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Finding balance as a single Dad

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Ever think about the importance of balance? This essential quality includes not only the physical, but also the inner voice that tells us to choose the middle path rather than drift toward extremes. In this post, we’ll discuss how single dads can improve their parenting skills by finding balance in three areas of their lives. Let’s begin.

#1: Balancing Selflessness With Self-Care

Have you ever heard statements like these?

  • “Good parents think only of their family’s well being, never of their own.”
  • “Your children are all that matter in your life. Anyone who disagrees is unfit to raise kids.”
  • “The answer to your frustrations, fears, and trials is to focus on your child and forget everything else.”

These claims, as noble as they sound, ignore the fact that you can never give away something you don’t have. Your children do indeed deserve your patience, wisdom, strength, and foresight. But how can you possess these qualities if you’re always exhausted, lonely, and on your last nerve?

This is why taking care of yourself and the choices you make are vital, not only for you, but for your kids. The way we eat, drink, love, and cope with stress, depression, anxiety, and sadness all play a big role in the state our mental health is in. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing for you, and not the easiest thing. If not, then perhaps you need a break. It’s never wrong to ask others to help shoulder the load if it’s becoming too heavy to bear.

#2: Balancing Problem-Solving With Empathy

Many men, though far from all, see everything that comes their way as a challenge to their ingenuity. Their cognitive style follows a “see problem; fix problem; move on” pattern. This is a great philosophy for working with materials or mathematical concepts. People, on the other hand, are a different story altogether. Sometimes human beings are looking for empathy rather than an answer. Failing to appreciate this fact can condemn even the best-intentioned father to endless frustration. This may occur when every answer he proposes to his child’s dilemma seems to only worsen the problem.

So is quiet, non-directive listening the only option in your toolkit when your kids come to you for help? Well, not quite. Teaching children problem-solving skills is a vital part of parenting, as pointed out by Scholastic.  The key is to appreciate your children’s feelings and perspective while showing them how to resolve the issue that’s troubling them. Finding this balance, while sometimes challenging, is important to raising children with the independence and emotional security to grow into confident, independent adults.

#3: Balancing Other’s Advice With Your Own Instincts

Intuition is vital for success in any undertaking, according to the Huffington Post. Yet following your inner voice is almost impossible if you’re always looking for others to green-light your decisions. Ask 10 single dads what being in their shoes is like, and you’ll get 10 answers, each as different as night and day. Sometimes the things one dad says will seem to contradict what you hear from another.

Does this mean that learning from others is a bad idea? Absolutely not. Listening to what others have to say is critical. At the same time, however, you must realize that each bit of advice, no matter how wise, is at best a guiding principle, one which you must use (or not use) in accord with your best judgement.

The Greek poet Hesiod is credited with the phrase “practice moderation in all things.” We suspect that he was onto something important. Finding balance in the areas of your life discussed in this post can benefit both you and your kids, which is what being a dad is all about.

Louise PyperFinding balance as a single Dad

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