Ability to Love, Impulse Control, Moral Reasoning
Parenting the At Risk Child
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Just Like His Father?

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Tips for Single Mothers

The common wisdom is that a child, "Needs his father." Single mothers are bombarded by statistics demonstrating that children generally do better if they have a relationship with both father and mother.

Keep in mind though that these statistics do not apply to situations where the child's father has antisocial personality disorder or active addiction! Dealing with an impaired parent is very stressful for children. This stress may be particularly damaging to an at risk child.

As a single mother you have to function as both mother and father. Generally speaking, women have a more difficult time asserting social dominance than do men. For this reason, at risk teens and children with ADHD often behave better for their fathers than for their mothers. If you are a single mother of an at risk child you must work to remain in charge of your home and to set firm but gentle limits.

Women are also more prone to clinical depression than are men. There are several studies linking depression in mother with antisocial personality disorder in children. If you are a single mother of an at risk child and you suffer from clinical depression, please get help right away.


The Inner Triangle: Ability to Love, Impulse Control, Moral Reasoning

If you are a single mother and the only functional parent of an at risk child, you have both a challenge and an opportunity. Your challenge is to keep your relationship with your child your number one priority. For more on keeping your child at the top of your priority list click here. The opportunity this situation gives you is the opportunity to grow as a person. You can become a better person than you would have been had you not had to face this challenge!

Single mothers of children who have lost a father to addiction or antisocial personality disorder have experienced a common pain. The pain is for your child. The pain of knowing your child will never have the father you wanted him to have. To get beyond the pain make a good life for yourself and your child. Know that you are not the only single mother who has had to face this situation.

Your child may remind you of his father! If you harbor negative feelings toward your child's father, your care of your child could be affected. Deal with these feelings by acknowledging them to yourself. Then, give yourself a positive message for example, "He/she may be like him, but he/she also has qualities I like."