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Advice from a failure . . .


CF Ambassador
Jan 11, 2020
I am 71 and I raised two children as a single parent. I failed miserably and my daughter died angry at me and my son is an emotional train wreck. Here is what I learned since then . . .

Do not be afraid to put your children ahead of everything for the first 5 years. Give them attention, which includes eye contact. You may think love is enough, but it is the attention they remember.

Read "Siblings without Rivalry," if you have more than one child. Healthy children, who got enough attention, relish a sibling. A needy child gets jealous.

Give each child individual attention.

Make sure your children learn healthy disappointment. They will need this later in life. To do this you have to say "no" now and then.

When discussing bad behavior, make sure you focus on the behavior and not the child. Children can not differentiate between who they are and what they do unless you point this out. If this is not discussed, they might feel they are bad and this will lead to all kinds of problems later on.

A single parent who is dating should put her children's needs first. My son was really wounded by the obsessive attention I gave my boyfriends.

Do not be afraid to read books about raising your child. When I had my children there was almost nothing written except Dr. Spock, who later apologized for some of his suggestions.

Relish these years with your children and make good memories.

Share your faith with your children and raise them in the church. My children did not have a church family, but my grandchildren did and the difference was amazing.

In summary . . . these are not a complete list of things I did wrong, but they are a good start.

God is giving me a second chance. I am going to start mentoring foster care chidren. I can't wait.


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