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Sujata Parashar’s Going Solo – raising happy kids is a book on single parenting. It features interviews with single parents and compiles their mantras and hacks for raising happy and confident children. The author is a single parent herself and shares her experiences in the book.

The foreword by Nandita Puri gives insights into the different types of single parenting. Single parenting can be by choice-surrogacy or adoption, by separation- death or divorce, or due to a partner who is always on the go due to work commitments. While society is opening up to the idea of single parenting, do we have adequate support systems in place?

The information collected in the book is based on interviews with single parents who shared their triumphs and challenges with the author. It is divided into five chapters and features photographs and bios of the interviewed parents at the end. This book is trim-sized but is a treasure trove of information- right from support group details to tools and techniques for caregivers and parents.

The pages brim with anecdotes and real-life experiences that touch upon all aspects- the good, the bad, and the ugly of going solo. The author acknowledges that single parenting is not easy, neither for the parent nor the child. There are physical, mental, and financial aspects to it that are not talked about enough. It is important to create an environment that is conducive to the overall well-being of the child, and it might be difficult given the circumstances, especially in the case of a difficult relationship with an ex-partner.

This book highlights something which is often missed, which is the anxiety and mental health of a single parent. There is one particular example that stands out – a single mother had neglected herself so much that the salesperson at a store refused to look at her, and that moment was a wake-up call for her. The author emphasizes the need for reaching out and self-care. 

The author suggests a structured approach to building a child’s core self and highlights the importance of communication. In the case of a move to a new country or a new school, is the child opening up to the single parent on the emotional upheaval they are facing? Can the parent discuss with their child the financial implications of a separation? And last but not least, the importance of guilt-free disciplining is touched upon; something that is so essential in this digital-dominated era.

The author believes that single parenting allowed her to evolve as a parent. I am not a single parent but could still resonate with the writing. When my spouse travels for work, I am the key decision-maker in the house, and the onus of parenting falls on my shoulders. Some of the advice listed in this book is universal and applies to any kind of parenting- be it single, or dual. I view this book as a ready reckoner for every parent that will help them raise responsible and confident children.

This book is a must-read for parents, especially for those about to embark on a solo parenting journey.

I received this book as part of a Penmancy giveaway.

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