A House Divided

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Children-Instead of having an
in-house partner to talk to about what the kids are or aren’t doing
and how issues should be handled, single parents often have no one
close enough to lend balance to their discipline challenges or give
input to help stave off power struggles. In addition, child-care
needs are multiplied, and options for a parent’s “down time” are
limited or non-existent. In families with more than one child, it’s
next to impossible to find one-on-one time with each child.

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Successful support ministries recognize these needs and find
ways to partner with single parents to meet these challenges. Some
churches have established mentor programs in which another parent
comes alongside the single parent in telephone support,
baby-sitting on a regular basis, or taking one child home from
church while the other child has a “date” with Mom or Dad. When
these mentorships are provided by a two-parent family, children
benefit from having the presence of male and female role
models.

Vehicles-Transportation and vehicle maintenance
are often ongoing issues in single-parent families-especially when
headed by women. One church has addressed this problem through its
men’s ministry, which hosts a car care day every month. During this
event, men from the congregation perform routine auto maintenance,
such as oil changes, for single parents. Sometimes these men help a
single parent shop for a different vehicle, and they offer their
expertise in getting the best value.

Households-Similar needs arise in dealing with
home maintenance, and your church can mobilize people to be on call
for emergency services. Because moves are sometimes necessary in
the early days, keep a list of potential vehicles and people in
your congregation that might be available for moving items.

     

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