The truth about “single” parenting after divorce

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After a divorce, it is common for parents to state that they are “single” parents.

Although there are many parents who do, indeed, end up raising their children on their own, or close to on their own, there are even more parents who share parenting after a divorce. These parents are not single parents, they are far from it. Yes, they are soley responsible for their children while their children are in their care, but that is where the similarity ends.

As I see it there are two distinctly different types of “single “parenting after a divorce.

The first type of single parenting is Solo parenting. This is when the other parent essentially disappears. You are left being the only parent – 24/7. You provide all the care and make all the decisions. When you are a solo parent, your job is to build a network of support for yourself and your kids. Who are the reliable, trustworthy people in you life who can give you a break and assist you in child raising? In other words, who will help you when you get the inevitable flu or your car breaks down twenty miles from home? Developing a close group of family and friends that are willing and able to help is an important piece of parenting for you.  

The second and far more common type of single parent after divorce is what I have started to call Relay or Shuttle parenting. Relay parenting differs significantly from Solo parenting in a number of areas. First and most importantly, the main challenge for most divorced parents is the continual need to communicate and interact their children’s other parent. You need to develop a whole different set of skills to make this go smoothly. Second, your children are literally the batons that you and the other parent exchange between each other. Your job becomes one of making sure that neither one of you drops the baton. In other words, your focus needs to be on how you can help your children’s lives remains whole as they move from home to home. This is no small task, especially if you are not on good terms with your children’s other parent, but it can be done. source: www.gooddivorcebooks.com

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