As a single parent you need to manage your emotions as part of being a role model to your kids but also to cope with the demands of single parenting. Managing your emotions includes your day to day reactions to the challenges of life and dealing with emotional baggage from your past.
You may have experienced the breakdown of relationship that you expected to last forever. The end of a significant relationship creates a truck load of negative emotions mostly part of the normal grief cycle. For some strategies to deal with the specific emotions of grief click here
An extra difficulty for single parent in managing their emotions is being consumed by caring for your children that you bury your needs. Burying emotions and grief doesn’t heal them. They will leach out somewhere – often mine did at the kids. My reaction to them was over the top – they’d spill something and I would be yelling and crying and they would run away scared of the monster that had appeared before them, blaming them for everything.
If you remain overloaded with anger, shame, resentment and fear, this will be the children’s example. To unload you must firstly identify the negative emotions and thought patterns ensnaring you and then we can find ways of dealing with them. Take the time and energy to do this and give yourself permission to grieve. Don’t pour your emotions out onto your children – they are not equipped to help you and it may harm their emotional development. Find others who can support you and safe ways to express your feelings such as journaling. I found journaling therapeutic. I could spit pain and hate at the universe till I was calmer instead of screaming and dumping on the kids