled in another room until you are ready to see them once the baby is born.

 

Write down your birth plan

The best thing to do is to write down your wishes for the birth and make several copies to give to anyone who may be involved in any way so there can be no ambiguity. Don’t leave this until the last minute, as if baby arrives earlier than planned you could be caught on the hop!

 

Home birth or hospital birth?

As a single mom, the issues surrounding the choice of a home or hospital birth are similar to those facing a married mom, but there is one important difference. If you have no one at home to look after you immedicately after the birth and in the first few days and weeks, you may like to take advantage of the chance to rest up a little in hospital! This also applies if you have older kids at home.

If you do want to give birth at home, though, as long as everything is normal and you look set to have a straightforward birth, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t. However, a network of people who can help you with the housework in the early days after the birth is a very useful thing to have.

 

Create your support network in advance

Whether you want to give birth alone or with a partner, in hospital or at home, you will need people who can help you in several ways. When you go into labor it’s better to have someone who can drive you to the hospital, for example, or stay with you until the midwife or your birth partner arrives. You’ll need some help with the older kids, if you have any. Families are usually good for this, so if you have a mom or sister who is happy to step in, get them involved well in advance.

If you don’t have any family or close friends nearby, there are other ways to create a support network. During your pregnancy, try to join local single moms groups or chat to people at your ante natal classes. If you are an active member of a church or religious community, there’s a chance that you can find some support there. If money isn’t such an issue for you, you can also consider hiring a professional carer, known as a doula, to help you through the birth and the early days with your baby.

 

You’ll be OK!

It might all seem a bit of a worry, especially if this is your first baby, but you will be just fine. The important thing to remember is that what your baby needs more than anything is your love.

Discipline Strategies that Work for Single Moms

Being a single mom brings up all kinds of problems. It isn’t just that you have to go out to work as well as raise your family. It isn’t just that you have to do all the housework, all the driving, all the bill paying. It isn’t even just that you have to worry about your kids’ health, nutrition  and their education.

Any of those things would seem enough for one person to deal with, but put them altogether and you have a lot on your plate. You can’t just be Mom, you have to be Dad as well. And, as Mom and Dad, you are solely repsonsible for bringing your kids up right. Now, that means dealing with the tricky topic of discipline.

Discipline is so much easier to do when there are two of you. You can play the tried and tested ‘Good cop, bad cop’ routine. You can trot out the old line; ‘Wait til your father gets home’. More often than not, these strategies, developed by Moms and Dads parenting teams over generations, work. Also, there’s just something about Dads that seemingly carries greater authority than Moms for kids. So, if you’re a single mom, you have to find ways to overcome the absence of this authoritarian figure in your kids’ lives.

But, what about your strategies? As a single mom, you need to instigate and maintain discpline strategies that work, but you havent got recourse to all of the old established ones.

Of course, not all kids are the same, and each child will have his own response to different discipline strategies, so you have to develop a certain amount of flexibility. But, to give you some pointers, here are some ideas that have been proven to work.

  • If your kids are old enough to understand, sit down together and have a family conference. Get them involved in setting the rules, and let them suggest some themselves. If they don’t like any of the rules you feel are important, explain why they are necessary and non negotiable. Make a family poster illustrating the rules. Review the rules and their effectiveness every month.
  • Keep it simple. Too many rules just confuse kids. Stick to what’s important.
  • Always be consistent. Don’t change the rules part way through, or your kids will never know what’s OK and what’s not.
  • Practice speaking in a low but authorititive voice. Simple depth and tone of voice is what often makes kids listen more to Dad than they do to Mom. Of course, you don’t have to sound like a man, but practicing a firm, slightly lower than normal speaking voice can reap rewards.
  • Try to avoid shouting. If the kids see you losing control they won’t listen to what you are saying.
  • Try to use praise more then punishment. The carrot is always more effective than the stick, unless things have gone too far. Let your kids know when they have done the right thing.
  • Avoid physical punishment. It only reinforces that you are not in control and teaches kids that violence is OK.
  • Have a visible rewards chart. When your kids behave well, note it on a chart…maybe with stick on stars. When they have accumulated a certain number of stars they can have a treat. Equally, rather than using punishment when they do wrong, you can take stars away according to the gravity of the misdeed. That way, your kids have a clear account of the effects of good or bad behavior.
  • Use Time Out. The technique of removing the naughty child from the situation that is making them misbehave and insisting they spend some time in a quiet place alone  such as sitting on the bottom step, (NOT locked in a bedroom!) is often very effective, It calms the situation and allows the child time to think about what’s happened. If your child refuses to stay, patiently return him to the chosen Time Out place as often as necessary until he accepts it and stays put.
  • Know when to ignore bad behavior. If the misdemeanour isn’t very serious, simply ignoring your child can work wonders as it allows him to work out for himself what he’s doing wrong. Say he’s jealously demanding your attention when you are busy with the baby, simply refusing to respond to his behaviour can be a useful strategy. When he stops, talk to him, praise him and explain that as soon as you have finished what you’re doing you will be all his.
  • Remove priviliges. This strategy is effective with older kids especially. If they’ve overstepped the mark, you can remove the privilige of going out with friends for a certain length of time, for example. Or, with younger children, removing a favourite toy for a prescribed time is also effective. It avoids the need for shouting and pointless recriminations and allows the child to discover that her actions have consequences.
  • Set sensible boundaries. As your children get a little older, setting sensible boundaries helps them define their ideas of what they can and can’t do. Kids need boundaries: it not only helps keep them safe but actually makes them feel safer. For example, tell them they can watch TV/ use the internet/see their friends for one or two hours each evening (age appropriate), but only after they’ve done their homework. It’s then up to them how soon they get to watch their favourite programs!
  • Be reasonable. Kids need a little freedom as they grow, so be reasonable when you set the rules. Teenagers will want to hang out with their friends, so let them do this but agree the places they can and can’t go and set a clear time that they must be home. Make sure they know that can always get hold of you on the phone if there are any problems.
  • Don’t side with your child against figures of authority. If your child is in trouble at school, let them suffer the consequences, be it a detention or similar punishment imposed by school rules. If you are really sure that the teacher in question has made a mistake, don’t say so to your child, but make an appointment to talk it through calmly with the teacher. Backing your child everytime she gets into trouble at school just makes her lose respect for the teachers and her behavior will worsen as a result.
  • Get grandparents onside. Grandparents can really help with discipline problems. Talking to them about your child’s bad behavior in advance and asking them to stick to the same rules gives consistency and gravity. It shows your child that it isn’t something you have arbitrarily dreamed up, it is a rule that other people agree with.

Single moms can often feel quite alone when it comes to discipline, but staying calm, being consistent, letting your kids know that actions, (good and bad) have sonsequenbces will give them a heralthy attitude as they grow up.  And it should make your life a lot easier too!