Single Parenting: Child Behaviour and the Home
If you have been living as a family, and a couple, then you'll have been used to dividing up all household chores and duties. However, now you are on your own you will have to rethink your old routine and start planning for how you will manage your home as a single parent.
Routine will helpYou will notice changes in your child’s behaviour, but it is really important to try and maintain some kind of routine - even around mundane things like the household chores. Remember that you will have to manage your child’s behaviour alone from now on, if your house is a place that is stressful and disorganised this will affect how well you cope.
PrioritiseHowever, the first thing to remember is that your priority should NOT be the cleanliness or tidiness of your home. Although you may think it’s really important, they will be other things that demand a lot of your time and energy, and a little bit of dust or an unmade bed will soon become very low down your list of priorities!
Stress free is the key!Although housework doesn’t need to be your reason for living, there is no doubt that certain things do have to be done and for many people, living in an untidy and disorganised environment is not healthy and can become quite stressful, therefore we need to find some balance between being a domestic god or goddess and having a life!
Getting organised!If you are living in a home surrounded by children’s toys, dirty laundry and a sink full of washing up then chances are you are either not coping very well, or you just don’t care. Either way, keeping your home in a basically clean and tidy state is achievable - it doesn’t have to be a show home and it doesn’t have to be stressful, it’s all a matter of being as organised as you possibly can.Getting into a routine of washing up, folding laundry and putting it away and encouraging the children to tidy their toys up before bed are all simple tasks and if everyone pulls together to help, it will make a big difference to the way you live. It also means that you are not entirely responsible for everything, and spreading the load, even a little bit, will help you as well.
- If the housework is piling up and you are working all day and just can’t physically do everything yourself, then it is time to take action.
- If your children are old enough to understand, then call a family meeting and explain why you are tired and stressed and ask them to help you.
- Draw up a family rota with tasks, days of the week and everyone’s name clearly marked on it. When each task has been done, tick it off because this makes you feel really good!
- If your children are very young and you are finding things really difficult, ask a friend for help. Perhaps once a week they could help you organise your house, and you could do the same for them.
- A tidy, clean house is a pleasant and stress free place to live, but none of us are perfect and you must not put yourself under unnecessary pressure in the pursuit of being perfect because it just won’t happen. Your friends and family will understand if they turn up and the breakfast dishes still haven’t been washed-they are coming to see you, not to inspect your house!