(This post was written by Matt Grimes, Middle School Ministry Pastor)
I hope that you got a chance to check out last week’s blog post and found some encouragement as a single parent. This week I want to share with you some tips on being a single parent that some successful single parents have shared with me. I hope that they help you out in your journey to raise kids who follow hard after Jesus.
1. Make it Personal: Hey that’s a family ministry value right? Actually it is, and it is very important even as a single parent. The greatest thing you can do for your kids is for them to see you passionately pursuing Christ. When your kids catch you spending time with God, or see you depending on God in the midst of a tough situation, they see a model for how they should respond in a similar situation. As a single parent, I know it is tough to find time, but I want to encourage you to make time for what is most important, and that is to keep yourself checked in to a personal walk and relationship with Jesus! It’s amazing what we can do when our starting point is Jesus.
2. Maximize Each Moment: As a single parent you are working double time, and because of this your time is even more valuable. That’s why it is so important to make each moment count for the most it can. Whether it is a trip to the grocery store with your kid, or a rare evening at home, choose to make the most of that moment and create memories. I think one of the most overlooked things that come out of single parent situations is the closeness that is exhibited between that single parent and their kids. Research has shown that most kids, who live in a single parent situation, are very close to their single parent! That’s good news; you have an even greater opportunity to speak into your kids lives. Maximize each day and each moment! Build memories that your kids will carry with them every day, out of the everyday activities you are already involved in.
3. Build A Support Network: As a single parent you need as much support as possible. You need other parents that you can turn to for advice and who will allow you to unload on them about what you are going through. These need to be people that you can trust, and that you know will give you the advice you need to hear, not just what you want to hear. Not only do you need a support network, but your kids do to. They need you to look for ways to “widen the circle”. Hey another family value there! It simply means that like all other kids, they need other trusted adults speaking Gods truth into their lives. As a parent begin to identify who those adults are, and ask them to step into the journey with you. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. In fact the stronger the support network you build for you and your family, the better off you will be and the more successful you will be in the long run. I hope that these tips from some single parents who are in the trenches will help you out as you continue to walk through this journey. Know that I have the utmost respect for you and that I am praying for you. Below are some resources you can check out that are all about being a single parent:
• The Single Dad’s Survival Guide: by Michael A. Klumpp / Random House, Inc
• Raising Great Kids on Your Own: A Guide and Companion for Every Single Parent: by David & Lisa Frisbie / Harvest House Publishers
• Single Parenting That Works: Six Keys to Raising: by Kevin Leman / Tyndale House
• Raising Children of Divorce: Practical Help for Parents: DVD By Paraclete Video Productions / Paraclete Press