How To Be a Better Dad: Tools for Successful Parenting as a Single Dad

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How To Be a Better Dad is the Fatherhood and co-parenting section on SingleDad. Share and exchange great fatherhood advice from our members who are in all stages of fatherhood This month, learn about specific tools to enhancing and enriching the lives of your children as a single dad.

Tools For
Successful Parenting as a Single Dad

Single parent homes have been on the rise for years, but a
new trend has appeared on the horizon – the rise of single parent homes headed
by dads. The Pew Research Center recently released a report that details this
rapid increase. The number has increased from 300,000 in 1960 to more than 2.6
million today. Though homes headed by a single mother (8.6 million) still far
outnumbered those headed by a single dad, the gap is closing. Nearly 25 percent
of homes are in the care of a single dad.

What Single Dads
Want…and Need

Single parent household can be as loving as any two-parent
household. Most single parents are loving and involved parents who try to do
the best they can for their kids. But, every single parent has needs, and some
of the needs are stronger in households run by single fathers.

A Female Presence. This isn’t for their own needs – though that
could be the subject of a different article. This is for the needs of their
children – both for their sons and daughters. Female mentors are extremely
important for both girls and boys. It is important for single fathers to seek
out female help from sisters, aunts, cousins, co-workers, neighbors, and other
parents. These women can serve as role models for their daughters and provide
relational models for their sons.

Access to Government
programs and a willingness to use those programs.
It is fairly easy for
single mothers to find specific programs that provide support for the
challenges they face. However, it is much more difficult for single dads to
find programs specifically catering to their needs. But, the programs are there
– men just need to look for them and take use them. Men often view acceptance
of help as a sign of weakness or failure – we’ve all heard the jokes about men
never asking for directions. Men like to solve problems by themselves, but they
have to start accepting the helping hands offered by the government and other
social agencies.

Dating

Community support
groups.
Single mothers are much more common, and as a result, more groups
have been created across the country for their specific needs. Single dads not
only don’t ask for directions, they are also more reluctant to form groups for
support, preferring to face the challenges of single parenthood alone. Perhaps this reluctance is cultural – men’s
feeling of weakness when asking for help combined with our society valuing
single motherhood more than single fatherhood – but with the amount of single
fathers increasing every year, it is time for men to band together and help
each other be better parents.

Get online. You
can find information about almost anything online, and there are plenty of
resources for single fathers on the Internet. Though information, advice, and
support for single mothers is ubiquitous online, information for single dads
take a little more effort to locate.
But, there are few good resources for single dads, and much of the
information for single mothers can also be used by fathers who are raising
their kids.

Single Dads – Seek
and You Will Find

Whether you are bringing up your kids with a spouse or by
yourself, everyone wants to be the best parent they can be. Single dads –
overcome your reluctance to seek out help and you will find plenty of it online
and out in the world. Seek and you will find. Your kids are worth it!

Got Kids? Need Fatherhood or Single
Parent Advice?

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Richard JaramilloRichard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”