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4 Ways to Improve Communication and Build Trust with a Single Parent
My name is Nek’ka Migel. I was born in Cleveland Ohio. I have been a Christian since 1987. I started Single Moms Unite, LLC ask the Lord direct me. I was single mom for 16 years. My ex husband left me after 16 years of marriage with 2 babies in diapers. By the time the divorce was final it was 17 years of marriage.
My homeschooled children are grown now, and they are 23 and 24. I graduated them from home school high school after 12 years of home schooling from Kindergarten through 12th grade. The younger has finished their 2 year college getting their 2 year certificate in baking and pastry. The older has done four years of college in mechanical engineering. In their sophomore year, they introduced President Obama in 2015 at Boise State University. Also if you fly out of the Boise airport you might have seen their picture on the BSU mural in the upper airport walkway.
A little about me:
My personal background has been in finances. I have worked as a loan processor processing home mortgages . And I was a credit supervisor in an independent credit card processing company, approving or declining business applications for owners to use a credit card POS machine to accept credit cards in their business.
My ministry walk has included services such as being prayer counselor for over 6 years, a women’s 1-1 Discipler for over 5 years, leading them in a Bible study while we dealt with a current crisis in their life from drug abuse to divorce, marital separation, and mental issues, to name a few.
I was a prayer intercessor in the healing Rooms of Lompoc, California as well as in Boise, Idaho. I was a prayer warrior for the order of Saint Luke the Physician (OSL) in Yuma Arizona before moving to Boise in 2008, as the Lord led. I became a Convener for the OSL shortly after arriving in Boise, teaching a healing class for 4 years in one of the newest Boise healing chapter. I have taught a few sessions of Boundaries to a class of single moms and I’ve been a MOPS Mentor Mom for moms with preschool age kids. So I do have experience praying for and counseling women.
As a single mom, one hard lesson and that I had to learn was how to accept help. I was used to being the one who gave help or a hand out. I was not needing to ask for anything. It was a blow to my pride and ego to have to say, yes, to others offering help to me. It took me some time to fully accept that I needed help and that getting help was not bad.
One experience that I had was when I drove to Tennessee for my girls to see their father. While in Tennessee, my drivers window was smashed out, the night before I was to return home to Ohio. My church family in Ohio, told me that if I could drive the car back, they would help to fix it. And of course the day that I was driving back, it was raining quite a bit. I had to get plastic to block me from getting all wet. I was so grateful for my church family who came to my rescue.
One of the things that is provided in Single Moms Unite!, LLC (SMU!) and Consulting for Single Parents is providing information where single parents can go for help. The organization of SMU! should not just be a place that is simply giving handouts. The Boise area has a wealth of resources. We are striving to help single parents with a hand up to their next level.
As a network marketer, I have learned that it is important to know my WHY. While at a women’s Meet and Mingle with Joan Endicott as the speaker, she asked if we could do anything to help someone else, what would that be? I thought, I would like to help moms. And since then, I have branched out to helping all single parents, not just the single moms.
In May 2014, I started with the concept of Single Moms Unite!, eventually feeling led of the LORD to make it an LLC. Single Moms Unite!, LLC helps parents to get their wills done stating their guardianship preference for their minor children. SMU! Also gives information about a free life insurance that turns into an educational trust fund if the parent qualifies, were they to pass away leaving minor children.
The ultimate goal of SMU!, LLC is to help parents start their own business so that they can be home more with their kids especially as the kids get older. I have heard it said more than once that as kids enter Junior High, they need their parents even more so.
Since starting SMU!, I have met with a number of women one to one to encourage them with prayer and advice.
While SMU! is Christian based, the single parent does not have to be a Christian to receive help. We have helped a single mom get a dryer for her new apartment. We have sponsored a couple of moms to get their legal wills done. SMU! Has joined with other business owners to give gifts to single moms during a couple of Christmas seasons. (once in 2014 and then in 2016.)
The Facebook closed groups, one for moms and one for dads, allows the single parents to discuss issues in their lives among themselves and get feedback from other single parents and mentors that I have vetted.
Just as the mentors are vetted who are wanting to assist me with single parents, I have a short questionnaire for the single parents wanting to join the closed Facebook groups. I have had some men trying to join the single moms closed group. I wonder why? One guy asked if he could get a single mom here.
I usually ask the single moms if they want to meet face to face so that we can get to know each other better and I can assist in sharing specific local resources with them. Also meeting the parents face to face, helps them to know that I am a real person and hopefully they will reach out more easily instead of waiting until a real emergency arises.
Meeting monthly has not worked yet. Neither has meeting quarterly but I keep showing up quarterly until the LORD says otherwise. So as I asked others who were offering their services to single moms I found that they had similar challenges. So I wrote out some tips that we as individuals could use to build trust with the single parent on the go or the single parent that is stuck.
1) Meet the single parent over coffee or tea for just 15 or 20 minutes on neutral grounds…to meet them one to one. To befriend them before a crisis happens in their life. This would also work if a parent have children the same age as the children in the single parent household. Bringing kids together can serve as a common bond.
For instance, if a guy likes to fish, he could ask a single mom to take her son fishing with his boys. Or a married lady could offer to take the daughter of a single dad to the movies when she takes her daughters.
You could even invite the single parents with kids to an outdoor BBQ or church function that is open to everyone.
I believe this will help build trust… so that before a crisis happens, the single parent has seen you in a relaxed environment and seen how you interact with your own kids.
2) Another tip for building trust would be when giving to a single mom. Give without strings attached. Try not to make her feel obligated afterwards. If she feels drawn to you after you have given to her, don’t accept her “STRING” . Do not reciprocate with any emotional pulls towards her. She may feel connection to you, the giver, which is a natural and feels normal to her. But it’s gratitude that she is trying to express and she may be more vulnerable, not knowing how to just say thank you without the emotional “strings”.
By keeping your emotional and physical distance, you better aid a good trusting relationship, maintaining a healthy trust level on both sides, really. Single parents are sometimes more emotional or have more emotional events because of dealing with the children’s other parent. Unless they tell us, we have no idea of the drama they may be currently experiencing or the lingering wounds that could be affecting their judgement. So it is up to us to maintain our healthy distance creating healthy boundaries for this new relationship.
3) If you want to pay a compliment to the single mom or dad, for instance, compliment their clothing or how they handled a matter without flattery. Compliment not to lower their defenses but to genuinely compliment as a form of encouragement, to lift up the single parent. BE WHOLESOMELY HONEST AND HAVE HONEST EXCHANGES WITH DECENCY.
If you can’t compliment or give a gift without strings, without wanting something in exchange, hold off on giving a gift. The single parent already might have trust issues. And they don’t need more.
Think of these things, the way you give gifts or help and even complimenting the single parent, like a CLOSED ENDED transaction. When gift or compliment or help is given, that’s it. There is no more. Think of, “The End”, like at the end of a movie. If you meant to be kind, leave it. From more closed ended transactions, the single parent can begin to trust another person on this earth.
4) Another caution would be, while having a conversation with the single parent, to build trust, we want to make sure the parent is being heard. We can give opinions or advice. But let the conversation be two way – a dialogue. The single parent may have a definite opinion about some things, right or wrong. They would want to feel like they have a say in matters since they feel the brunt of the responsibility for their children’s lives. We don’t want to railroad them, treating them like second class citizens.
I hope these 4 tips have been food for thought in being able to help a single parent in your life, your community or elsewhere, through relationship –
To build trust
To be wholesomely honest
And to give compliment, gifts and other help, closed ended, with no strings attached.
If you know a single mom or dad, feel free to have them contact Consulting for Single Parents, a division of Single Moms Unite!, LLC. If you know of any other resources that would be a help to single parents, feel free to let us know.
My name is Nek’ka Migel and I founded Single Moms Unite!, LLC dba Consulting for Single Parents, helping single parents to their next level. I also founded Chaplains for Businesses where I offer spiritual guidance with Christian prayer for Small Business Owners.
Thanks for reading.