As a single mom, one of my biggest concerns has been whether or not my children would be at a disadvantage because they were not born into a traditional family. I have always wondered what I could do to ensure that they were set for success in this world.
There are so many articles that claim that children raised by single parents are more likely to have lower grades, suffer abuse, and fare poorer than their counterparts who were raised by a two-parent household.
Reading articles like these used to make me feel discouraged because I felt as though there was no hope for my children: I haven’t had the best relationship with their father and I have definitely struggled to provide for them. The truth of the matter is that I never intended to bring children into a situation like this but I wouldn’t choose abortion so I can avoid the hardship.
Now I am a big proponent of traditional marriage and believe in God’s design of marriage and raising kids in two-parent households; however, if you find yourself in a situation, like me, where you had children out of wedlock or had to leave a relationship because of certain factors, there is hope.
I strongly believe that we all have the power to change our situations and that God can turn a bad situation around for good. So in this post, I want to share with you some of the strategies that I am employing to ensure that my children are set for success. As they get older, they’ll be able to use the skills that I teach them to persevere through any obstacles and know that they can accomplish anything despite their past.
- 1 How To Set Up Your Kids For Success
- 1.0.1 1. Allow God To Guide You As A Parent
- 1.0.2 2. Surround Them With The Right Influences
- 1.0.3 3. Raise Them Right
- 1.0.4 4. Help Them Understand That They Are Loved
- 1.0.5 5. Teach Them To Aim High
- 1.0.6 6. Deal With Your Past So It Doesn’t Affect Your Children
- 1.0.7 7. Work on Developing A Good Relationship With The Other Parent, If Possible
- 1.0.8 8. Be A Good Parent
- 1.0.9 9. Take Care of Yourself & Aim High
- 1.0.10 10. Give Them The Best That You Can
- 2 In conclusion…
How To Set Up Your Kids For Success
1. Allow God To Guide You As A Parent
You can’t do this alone. Raising children was never meant to be a one-person job because it takes two to make that child. However, despite the circumstances surrounding your situation as a single mom, you can rely on God to help you raise children who are God-fearing and future productive members of society.
How do you do this? I recently posted a video on my YouTube channel sharing my struggles with depression and worries about taking care of my children. I spoke on how I was able to overcome them by leaning on God’s word of who He says He is and who He says I am. To rely on God means that you surrender everything to Him: your worries, fears, struggles, weaknesses, ideas, hopes, and dreams.
It is to stop worrying about how you will take care of the bills and make sure that your kids don’t end up “messed up”. It is to surrender your fears about their future and allow God to guide you in raising them because He gave them to you.
If you find that you are struggling with raising your children, lean on God. Allow Him to guide you and give you the skills you need to raise them well. Allow Him to take away your worries and give you peace during uncertain times.
2. Surround Them With The Right Influences
As a single mom, having a support system is really important. Ensuring that you have individuals in your corner who will be there to support you when you need help is critical in surviving single motherhood.
In addition to having a support system, it’s important that that system is one you can trust. One you can feel confident leaving your children with because you know they have the best interest for your child. Make sure that that is the case.
This is why I’m cautious about dating because I want to ensure that I am surrounding my children with people who are good for them. Introducing children (especially girls) to different men puts their safety at risk and doesn’t communicate the right message about you as a mother.
If you struggle to find good influences, look to a local Bible preaching and God-fearing church and find connections there, look for organizations that pair children with good mentors, or find a community of other moms you can relate to; who share the same values as you and who you can trust.
3. Raise Them Right
Just because you are a single mom doesn’t mean that you get a pass and don’t have to raise your children the right way. You can and should have a discipline system in place to ensure that your children know who is in control. You should take the time to learn how to parent if you are struggling so that you can be able to guide your children in the right direction.
4. Help Them Understand That They Are Loved
Your children need to know that they are not a mistake. They need to understand that they are loved despite the absence of one parent. Make an effort to reassure them of this daily. They shouldn’t have any doubt that God loves them and designed for them to be apart of this world. They should also know that you love them unconditionally and that they are accepted. And lastly, they should understand that the absence of another parent doesn’t mean they are unworthy.
Help them know that their value and worth doesn’t come from whether others accept them. It doesn’t come from a stable family where both parents are present; it comes from what God says about them–that they are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Speak words of positive affirmations over you child and as they get older, teach them to speak positively about themselves so that they won’t have any doubt in their minds that they are loved, wanted, and accepted.
5. Teach Them To Aim High
Just because they were conceived in a difficult situation doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t aim high for their goals. So teach them to aim high. Teach them to dream big and want all that God has for them.
Furthermore, teach them about some of the greatest men and women who were able to succeed despite challenges they faced. People like our late President Obama, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Angelina Jolie, to name a few, were raised by single mothers and they have been able to achieve great things.
The only limitations that exist are the ones found in our minds. Nothing is impossible if you have God as the head.
6. Deal With Your Past So It Doesn’t Affect Your Children
Are there events in your past that you still need to deal with? Do you hold resentment and bitterness about your ex or about what happened in the past? Are there any generational curses in your family that need to be broken? Do you have bad habits you need to let go of so they don’t pass on to your children?
All of these are things you need to deal with to ensure that your children aren’t affected by them. If you are still bitter at your ex for what he has done to you in the past, you need to forgive him. If you keep being bitter towards your ex, you are more likely to speak I’ll of him to your children or refuse him visits because you don’t like him and these actions affect your children’s interaction with him.
7. Work on Developing A Good Relationship With The Other Parent, If Possible
If it is at all possible for you to have a relationship with your ex for the sake of your children, do it. No matter how you feel, your children need both of their parents in their lives. The last thing you want is for your children to resent you because you robbed them of a relationship with the other parent.
As I mentioned above, deal with any bitterness or anger you may have towards your ex and forgive him. If there is anything you can do to build a bridge with him, do it. I am not telling you to put yourself in a situation that may endanger you. Rather, I am stating that if you can have a relationship with your ex, make an effort at it.
It doesn’t matter what he does; whether or not he reciprocates is irrelevant. Show your children what it means to be the bigger person. Most important, set boundaries so you don’t get hurt or so that he doesn’t take advantage of you. If you two can’t agree, meet with a mediator and set up a parenting plan with consequences if either of you don’t follow it.
Your children will thank you for making the effort to foster a good relationship with their father. However, if you continue to be bitter and allow the past to stop you, you’ll end up with children who leave you when they are older or when they can fight for their rights.
8. Be A Good Parent
It doesn’t matter what your ex does, be a good parent. Be there for your children; listen to their concerns and address them; make time for their activities; show up when they need you; provide what they need.
When they look back, they’ll remember that you were there for them and that you did your best to fulfill their needs. It won’t lessen the pain of the other parents’ absence, but it will help them understand that you did what you could and what was in your control.
9. Take Care of Yourself & Aim High
It’s going to be hard to raise great kids if you don’t take care of yourself. If you neglect your wellbeing, your children will learn to do the same. If you refuse to seek help when you need it, your children with do the same. However, if you make it a point to ensure that you are well physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially; your children will learn to make those areas a priority as well.
Even more, if you can get a better job so you can take better care of them, do it. Don’t ignore your education just because you are a single mom; set and pursue higher goals; travel, learn to enjoy being single and happy! When your kids see you accomplishing your goals; when they see you happy and not bitter, they’ll learn to do the same. They’ll learn to accomplish big goals despite the challenges they face.
10. Give Them The Best That You Can
You can’t force your ex to be there if he doesn’t want to. You can’t force him to provide for them if he refuses (you can put him on child support but if he refuses to provide, there is nothing you can do). Despite all the hype, you can’t be both mom and dad; you can only be a mom because that is all you know to do.
However, what you can do is give them the best that you can and have. That is all they will need.
Whether you are a single mom by chance or choice, know that God is there to guide you and help you navigate this season of your life. All you have to do is surrender your will to Him and allow Him to be the Head of your household.
What are some of the actions you are taking to ensure your children are set for success? Let me know in the comments.
Let’s continue this friendship we’ve started…
I am creating a community of single parents who are dedicated to winning despite the situation they are in and would love for you to join in!
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