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How to be more supportive of newly single parents

Yesterday marked the beginning of a New Year. As a result, you are likely thinking about various resolutions that may help you become the best version of yourself in the coming months. If one of these resolutions involves being more supportive of the single parents in your life, give yourself a pat on the back. The most important element of support is positive intention. By seeking out information on how you can be more supportive, you have already taken a significant step towards achieving your goal.

However, it is important to note that intentions are not “everything” when it comes to being supportive. Many individuals try to be supportive of single parents but ultimately end up stressing out these overburdened individuals. Therefore, it is critical that you understand that your positive intentions need to be paired with thoughtful actions. Acting on good intentions without thinking your actions through can lead to negative consequences for the single parents you are trying to support.

For example, you may opt to be helpful by giving the single parents in your life consistent feedback on how you would handle their situation. Advice and constructive criticism can be truly helpful. However, you should most often refrain from providing unsolicited advice and constructive criticism. When an individual asks you for your thoughts, you can voice them freely. But when you give single parents unsolicited advice, you may unintentionally make them feel small, unworthy, frustrated, attacked and other negative things about themselves.

Your good intentions will take you far in better supporting the single parents in your life. However, it is important to remember to pair these good intentions with thoughtful actions in order to be truly supportive.

Source: The Huffington Post, “11 Things You Can Stop Telling Single Dads Now, Thank You Very Much,” Brittany Wong, Dec. 4, 2015

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