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after-divorce  :: parenting

Making Lemonade: Is your Nest Empty?

Making Lemonade: Is your Nest Empty?

Tips to Help Start your New Life as a Single, Single Parent


    Is your nest empty? Remember, it’s time for you now. As sad as it might feel to have your child leave the nest to start their own life – it’s good for you both. As single parents, many of us have given our whole selves to our children and haven’t really gotten to know who we are. Now comes more freedom; the time for us to get to know who we are, what we like and to see what’s next for us. Here are tips to help you as you start your new single life as a single parent.

1. Develop a plan to keep in touch.
There are other choices and forms of communicating besides the telephone. With the invent of texting and email, we can become more playful in the way we communicate with our children. You can set up a Sunday night call to catch up on your lives in their new form, and texting with and without pictures is an exciting way to keep in touch as well. Sometimes new levels of relationship form when we get creative in the ways in which we communicate, so now is a time to be more creative.  

2. Teach your child about finances.
If you haven’t already, now is the time to teach your child about budgets and finances. I created a method that seems to work for us. I use a very low limit credit card in my son’s name, mostly for emergencies (but also to build his credit). I also gave him a pre-spending card that acts like a debit card. I add the money as an allowance and other people can add gifts of money to the card as well. The best part is that I can see what he spends his money on as well, as a safeguard. The more options you can give your child, and keep them financially safe…the more you are honoring them as young adults. Warn them about accepting college credit card applications, which can be dangerous and keep an eye on how they spend their money. 

3. Be your child’s role model.
It’s good to remember, that no matter how old your children are, they look up to you as role models – whether they say so or not. Whether it’s financial, problem-solving, and the ways in which you communicate…our children’s eyes and ears are upon us. So, be strong. Know what a great job you did raising your children to become the adults they are becoming. We have guided them, nagged them, worried about them, and now it’s time to let go alittle, for ourselves and our children. How many times have our children told us to “go get a life?” Trust you did a great job – and go get your own life now. You can do it!    

Jodi Seidler is the founder of the single parent site MakingLemonade.com and the author of ""Making Lemonade: A Guidebook for Life After Divorce," and "55 Things Every Divorcing Mom Should Know!" Her advice has also made it to TV talk shows, such as: "Inside Edition"and "Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus." Her e-mail is jodi@makinglemonade.com.

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