10 Tips for Single-Parent Mom

Today’s Just Ask Joyce Hour was great. Single-parent moms called expressing …

Today’s Just Ask Joyce Hour was great.  Single-parent moms called expressing their fears and victories in rearing children as the primary custodian. I can only imagine what an overwhelming feeling it must be when suddenly faced with the realization that you will be going it alone for the most part. But as we talked about on the show, God’s word is a great place to begin to find strength and comfort and contentment in all situations.

I promised these 10 tips would be posted on the site by tonight. There is much more wisdom that could be imparted if you’re a “Dad by Default.” This is just the tip of the iceberg.  If you have other wisdom to share, I pray you would take the time to comment on this blog. There are many who could learn from your mistakes and victories!

1)    You’re a woman and we do what we have to do.  That’s the sacrificial nature of women. We nurture, protect and always survive!
2)    Never talk bad about your child’s father in front of your child. Keep those comments to yourself and/or share them with a friend. A child doesn’t need to hear what a louse you think Dad is, even though he may well be.
3)    Let your child voice his/her feelings. Feelings can vary from Dad’s a jerk (when he may not be) to Dad’s wonderful (when he may not be). If your child’s position is Dad’s wonderful when he’s not, keep your comments to yourself. It’s important the child sees him for his faults, not that you point them out. Likewise, if your child thinks he’s a jerk, if there’s a redeeming quality in him, point it out. If not, it’s best to simply say I understand why you may feel that way, and let it be that. Then, find something to praise, praise, praise your child for.  He/she needs to hear and believe there is great worth in them.
4)    Be organized. Part of getting it together emotionally is staying together in little things – like getting it together for tomorrow’s school day the night before, keep life as orderly as possible.  Teach your children organizational skills – and make it teamwork! They need to feel like it’s a “family affair.”
5)   Devise a budget. When appropriate, involve your kids (within limits) about how to stay within the bounds of that budget. They won’t feel so “deprived” if they’re part of the teamwork in making the dollar stretch!
6)   Expose your children to family, friends and church regularly. You can’t downplay the significance of all three! Don’t deprive them of exposure of his side, unless there’s just cause – i.e., it’s an ungodly lifestyle.
7)    Seek out a godly male figure in your church to mentor your boys. They need to be taught how to swing a bat, fish, change the oil in a car, shave, and treat women with respect!!
8)   Laugh, laugh, laugh with your kids. Laughter is healing. Play board games with them. Learn to wrestle, to play basketball, flag football, to throw a mean pitch with your son.  Dance with your little girl, cuddle her, call her “your princess,” and expose her to real heroes that you know. Don’t ever let them forget how much fun YOU can be as a mom. Oftentimes, it’s so stressful in the home, and when they go to visit Dad, he has all the fun. It paints you in a light that you don’t deserve.
9)   Show them your strength through God. As much as you want to crumble, you can’t. Cry together. Let them cry with an understanding heart. Recognize their anger and dispel it with understanding rather than frustration that Dad is not there. In every battle – whether fun, tears, or anger – end it with a family prayer thanking God for the love and strength you have as a family! They need to hear “family” often!
10) They feel like they’ve lost Dad; don’t let them lose Mom, too. They don’t need to see you come apart at the seams. Do that privately. It’s okay that you all cry together, but they need the security in knowing Mom has her act together and she’s not going anywhere!!!

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