Being a single Mom can bring on certain insecurities about your parenting abilities, especially when your child starts asking questions about the missing parent in his life. If he sees these insecurities, it can lead to loss of power and control in your parent/child relationship. When a child gains the upper hand, it feels like someone punched you right in the ovaries and called you a bad Mom right to your face. Here’s the secret, though: you’re not alone! Every single Mom feels inadequate at some point in her child’s life, whether they’re a single mom or one with a parenting partner. You don’t have to feel that way. Remember that you are a caring parent and a proud Mom who is the boss in your house!
Recognize the Tipping Point
Losing the upper hand with your child doesn’t happen because he’s a brat or he knows more than you do or even because someone else told him to say some smart aleck remark. It often happens because he sees how much you love him and don’t want him to feel bad in any way. As your child gets older, he develops strategies to test your boundaries and at the same time you’re hoping that his worship of you will last forever. If you recognize that point in his development where he begins testing you, then you can learn to adjust the way that you interact so that he continues to see you as the authority figure instead of the lady that cleans up after him and brings him his food.
While your child is still a toddler and learning to speak and walk and eat with a fork instead of his hands, give him tasks and other responsibilities that show him that you won’t always do everything for him and that he will have to learn to do it for himself.