Due to death, divorce or desertion, many parents in Pennsylvania are forced to raise their children alone. In some instances, the single parent with custody may not be a biological parent at all but another family member who was granted guardianship rights. Regardless of how you came to be a single parent, there are ways to ensure a seamless transition into this new life for yourself and your child.

According to Mayo Clinic, remaining positive is a good starting point. This can be difficult after a bitter custody battle or while mourning the loss of a loved one, but children need to know they feel loved. Creating a routine also helps to provide stability for the child, which injects more positivity into their life. If your child is not old enough for school, or you work long hours, you may also need to look for good child care.

Many parents may go overboard with showing love and affection to the point of spoiling their children. Try to steer clear of this by ensuring there are limits. House rules and mutual boundaries help to teach children responsibility, respect and accountability. These are lessons that will serve them well as adults.

One of the reasons parents often go overboard with affection is guilt. Some parents may feel bad about the other partner leaving, or for failing to provide the “Ideal nuclear family” for their child. This may lead to negative emotions and dwelling on the past. Focus instead on taking care of yourself and introducing positive role models and pillars of support into your life and your child’s life.

It is also important to keep the lines of communication open. Children may have questions about divorce, separation, parental termination or any reason that may have led to them being in your sole custody. These questions may be difficult to confront or question, but by being open and honest you provide children with the answers they might need to move forward and adjust in a healthy way.

This article provides information on single-parenthood and is not to be interpreted as legal advice.