[L]ast week, we covered the first three of eight tips for single parents in Tips for Easily Juggling Children and Personal Life Part 1. This week, we cover tips 4-8.

Tips for Easily Juggling Personal Life and Your Kids

4. Develop Rules. Sit down with your children and agree to a set of rules for everyone to follow. Keep them simple and positive. For example, instead of, ‘don’t be rude,’ say, ‘be respectful.’ Once the rules are established, refer to them often, as they will (hopefully) shape your children’s behavior and attitudes. Eventually, they will develop their own rules.

5. Build Strong Relationships with Your Kids. Your relationship with your kids is the biggest influence on their behavior and choices. They might not show it, but they want to please and connect with you. It doesn’t mean become their best friend, but it does mean nurturing that relationship.

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6. Find Mentors You Trust. You will want your children to develop relationships with people outside your immediate family. It could be a distant family member, neighbor or trusted friend. It doesn’t have to be a formal mentor-mentee relationship, but children do need other adults who can encourage them. Just knowing other adults care about them goes a long way in developing into responsible adults. Also, pay attention to your children’s friends. Who are they comfortable with? What activities do they do together? How do they interact?

7. Make Time for Fun. Part of being a family is having fun together. Board games, going on afternoon bicycle rides, taking day trips are all part of simple, yet important part of being a family.

8. Make Time for Yourself. While family time is important, so is setting some time for yourself. Communicate with your children that while they are an important part of your life, you still need some time with your friends. Recognizing that and following up on it will result in you being a better parent, and give you more energy and appreciation for your life.

How did/do you balance kids and your personal life?

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