Meet author and speaker Laura Petherbridge: Laura offers these tips for Single Parents … but I think her advice is good for any family!
“Single parent families are often faced with lower incomes and more stress than two-parent families,” Laura said. “With careful planning, creativity, and research, children from these families can obtain an excellent education. God wants to assure them that He has a plan—and it’s a good one!”
Here are a few suggestions from Laura to get started:
The most important step is to receive biblical teaching on what God says about money and possessions. Seminars and books can help, but the accountability that comes from a small group offers an incomparable dynamic. Seek a program that provides biblical instruction and practical application.
Too often we pray for God to send money to pay a bill, but haven’t sought His Word on how to properly handle what He has already given us. (1 Chronicles 29:11)
2. Teach Your Children
Setting aside time to teach children about money and possessions has several benefits. It provides the parent with one-on-one time kids often crave. It’s a parent’s job to teach them that overspending and debt only digs a deeper and bigger hole!
For teens and older children, use a resource that explains practical issues such as how to open checking/saving accounts, how to go on a job interview, etc. Help them plan for the purchase of a car or an item they desire—this puts some enthusiasm into the teaching. (Proverbs 21:5)
3. The Bad B Word: Budget
A budget helps a person comprehend where the money is going and what’s needed to make ends meet. Church leadership often knows of someone with expertise in this area who would be happy to assist. One word of caution … it takes time and a steady course to see results. (Proverbs 21:20)
4. Partnership with the Child
It’s crucial to instruct a child that he or she will be expected to work and save toward an education. A child should consider saving a portion of his or her allowance, birthday money, Christmas money, etc., as a contribution toward the future. As they see the money build, it should stir a sense of satisfaction and dignity. (Proverbs 12:14)
5. The Right Education
As early as age 13, look for tests and programs that help to reveal a child’s natural inclination and propensities. Choose a career guidance program that offers insight based on personality, vocational interests, abilities, priorities and spiritual giftedness. (Ephesians 2:10)
6. Financial Assistance for Education
Financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants are often available. Qualifying for assistance is often a function of the student’s academic performance in high school. An employer may offer scholarships to the child of a single parent or assistance to students who work for them. Your church may have a scholarship program.
Attending a community college or junior college can be a lower cost alternative. A career assessment may suggest a trade school, and the parent’s local state four year school may offer quality education. Most schools offer on-campus employment or a data bank that will assist students. Research co-op programs. The goal to keep in mind is not a diploma on the wall, but training for a career and a job that brings personal fulfillment.
Are you a single parent? How have you seen God provide for your family’s needs?
Laura Petherbridge is an international speaker and author of, When “I Do” Becomes “I Don’t”—Practical Steps for Healing During Separation and Divorce, and The Smart Stepmom.
She has been featured on Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, Moody Broadcasting, Marriage Partnership and Crosswalk.com. Laura has two grown stepsons and resides in Summerfield, Florida, with her husband, Steve.