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Digital Learning

Navigating Life as a Single Dad

Celebrating holidays or preparing for conferences and performances at school can be stressful for some of the students in your class.Not all families come in the same shape or size, and some of our typical projects don't match the needs of everyone in our classroom communities. To provide some insight into the life of one uniquely shaped family, I welcome a guest blogger today.

Daniel is a single dad raising two children. At, he aims to provide other single dads with information and resources to help them better equip themselves on the journey that is parenthood.

Single parents have a difficult job, and even in the best of circumstances, it can be a struggle. Moms have it tough, but so do dads. Things aren’t better or worse for moms or dads, they’re just different. There’s still a stereotype of bumbling dads who have no idea what they’re doing. Perhaps it’s because girls are raised to expect to be moms, with hands-on parenting duties, while boys are overlooked when it comes to caring for children. Luckily, that’s changing.
Being a parent means you want the same things as all parents: for your kids to grow up to be happy, healthy, and well-adjusted adults. But keeping yourself happy, healthy, and well-adjusted can be a challenge, especially when you’re a single father.
As a single dad, it’s crucial that you don’t neglect your own mental health. As explains, “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.” Keeping your own mental health on track will not only help you, but it will make your kids’ lives better. If you’re feeling down or overly stressed, seek help from a professional.

Here are some more tips for navigating single fatherhood:

    Build a network of support -- Having other single fathers in your life will do wonders for your ability to cope. Even if their situations are different from yours, they have the same wants and needs as you. Being able to talk about your challenges will help you get through the day. Work on building up your family support, too. Parents and siblings can help you when things get tough, so having as many people as possible to lean on will help.

      Focus on your kids -- There are tons of things to get done, like laundry, dishes, career obligations, and more. But remember to take a step back and focus on the kids for a while. Spending time with them is important for all of you. Reading to your kids or playing a game with them will calm your stress and remind you why you’re working so hard. You’re also creating a lifetime of memories for you and your children, which is important and will help you get through tough times.

        Don’t disparage others -- If you have an ex in the picture, don’t ever say anything negative about him or her in front of the children. They might seem mature enough to understand, but they aren’t. Children see their parents as part of themselves, so when you talk bad about their other parent, you’re hurting them. If the ex is saying things about you, stay above it. Don’t engage and stick to the facts. Not every battle is worth fighting. Your children will understand when they get older, and they’ll appreciate your restraint. 

          Don’t forget to exercise -- Try to carve out some time for fitness, and yes, we know it’s difficult! If you incorporate your children into fitness, you’re more likely to make it happen. Watch YouTube fitness videos for kids to get the kids moving. You can just turn up some kid-friendly music and have a dance party. Or take the kids and the dog out for a walk or take them to a trampoline park, laser tag, or something similar. 

          You will make mistakes, but life will go on. Your kids will grow up, and they’ll know that you loved and were there for them. Later in life, you’ll look back on this time as the happiest of your life and so will your children. Enjoy all the good times and let go of the bad times. Your kids are worth it.

          As another holiday approaches, you may enjoy using this Pop Art Family Portrait with your class. Easy to print and customizable by each of your students to fit their own unique family!

          Join the conversation for other great February ideas when you visit our Teacher Talk bloggers!


          1. Thank you so much Daniel, for sharing your wonderful post with us. So nice to have a single dad's perspective.

          2. This is a nice post, reminding us that there are many single dad's out there. Thank you for sharing this.

          3. It's always good to be reminded of the different viewpoints. Thanks for sharing!