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Single parenting...how do you know if you're doing it right?


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Not trying to be too deep here, but it's got me wondering. I find myself wondering if I'm being a good father to my son. Without a partner that would let me bounce things off her, how can I be sure his emotional needs are being met? What are the indications that he is growing up well adjusted?

Second dillema is that sometimes I'm a mess, with the hectic schedules and emotional loss, am I projecting that onto my son? I wonder how he sees this whole thing...no Mom, Dad running all the time, am I hurting him by trying to do the work of 2?

Thanks all....


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From you just asking the question indicates that you are a good dad.


But just think about it...........to me it is farily simple although I do not know the age of your son.............but just have conversations with him.........be open.........hug him...........telling him you love him often............tell him you realize how tuff it is for the both of you............and LISTEN to him...........


But also a word of caution............do not spoil him or let him go undisciplined because you feel sorry for him............


Just my two cents.

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Kids are very adaptable. If he feels loved then everything else is a walk in the park in his eyes.


I'm not saying life is perfect but a child knows when he is loved, regardless of two parents or one in his life. And hectic is as hectic does.

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if he doesnt beat or kill anyone, if he doesnt call you or other people in authoritative positions names. . . if he doesnt shut himself in his room with minimal contact with you and the outside world..

then you are probably doing just fine.

i commend anyone who dares to ask this question... i wish my dad had

remember to tell him you are proud of him when he does good, even if its small... i think alot of kids look to their parents for that kind of support and appreciation... its very important to us in the long run. take it from me.

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I'm sure your son understands and appreciates all the running around you have to do and as for the hurt and emotional stuff I'm sure no-one understands that more than him. It shines through what a good father you are and the fact that you are asking these questions is just another example of that.

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KG -


You are among many single parents. Even in two parent families, many times, one parent is not much of a parent. I think children have grown up with this throughout the ages.


Your son got most of his formative years with both you and your wife, and your son is very lucky to have a father who is involved in his life. I raised my daughter as a single parent, her father never really was part of her life. What I look back on now, is those early years, as a toddler and just beyond, that was hard for her. I also went through all those doubts as her father and I divorced when she was less than two. I went to her pediatrician and asked her if my child would be OK raised by just her mom.


The answer I got back was very wise, she told me "The human race has essentially been raised by just on parent, it has only been in recent times that the two parent family has really been a part of our culture." I pondered on that and did the research and sociologically, she is correct. The "Father knows Best" and "Leave It to Beaver" families are a product of modern times, as our cultures grew more prosperous and fathers could be engaged in their families. What else I remember from that study and is still true in the generation of my parents and grandparents, is that very often in history, a woman died young. It was very common in my parents generation, for families to have step moms because dad was widowed or the other way around. That step parent though was always a tough situation, most weren't that great and made the child's life difficult. Even Snow White had a step mom.


I think you are doing a very good job. Your son sounds very healthy in all ways and it is really normal through all of raising our children to wonder if we are doing it right. I know I did, and I even remember many of my peers, as two parent families, still having the same doubts.


The test of your quality of a father is that your worry and care about this.

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First off, I think you are an amazing father!


As far as "how do you know?" Are you really looking for answers? I think that as a single parent, we often feel overly concerned that we aren't doing enough. We run around in circles, "Am I doing this right? Did I get everything done? How did / do I do all of that and make sure we get enough quality time?" It's rough! But as EDynamo said above.... if your child was acting out, you'd have more to worry about. I think remember you saying in one of your threads that your son doesn't express himself outwardly to you. How is he doing?


Breath.... and breath deep often! There's no handbook that can guarantee what will work for our children. You are thoughtful, caring, loving, compassionate.... I bet your son is doing okay....

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You never know. You always wonder, you always hope.

But truly, you won't know until your son/daughter has child of their own. Looks at you and says "Thank you"


When I had my children, the first thing I said to my parents was thank you. Without them, showing me how to be in life, helping me make choices, and standing by me even when they didn't support my choices, letting me make mistakes..They helped me be a better parent..and a better person..nothing makes you see how great your parent's were. That they were good parents or not than when you have a child of your own

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I became a single mom when my son was not quite a year old. I asked myself these same questions and also voiced them to a friend. This very wise friend said the best parents stay exactly who they are. They do not change themselves to make their child happy. Make your own life rich and in return, you make your child's life rich. I have always worked at least two jobs and gone to school at the same time. Some would tell you this was wrong. My son tells me I have given him a great example to live by, that I have taught him dream and never give up. Some would tell you not to date, that it is confusing for a child. I have always dated and never let my child stop me from doing that. My son tells me I have taught him how to have loving, healthy, relationships (all of my relationships post Kevin have been long-term with good guys). Be yourself, the rest will follow.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think you are doing great! But don't second guess what you've already given. Once the seed has been planted let it grow and continue to water it. Now you can sit back and watch it grow. Many dads sometimes watch the years go by and find it difficult to stand back and watch. My fiancee always feels guilty for not doing enough but this can hurt the child by making your own insecurity flow towards them. Hence making them feel insecure. Stop it! you did a great job! I'm sure if given a second chance you would even do it better.

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