I am often asked, “How can I possibly survive single parenting?” or some variation of that question. While situations vary immensely and I do not pretend to walk in each of your shoes, one thing is for certain. Serving others is an easy way to get your mind off your own circumstances and a great way to teach your children. Whether you decide to wash the car of an elderly neighbor, mow another’s lawn, bake a cake for the local nursing home or hundreds of other ideas, this is surely a way to teach your children the value of service.

You may think your current situation is impossible, whether it be finances, emotional instability or exhaustion. I challenge you to bring your children to the local homeless shelter and begin developing relationships with homeless men and women in your community. Hear their stories of hardship. It will humble you, for sure. The same is true for the local Boys & Girls Club, battered women’s shelters and other non-profit organizations. There are hurting people everywhere.

It is interesting that as we begin to serve others, looking outside ourselves and our circumstances, we begin to gain new perspective and our problems do not seem quite as significant. What a lesson to teach our children!

For a full list of great ideas on serving others, pick up Dino Rizzo’s book, Servolution (Zondervan, 2009). 


Author/Speaker, Jennifer Maggio, is one of the nation’s leading authorities of single parent issues. Her new book, Overwhelmed: The Life of a Single Mom, is selling out in bookstores nationwide.  She has been featured on countless radio and television programs and is the founder of  Overwhelmed: The Single Moms Magazine.  For more information, visit thelifeofasinglemom.com.

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