CHECKLIST CHARLIE

How to be your family’s champion

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She arrived at community movie night in the park with her two small boys. She grappled with a load of blankets, lugging the cart, strollers, and everything else. She pushed down her feelings of jealousy as she noticed families with two parents wrangling the kids and juggling the picnic baskets together.

“It was always a source of shame and pain for me for me,” media guru Sandra Beck explained of the dread inspired by gatherings immediately after her divorce.

Oh, the dilemmas that arise after divorce. She felt the loss of a spouse when she arrived at restaurants with tables for four. Who would watch one child, while she rode the roller coaster with the other one? Should she invite a guy to her annual Christmas party?

I hear single moms fret often about good role models for their sons. Sandra’s love for military families meant her boys were surrounded by good role models. Still, in my opinion, nothing replaces a courageous, champion mom. With Sandra’s boys growing up into enterprising young men, I asked her to share her favorite advice on Fireside Talk Radio recently. She gave some funny and insightful tips.

#1 Look around for unhappy couples, she says with a chuckle. There’s no better way to appreciate your own freedom than to realizing how exhausting marriages can be.

#2 Separate private and professional life. When you are single, there’s too much speculation if you go on a date, according to Sandra.

#3 Keep in mind, gender rolls are blurred for young people now. Consequently, she asks specific male friends to teach her boys, too, whenever they teach their own sons to use power tools, ride a dirt bike, or anything else that might be traditionally defined as a manly skill.

“You don’t have to be the dad. These other dads are so filled with pride when you choose them to stand in,” says Sandra. Personally, I love the way she divides up these specific requests among many families. This frees up families to say yes enthusiastically.

#4 Ask your boys what they admire in other men, thus teaching them to be on the alert for male qualities they most want to emulate.

She also shared some practical wisdom on how the church can up the ante when it comes to helping those who’ve gone through divorce. For more, look for Single and Strong: How to be Your Family’s Champion with Sandra Beck or Single and Strong: When is Enough Enough with Sandra Beck on CathyKrafve.com.

Sandra tells the truth with vulnerability and tenderness. No matter our circumstances, when we choose to be our family’s champion, we see strength manifest itself in our children.

Cathy Primer Krafve, aka Checklist Charlie, lives and writes with a Texas twang. Contact her at CathyKrafve.com.

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