Single parent feels inadequate

Q: I’m adjusting to being a single mom, but I’m really worried about raising my 9-year-old son on my own. I feel inadequate. Do you have any advice?

Jim: Being a single parent is tough. Raising a boy can present some unique challenges for a single mother, so I want to encourage you: You can do this.

One of the most important things you can do is to surround yourself with a supportive community. That could be family, close friends or even people you know from work or church. The main thing is don’t try to go it alone. You need people who will come alongside you when the going gets tough.

Not only do you need support, but so does your son. Every growing boy needs a male role model in his life who can be a positive influence. I know you’re working hard to be your son’s source of strength. But he needs to connect with a male figure who can set a good example of what it means to be a man. So ask a family member or a friend you trust if he’ll spend some time with your son and mentor him.

I also recommend you take advantage of books and other resources that are available to help you navigate single parenting. You and your son are both in store for a lot of changes as he matures and develops. There is great information out there that can help you avoid some of the potholes you might otherwise hit. We can help; see FocusOnTheFamily.com.

I applaud your commitment to your son. Many days being a single mom is a thankless job. But with the right support and influence, I believe all of your dedication and hard work can eventually pay off. So hang in there!

Jim Daly is an author, and president of Focus on the Family and host of the Focus on the Family radio program.


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