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what can i do to make life easier as a single parent?

I'm 24 years old in the us army. Thats my job 24/7. My son is 4. just us here. I don't want to be the parent that tries to be friends with their kids but I dont want o be the parent that is mean and strict and yells all the time... though that is was I'm leaning more towards. I just want to know what could make things easier for me and my son... like getting him to clean his room when I have the rest of the house to clean... getting him to put his toys away, getting him to listen to what i say... things like that. I really dont want to be mean mommy but i feel like i have no choice and i want to get away from that...

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Asked by misa8402 at 9:26 AM on Feb. 16, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (6)
  • maybe if you tell him if you clean your room we can go to the park or that you will bake cookies together or something give him a reason to want to do it but make sure that its something that you two can do together so you stay close. i dont know its just an idea. good luck

    Answer by mommy033 at 9:41 AM on Feb. 16, 2009

  • He needs direction and responsibility. Right now, he's only 4 so you probably have to take on the role of "mean mommy" to teach him those things. Asking him to clean his room or pick up his toys isn't a bad thing, it teaches him to have respect for a clean home and how to respect property. My son is 4 and, although I do have a SO now, I still take up much of the responsibility where my son is concerned. For his own good, I am portrayed as the "bad guy". But once he learns his responsibilities and what's expected of him, then it would seem so rough. But just remember, just because you're tough on him doesn't mean you don't love him. As a matter of fact, I think it means you love him more.

    Answer by TheDiva320 at 9:47 AM on Feb. 16, 2009

  • A couple of things - one, find community support - both for you and your son. Make sure he has other kids he can play with and learn from (so make sure they're families share the same values as you) and maybe other families you can both spend time with. Remember that discipline doesn't mean "being mean." It means setting limitations, rules, guidelines, and ultimately teaching your son how to grow into a person who can make good choices - things children need to thrive. HOW you discipline will determine the "meanness" of your parenting - not THAT you discipline. He needs you to help set limits and follow-through on expectations. It's your job to help guide him into manhood, he can't get there alone. At the very least, check out the Love and Logic parenting (online or through libraries). I would also recommend you check into any support groups available. I also recommend "The Wonder of Boys" by Michael Gurian.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 9:50 AM on Feb. 16, 2009

  • also you can try a chore chart -- so he has a visual reminder of what he needs to do. They do this is school too. That way you can just point instead of having to yell (although I do lots of that too).
    It's a hard balance sometimes but there is not reason not to cuddle and play but you are still responsible for your job, cleaning, cooking, hw etc. (all members of the family that is)

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 11:19 AM on Feb. 16, 2009

  • It really hard when you have no one to share the discipline duty with. I could not imagine. Just try you hardest to balance it and understand that when you correct him you are doing the right thing. when correcting him always end it with an Do you understand? and most importantly an I love you to reassure you both!

    Answer by But_Mommie at 5:15 PM on Feb. 16, 2009

  • I am 33 yrs old full time student single parent of a 4 year old. Its hard not to be strict when you don't have anyone to share the discipline with. Sometimes just taking a moment...and going you know what...whatever...i just don't feel like fighting about this today. Sometimes taking away something your son really loves...for mine its TV and certain toys.

    As to him helping with his room and toys, it is very normal (age and stage appropriate) for 4 year olds to have issues with this. What sometimes works for me is to just break it down into smaller tasks. For example, have him pick up all his clothes. Then he can have a 15 minute break (snack a lil tv) and You take a break with him. Then his toys then another break (you with him) etc. Yes, it may take longer, but he will do it, and when you praise him for doing such a good job he will just beam.

    Answer by ejsmom4604 at 8:19 PM on Feb. 16, 2009

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