Focus on The Family: Single Mother
QUESTION: As a single mother, I’d like to leave my children with friends or relatives for a few days and get some time for myself, but I’m worried about how this might affect them. Will they feel deserted again?
DR. DOBSON: Not only is a brief time away from your children not likely to be hurtful — it will probably be healthy for them. One of the special risks faced by single parents is the possibility of a dependency relationship developing that will trap their children at an immature stage. This danger is increased when wounded people cling to each other exclusively for support in stressful times.
Spending a reasonable amount of time apart can teach independence and give everyone a little relief from the routine. Therefore, if you have a clean, safe place to leave your children for a week or two, by all means, do it. You’ll be more refreshed and better able to handle your usual “homework” when you return.
Dr. Dobson is founder and Chairman Emeritus of the nonprofit organization Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, Colo. 80995 (www.focusonthefamily.org). Questions and answers are excerpted from “Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide” and “Bringing Up Boys,” both published by Tyndale House.