This is a concept I think of often in my parenting. It’s one reason that I think single parents have such a difficult time–especially when it comes to the highs and lows of parenting teens.

Picture the game of Leapfrog. It takes at least two people–better if there are more, but two will work. One needs to be the stable foundation, and the other uses that foundation to jump ahead. And so begins the cycle of trading places.

When we’re walking this parenting journey, we run up to the line and look for the stable foundation to power off, so we can leapfrog and get ahead. In a marriage, it’s a given that our spouse will be that solid base. But when we’re operating as a single parent, we have to be much more intentional about making sure the base is in place before we start running toward it.
We can find our leapfrog partners in three places.

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1. The local church. Does your church have a women’s ministry, or better yet a single mom’s ministry? If so, do everything you can to be a part of it. You will be able to leapfrog off of the experiences and wisdom of the others in the group.

2. Your BFF. I’m not talking about the girls you go shopping with or have coffee with. Those are your good friends. I’m talking about the kind of best friend who will tell you when you doing poorly and will tell you when you’re doing great. A cheerleader…a coach. That’s who you need as your partner in the game of Leapfrog. When one of you is strong, the other can power off of that strength. When one of you is weak, the other provides a strong base.

3. God. He’s your most important partner. His strength is never-ending. He stands ready for you to lay your burdens on His shoulders as you power off of Him and leapfrog forward. He will move ahead of you every step of the way and become the next power point for you.

If you really visualize yourself in the game of Leapfrog, it will change the way you look at your ups and downs. Your strength comes and goes, we already knew that…and so does He. He already provided a way for you to be steadily empowered to move forward. Let him be your base and run towards Him with abandon, glean from His strength, and jump forward.


download (19)Nicole O’Dell, author of 21 books since 2007, founder of Choose NOW Ministries writes and speaks to youth, women, and parents on preparing for life’s tough choices. The mother of six, including toddler triplets, she’s author of YA fiction, including the popular Scenarios for Girls interactive fiction series and the Diamond Estates Series, and non-fiction for teens including Girl Talk, 2/1/12, based on the popular advice column she writes with her two daughters. Hot Buttons, O’Dell’s non-fiction series for parents, pre-empts peer pressure by tackling tough issues and was recently endorsed by Focus on the Family. Visit for access to her bustling blog network and other resources.


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The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit