Being a single dad is difficult enough, and learning how to cope with being a single dad is perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of single fatherhood.
Although each dad is unique in their own right, it’s important to highlight that no one coping method is superior to another. However, from a health perspective, some coping strategies are vastly superior to others.
That said, there seem to be ten effective, universal ways single dads use to cope with the unfortunate adjustment of single fatherhood. These coping methods include:
- The use of drugs or alcohol
- Exercise and the use of sports
- Dating and sleeping around
- Excessive internet use
- Quality time with their kids
- Remaining angry and bitter
- Hanging out with friends and family
According to social scientists, most single dads’ 8 mentioned coping strategies are the most commonly used.
Let’s take some time and discover how and why these coping strategies may be more effective than others.
The Use Of Drugs And Alcohol
Not exactly the best way to cope with stress; many dads resort to using drugs and alcohol to escape the trials and tribulations that all come with single fatherhood.
Of course, excessive drug use and alcoholism can wreak havoc on the body and mind. However, being drunk and stones all the time can also serve as a wedge between you and your child; most people would agree that we are not at our best when in an altered state.
Exercise And Sports
I’ve always admired folks who find a constructive means to deal with stress but compound all this with raising a child by yourself and still find the time to live an active and healthy lifestyle.
Dating And Sleeping Around
Some single dads seem not to have the ability to move past their old relationships with their ex. The consequence of this is that they believe they can rekindle their sense of commitment with women they had just met.
Regrettably, many of these poor souls end up sleeping around with multiple women using these experiences to cope emotionally with a past love.
Excessive Internet Use
Another way many single dads cope is by escaping their minds into the world wide web. Excessive internet use may be through gaming, dating sites, or general research.
It’s not uncommon for these certain dads to spend hours at a time emersed in cyberspace while neglecting their duties as a dad.
Quality Time With Their Kids
With all the sea of negativity that may surround many single dads, spending quality time with their kids is by far the number one best thing you could do to pick yourself up and move on to greener pastures.
Not only do your kids appreciate the time you spend with them, but as a dad going through unimaginable stress, your kids serve as a reminder of who you are and what your purpose in life is.
Remaining Angry And Bitter
Anger is one of the most primitive emotions we have, and expressing your anger as a form of escape and dealing with life is never healthy.
One of the most destructive things we could do is lash out at anyone and remain in a constant angered state.
Not only does anger release hormones that age our bodies prematurely, but it also serves as a template of behavior that our kids pick up and model as they age into adulthood as well.
As the old saying goes: the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree is a great analogy that describes learned behavior from father to son or daughter.
Many single dads dealing with emotional trauma decide it best to consult with a therapist to help deal with the harsh transition into single fatherhood.
I have mixed emotions when it comes to this area.
Why? Mainly because the vast majority of therapists out there has no clue what it’s like to be a single father.
Instead, they regurgitate information they had studied through a book and apply that knowledge into practice.
If you decide to go through this route, I would suggest picking a male therapist who has lived life experiences in what you are going through.
However, if this is not possible, many men still find it useful as talk therapy still has enormous benefits you can take advantage of.
Hanging Out With Friends And Family
One of the healthiest ways to deal with the stressors of single fatherhood and the recovery of the dissolved family is by spending time with your friends and family.
Friends you have grown up with, your parents or an uncle all have immense therapeutic benefits that help many single dads keep things in perspective.
The best part of this coping strategy is that your kids also benefit as well.
Taking your kids over to grandad’s house is excellent, and the fact that you get to spend time with your father in the process is an experience that is difficult to match,
Although I highlighted 8 definite ways on how to cope with being a single dad, the truth is there are many more ways I probably haven’t even touched.
I like to think that each method is subjective, and how it works depends on the strength and needs of the father in question.
However, I truly do believe that some methods are more superior to others.
I smoke the occasional pot so for me it is a form of relaxation after a hard and stressful day. However, you can’t lump in the occasional marijuana user with someone who is addicted to crack cocaine.
Some things are just common sense.
All in all, though, I believe spending time with friends and family is a form of healing, and while some points in the article are disputable as long as your family is not filling your head with poison this method is all good.
What about you the reader, do you have any methods you use that I have not touched on?
Leave your comments below and let’s start some healthy dialogue!