Single Parenting and Avoiding the “Friend Zone”
There are a lot of challenges in being a single parent, but one that I really noticed this summer was a slippery slope of entering into “friend zone.”
When you are parenting together in marriage you have support and back up when you hand out consequences. As your child screams back at you and throws the fits you have a stable partner to stand by and affirm you that it’s a good call. One thing you won’t Hear are the crushing words “well, daddy let’s me….”
(They can be manipulative little …angels😏)
But in this time stand firm and knock out the voices and refuse to let a 7yr old shake your identity, maturity and confidence in your love for them and parenting values.
When you’re alone, you can easily 2nd guess yourself as there is only one voice negotiating and debating your call. Laying down Discipline is way more challenging than to let things slide or look the other way!
When your time is split in half with them and you have planned a beautiful day or want to savor each moment.. the choice to not put your foot down and disrupt this non realistic dreamy time is tempting and ultimately selfish.
The root of it all is to identify that your choices not to discipline and stop to correct behavior is a derivative of your own shame and guilt.
Guilt is a normal emotion that can be a warning sign or nudge in the right direction when it arises… Guilt arises when we become aware of failing to be the best we could have been for our children ..so in most single parenting cases..not all.. we can beat ourselves with that story over and over again.
However, that will be the catalyst in making emotionally poor decisions on their behalf.
Being a passive and “Disney land” type parent only wanting to “feel good” when you have them can have big consequences down the line.
This also doesn’t just apply to divorce. It can be your guilt from Working too much and not enough presence, knowing you aren’t listening or you’ve been depressed or not affectionate enough. Short tempered, irritable, critical, putting your social life first, being inconsistent!
Whatever it is…those are your behaviors and emotions and stories to work through..not your child. We’re all broken and imperfect and have messed up, but I believe more than ever that laying that shame down at the cross, aligning priorities, getting a good support system, and choosing forgiveness for yourself so that you can be a parent over a friend for the appropriate season of life is the most loving gift we can give.
In the end, the relationship will have a much deeper bond❤️