Single Father’s Ultimate Guide to Raising a Child Alone

For a single father, raising a child is difficult as it requires to deal with so many physical and emotional problems. It is quite common for single fathers to feel tired, depressed, and alone most of the time. In this guide, I’ll talk about how you can be a happy father who raises his child/children to be a happy human.

As a single parent, you need to pay attention to many points while raising a child such as the physical, spiritual, emotional and social development of both yourself and your child.

At the same time, you can feel a lot of pressure on you as a single father.  It can araise both from your immediate surrounding and people you encounter in everyday life. You can face many prejudices about this issue and you can feel alone in life.

However, you need to know that you’re not alone. There were 2 million single fathers in 2016 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. About 40 percent of them were divorced, 38 percent were never married, 16 percent were separated, and 6 percent were widowed.

Considering this information, raising children as a single father is a very common case.

A Guide for a Single Father

As a single father, you have many responsibilities for raising children. However, knowing some strategies will make it easy to be a single father.

They will also turn it into a fun and more effective one. From time to time it seems like a tiring, time-consuming and laborious work, but it will help you raise your child in the best possible way.

If you’re looking for a guide on this rugged path, I suggest you take a look at these tips. In this article, we will list the methods that can help for single fathers by 7 tips to raise their children.

1) Try not to Stress Your Child

One of the most fundamental differences between adults and children is the perception of emotions. Children have a high level of understanding of emotions from other people’s facial expressions and non-verbal messages.

You can feel sad, depressed and hopeless as a single parent. However, you need to be careful when reflecting these feelings to your child. Children are very sensitive individuals and can be highly susceptible and fragile to the emotions.

At the same time, your child may feel emotionally alone, scared, and sad sometimes. As a parent, your most important task is to make children feel good mentally as well as physically.

Therefore, you must support your child emotionally. You should be there for your child when he/she needs it. You should prevent him/her feeling lonely or guilty.

2) Develop Strong Relationship with Your Child

As a father, you need to talk to your child about his/her daily life, problems, feelings, and the future.

For example, your child may have encountered a problem at school and come home depressed. At this point, you are the only one who can help him/her. Your spending time with your child and trying to solve his/her problem will ensure your child that you care about him/her and make him/her feel your love.

Also, there are some important points to be considered when talking with your child. For example, you should not reprimanding and talking loudly to your child.

Instead of being destructive, you must be more constructive. You should not insult or overdo the problems of your child. You can talk to him/her like a friend and give advice.

As a result, you should be more sensitive to your child while speaking. You should remember that your child needs it even if he doesn’t request it.

3) Spend More Time with Your Child

It is very important that you spend time with your child as a parent. It can be a method of relaxation and bonding for you and your child. In this way, you can provide social and emotional relief to your child.

You can do several activities with your child or just spend time together without doing anything important. For example, painting a picture with your child can be very useful. Children can draw the world that they dream of while painting, and they can pour what they feel at that moment on paper. As a result, they will feel relaxed. 

Furthermore, you can find an opportunity to observe your child while painting. You can easily understand what your child feels, thinks and experiences.

The drawings of your child might seem as scribblings consisting of shapes and unmeaningful objects. However, there is a story even in a sketch they draw. For instance, if your child feels happy that day, you can see that the picture he/she drew is made up of vivid colors.

You can get to know about them more by spending time with your children. Their world is so innocent that they easily invite you in so that you can accompany them in that world.

4) Create a Daily Routine with Your Child

You have to set up a routine for the management of your household successfully. As a single father, you may need help with this. For example, you may have difficulty in cleaning and sweeping but you can either hire a cleaner or turn it into a weekly routine.

You can even get help from your child by asking him/her to remove dust while you wipe the house. It might seem like an extra job for your child, but actually, it is a method of self-development by which he/she can learn to take responsibility and help others.

Also, you can organize your sleep time, meal time, and your child’s homework. Being planned allows you and your child to live a more organized life.

All kids like layouts as the progress of the daily works in an order will facilitate their adaptation to their tasks. You will see that after a while he/she will tell you that he/she wants to read the book when it is time to read. This will be a habit that will allow your child to organize 
better what they need to do in their life.

5) Be Supportive for Your Child

You have many roles in daily life as an individual. You need to establish a relationship between your roles to develop yourself which can become very difficult sometimes.

However, you should remember that your child needs you both emotionally and physically in accord with the requirements of your role as a parent.

When your child needs help with some issues, you have to be with him/her and offer help. Also, you can discuss the problem and comment on th issue in order to compare the possible results.

It is very important that you refrain from finding direct solutions to the problems. Instead, you should teach your child how to deal with it. You may not be there for him/her in every problem, so let him/her solve some problems alone.

Similarly, your child may need your help physically at home, at school, or in the street. They expect your support in cases such as riding the bike or playing with him/her when he/she sets up a game. 

Fathers who live with their children spend time with them, provide economic support, and make a decision about the children’s lives because each of these activities is part of fathers’ responsibilities as parents (Seltzer J. A., 1991). 

Therefore, as a single father, you should always be there for your child and you should help him whenever he/she needs it.

6) Get Help from People When You Need

Children need help from their single fathers in many areas in life which makes fathers find themselves in a great responsibility. It is not easy to perform this responsibility alone.

Therefore, single fathers may need help both emotionally and physically. For example, single fathers might forget taking care of their children while trying to manage their household chores. In that case, an assistant who would help with the child’s homework or play games migh be needed. 

Also, you can take help from the elders of the family. The help for the care of the child from other people will facilitate the work of the fathers in daily life.

In addition, children may have difficulty trying to fill their mother’s place emotionally. For this reason, you can find someone who will play the role of a mother for children. In particular, you can get help from someone close to you, such as your mother, sister or aunt.

You can also contact your child’s teacher, his/her friends’ mothers or your neighbors when you are looking for help to fill this emotional gap in your child.

Although they will not take the place of a mother for the child, they can help you raise your child and by giving ideas.

You can also contact other single fathers and get help from them. You can find many groups for single fathers on Facebook, or in your immediate surrounding. You can share your problems in these groups as well as getting idea by listening to the problems of others.

7) Put the Rules Together with Your Child

As two people sharing the same house, you may need to set rules together. These rules may be related to the daily life of both of you.

First, you should talk to your child about it. As a family, you can ask your child’s expectations and tell him your own expectations. You should discuss these rules according to your child’s age and developmental level.

For example, you can tell your 3-year-old daughter to collect her toys while your 7-year-old son can set rules for collecting her room. In this way, you can divide labor so that your responsibilities will be reduced.

When you think your child has reached enough maturity, you can give him/her other responsibilities. For example, if you have an animal, it may be your child’s responsibility to feed, wash and take care of it.

This will contribute to the development of your child’s personality as well as providing autonomy for your child.

You may also have to set rules for your child’s discipline. You may need to be clear, certain, and precise when you set these rules.

In addition, you need to put the rules which include strict limitations. For example, it is necessary to set specific rules such as how many hours a day he/she can watch TV or when he/she should go out.

In Summary

As a single father, you have many responsibilities in everyday life including raising a good child. Although raising children is a laborious task, it can turn into a fun activity. It is about how you see raising children.

As a single father, you have many occupations to do while raising children such as being a good parent, being a good teacher, being a good friend and, most importantly, educating a good individual.

According to Guttmann J. (1989), a significantly growing number of fathers, both married and divorced, are intent on actualizing their potential for positive psychological presence in the lives of their children. 

For this reason, you should consider how important your child is in your life and make a positive contribution to your child’s emotional development.


Guttmann, J. (n.d.). The divorced father: A review of the issues and the research. Journal of Comparative Family Studies20(2), 247–261.

Hetherington, E.  Mavis, Martha Cox, and Roger Cox. 1987. “The aftermath of divorce.” Pp. 149-176 in Joseph H. Stevens and Marilyn Mathews (eds.), Mother-Child, Father-Child Relationships. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of  Young Children.

Seltzer, J. A. (1991). Relationships between Fathers and Children Who Live Apart: The Father’s Role after Separation. Journal of Marriage & Family53(1), 79–101.

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