22 Ways to Bless a Single Parent

National Single Parent Day

National Single Parent Day affects over 14 million parents in the United States. My daughter is one of them.

Single parents are near and dear to my heart. My mom was a single parent to me and my brother before she married my stepdad, and now our daughter is raising the sweetest munchkin on the planet by herself.
Nobody wants it that way. It just is what it is. Most single parents are carrying around a heavy load of guilt because they feel like they should have known their marriage was a bad choice, or they did know it and would totally re-do that decision if they could.

But their biggest concern is not themselves. It’s their kids.

Angela Thomas, author of My Single Mom Life, said: “Of all my single-parent struggles, what I hated most was the suffering my children would face, as the four of them became ‘kids from a broken home.'” 
Every single parent takes the weight of their choices and the gravity of their situation upon themselves as they struggle to give their kids a well-balanced life. Today is their day to be encouraged. Do you know someone who could use a pat on the back today?

Here are 22 ways to bless the single parents you know. 

  1. Pray for them. This is the single most effective thing you can do for single parents. Let them know you’re doing it, and the blessing is doubled.
  2. Listen to them. Single parents have no daily person to bounce ideas off of or voice their concerns to. Many times, their best friends are other single parents in the same boat, and they need a different opinion from time to time. Let them work through a decision by having a good conversation with someone who will listen to them while they reason it out.
  3. Send notes of encouragement. They’ll hang it on the fridge and be blessed by it for months!
  4. Give money. Someone dear to my daughter recently sent her an unexpected financial gift. It made her cry, it blessed her heart and it provided for a need. Money is always a huge blessing to a single parent.
  5. Help them study. Are you a good tutor? Offer to help a single dad study for a test. Lots of single parents are taking college classes or stretching themselves to the max to get that graduate degree that will increase their pay. This kind of help will never be forgotten.
  6. Follow them on Instagram. They like knowing someone is watching their daily feed.
  7. Send a child to camp. Is your child or grandchild best friends with the son of a single mom? Offer to pay for summer camp for both of them. This is huge. Single parents lose sleep over how to work summer camps into the budget.
  8. Help them with legal situations. Even in the simplest and most workable relationships, things are not always cut and dried. If you’re an attorney and can volunteer a few pro bono hours to help a single parent get her legal ducks in a row, you will be a hero. Ask her if she has a will. Let him know you’ll be happy to help with his legal questions without charging him for it. Every single parent breathes a little easier when they get this kind of help.
  9. Have a single parent over for dinner.
  10. Hug ’em.
  11. Sit by them in church.
  12. Give them a gift card to the local after-school places. If it’s the cool thing to get cherry-limes after school, make sure a single mom you know has a gift card she can use there.
  13. Give a single dad a gas card.
  14. Help a single dad coach his kids’ sports teams. Pay the fees if you can. Single parents really want to participate in their kids’ activities, but the fees can be such a burden on their budgets.
  15. Speaking of sports – do you like to watch kids play basketball or volleyball? Adopt a single parent family who needs a cheering section, tell them you want to attend all the games, get the schedule, and then show up in the stands.
  16. Post encouragement on his or her Facebook page.
  17. Offer to buy a first day of school outfit.
  18. Gift a gift certificate to a store where single parents can get their kids new tennis shoes like these best-selling Nikes. Look at the price tag on those things. Single parents just have to say no to stuff like this unless somebody helps.
  19. Keep them driving. Do you enjoy car maintenance? What a blessing it is when someone checks out her tires, or offers to take the single dad’s car for a wash and a fill up at the gas tank. Don’t forget yearly registration fees, too. Man, it takes a lot just for them to keep driving themselves to work.
  20. Give a monthly subscription. Work your way into the heart of a single parent with a magazine subscription, a monthly cosmetic delivery, or a meal making kit.
  21. Ask good questions. Most single parents really, truly don’t want to ask for help. They are always a little embarrassed, and they’re constantly trying to keep a stiff upper lip to get through the day. Ask them what they need. Ask them how they’re doing. Ask them everything except about who they’re dating. (Voice of experience talking here.) They don’t like talking about it all the time because, unfortunately, single parent dating is a lot more pressure than it is fun.
  22. Just care.

Nobody really wins when parents get divorced.

My mom had to move us in with my grandparents so we could eat. Child support wasn’t very defined or enforced in those days, so it’s better now. However, who doesn’t feel some empathy for the one paying it? Even though our daughter has to have it, I don’t relish the fact that her ex-husband has to pay it. Over a million parents in Texas are paying child support, and almost 40% of them are behind. When they get behind, they can’t renew their vehicle registration. At the very least, the first 20% of his salary goes to support his kids in another household. The struggle for single parents is so very real.
So, today is their day.
HAPPY National Single Parent Day to all of you out there who are making life HAPPY for your kids. We love you!
Encouraging intentional adventure and intentional encouragement,

PS – Our single parent daughter is surrounded by a loving group of people in her small Texas panhandle town, where she was recently honored as Volunteer of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce. The care and nurturing she receives from her community means more than I could ever say.

 

brenda

Hi, there! My name is Brenda McDearmon. I created this blog for the sole purpose of encouraging a life filled with everyday intentional adventure, whether that's trying a new restaurant, enjoying a day trip in the Texas Hill Country, or being adventurously inspired in a spiritual way. Thanks so much for stopping by! Be sure and sign up to receive my weekly newsletter. It's one of my favorite ways to connect with my readers! Your devoted encourager, Brenda

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