Dr. Ben Carson, renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and now presidential candidate, was raised in poverty to a single mom who lived in a tough neighborhood. Ben’s mom worked two to three jobs in order to put food on the table. She didn’t want to be a victim. Instead, she instilled a work ethic into both of her boys.
Ben’s mom didn’t have an easy life. She grew up in foster homes as one of 24 siblings and married at the age of 13. When she learned that her husband was a bigamist, she made the difficult decision to divorce and go it alone. When raising her sons, she paid attention to the habits of the high achieving families with whom she worked. She made her boys read books even though she couldn’t read. She believed they could be great.
Single moms have a lot on their plates when it comes to raising strong teens, but the job can be done.
Here’s what one single mom had to say about raising teens. “I have three pieces of advice. Depend on the Lord because you need His strength, wisdom and guidance. Don’t make your child the little man or a second mom. And finally, stay positive, tapping in to support and help when you need it.”
Research supports this mom’s advice. Single moms fare best when they…
- Have an optimistic attitude about the future and themselves
- Have reliable support network
- Have supportive relationships with family members and ex spouses
- Have firm rules and consistency in values
- Work at financial and job security
- Have reliable child care
- Don’t bad mouth their teen’s father
So if you are a single mom, be encouraged. God will equip you to do the job and raise strong kids! Dr. Carson is just one of many children who came from a rough beginning, but was positively influenced by his mother and her faith. With God, all things are possible.