The Single Dad’s Guide to Survival
The Single Dad’s Guide to Survival – Tips from Animal Dads
Being a single parent isn’t easy, especially in the 21st Century age of electronics, social media, and fast food - raising a child can be downright mind-boggling. So how is a single father to survive? No matter what ages your kids are, there are a few survival tips gleaned from the animal kingdom that will help you get through any situation.
1. Lead by Example: The red fox is an excellent illustration of a father who offers up some tough love to his kids to teach his offspring survival skills. The male fox will withhold food to encourage the young to venture outside the den and hunt on their own (www.pbs.org – superdads) then he shows them how to do it. The fox reminds us to set good examples for our kids. For example, if the children are doing homework you can join them and ‘study’ too. When you lead in a positive way, they will follow.
2. Put The Kids First: The Emperor Penguin is no stranger to sacrifices. Once the mother penguin releases the egg, she heads off in search of nourishment in the wild, leaving the father penguin to fend for himself and keep the egg warm in the Antarctic wind. The male penguin reminds us not to be afraid to make sacrifices for our kids, even if that means holding your tongue or sleeping in a twisted position on the floor to share space after movie night.
3. Keep the Faith: The male seahorse is one of the few male animals who carry the eggs and ‘give birth'. The male seahorse isn't worried what anyone will think as he reverses the traditional roles of males and females and delivers the baby seahorses. The seahorse can remind us to have faith in our parenting abilities and never let traditional stereotypes govern our actions or impede our intuition.
4. Cuddle: monkeys live in groups and are often seen grooming and touching each other. The monkey teaches an important lesson about the power of touch and the positive impact of cuddling. When your kids are tired or acting out, sometimes a hug can do the trick. Remember the monkeys and give your little ones some love.
You can surely come up with your own ideas to get through the challenges of single parenthood. Just remember that children are just little people with needs, wants, and emotions just like you. As long as you keep the faith, follow your intuition, remain confident and lead by example, you should be able to weather any parenting storm that comes your way.
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