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It can be very tiring when there’s no one else to share the responsibility, especially when there are big decisions involved. It’s important to make time for yourself and get the emotional support you need, as well as the practical and financial support you may be entitled to.

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Tips for lone parents

Tip #1: Don't be afraid to ask for help

Friends and family are probably more willing to help than you think, so don’t be afraid to ask them for help if you need it. There are also lots of organisations offering advice and support, including:

Shelter can also offer advice and help around your housing situation if you and your partner have broken up.

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Tip #2: Try to get out of the house regularly

Image of a mum carrying her toddler out of the front door of their house.

Sometimes just getting out of the house can seem like a struggle, particularly if your child is very young and at that awkward ‘I’m not wearing my shoes’ stage. But getting outside does everyone good: it clears the head and boosts the spirits and can help you and your child sleep better. Our page on getting your toddler out of the house has some helpful tips. We also have lots of ideas for outdoor activities for all ages here.

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Tip #3: Get your child used to being looked after by other people

Photo of a child and his grandfather playing

So they don’t become overly dependent on you alone, it’s a good idea to get your child used to being looked after by others, whether it’s grandparents, aunts and uncles or family friends. They’ll benefit from socialising with different people and experiencing new things, like visiting a different play park or trying foods they’ve not had before. This will also be great practice for when they go to nursery – you can find out more about all the benefits of Early Learning and Childcare here.

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Tip #4: Try and make time for family fun

Sometimes it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everybody up and dressed, off to nursery, school, or work, fed, bathed and put to bed before you wake up and do it all over again – where’s the time for fun?! But there are lots of ways you can build fun into your day, whether it’s playing guessing games on the bus or telling jokes at dinner time. Our page on making daily life easier has more tips for building fun into your day to day routine.

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Financial support for lone parents

Divorcing or separating from your partner can have a big impact on your finances, but you don’t have to struggle alone – there’s lots of help and support out there. 

  • One Parent Families Scotland offer help and advice on managing money for single parent families. 
  • Shared Parenting Scotland offer an online course to help you deal with money and debt issues.
  • If you have any money worries, or if you’re in debt and you want some advice you can call the Money Talk Team for free and they’ll be able to chat through your options and help you find the best way forward.
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