Guest Article by Daniel Sherwin from
Single dads face a mountain of challenges. You are not alone if your mental and emotional well being are fragile(). Nor are you the only one who is wondering how to find love again and manage your diet and your children’s meals. Read on for tips that will help.
Set a good example at dinner
A healthy diet really will help you and your children move on with your lives. Organize at least a few days a week to include home-cooked family dinners. You can make the turkey burgers while your son makes the salad and your daughter cuts up the watermelon for dessert.
Children are actually quite susceptible to your example, and they will follow your lead ()on what to eat at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You don’t have to be a renowned chef to substitute a can of tuna for a steak and reach for the whole wheat bread instead of white in the supermarket.
Cultivate a love of fruits and vegetables () by trying different things. If you don’t love oranges, try kiwi. Try pineapple. They’re all better than doughnuts and pastries. Make it fun for your children by holding tastings where the two or three of you identify the best raw fruit or the best whole grain bread.
At some point, you will want to date again, but there is no need to hurry this. Maintaining your relationship with your children and making sure they are coping with their own stress will come first.
The best life partner is someone who starts out as a friend, so concentrate on making friends. Participate in activities that are truly meaningful to you such as church, marathons, volunteering at your children’s school, volunteering with a soup kitchen, etc.
The connections you make by getting out in the community will serve as ballast to keep you sailing straight. When you do meet someone you want to date, start out slow. Meet for coffee, meet for lunch. Be completely honest about how important your children are in your life.
Be careful how you introduce a new person to your children. She should be framed as a friend for at least six months. Only if you are quite confident about the relationship should you describe your girlfriend as a new family member.
Care for your mental health
The stress of a divorce or the death of a spouse can be devastating. It’s important to take active measures to protect your mental health. If you are now a single father because of the death of your wife, both you and your children may benefit from counselling.()
If at all possible, make a point of doing more fun things with your children. Take them to the park and teach them to throw a frisbee. Take them to the lake. Teach them how to float on an inner tube. Do activities where you all learn something new, like painting with watercolours or parasailing. Shared activities will improve your confidence as a father and pull you and your children closer together.
Drugrehab.org() says, “The way we eat, drink, love, and cope with stress, depression, anxiety, and sadness all play a big role in the state our mental health is in. Sometimes, it’s necessary to take a step back and ask yourself if you’re doing the right thing for you, and not the easiest thing.”
Nobody said things will be easy, but if you place your mental resources in the right places, you get your groove back!
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.()