Do you have single parents dreading the summer? Here are some ideas from an expert.


Today’s post is from guest writer Kathy Fallon.* Kathy shares with us her personal experiences of how she handled the summer as a working, divorced single mom. Share these wonderful ideas with the single parents connected to your ministry.

When I was a single mom, I dreaded the summer. It was a time I still had to work, and the kids were out of school, so child care issues kicked into high gear. I came through my journey with some ideas that might help you as you parent alone and juggle a work schedule during these “carefree days of summer”!


  • Ask your boss if you may have an extended lunch hour once a week and go home for lunch! Eat outside, take sandwiches to the park, or have homemade milkshakes. This is a great way to enjoy your summertime too!
  • Check with local parks. Many have arts and crafts, ceramics, and swimming classes. Many of these activities are free or nearly free. Find other moms in the area through your church or friends, and see if they will help with transportation. Then, to show your thanks, invite them for a movie night on the weekend, or trade free babysitting.
  • Don’t forget to check with your local YMCA chapter. There is lots going on there during the summer, and some offer bus service.
  • Summer camps are expensive, but I found many have junior counselor positions available for pre-teens and older children. One year, I had both my kids attending camps as junior counselors, getting free lunches and snacks, bus rides to and from, and small paychecks too. Some have special rates for single parents. Just ask!
  • Take advantage of local vacation Bible schools. Find a ride through your church or friends. The kids will love it, and it will make their summer fun and give them spiritual instruction at the same time.
  • Many churches have summer events that cost little or no money. Check out local churches’ websites. (Remember to check your own church’s website). Then have a meeting with your kids, decide which ones they would like to go to, and make it happen.
  • Check with your friends. Some moms don’t work and would welcome some kids coming over a few days a week to keep their kids active and happy. Then you can trade babysitting on the weekend for their time over at the other mom’s house. Who doesn’t accept free babysitting?
  • Take a vacation day, and have a special event planned. Go to a play, movie, or local aquarium; get creative. The kids will love you being there all day with them. Be sure to include them in the planning.

These are just a few ideas that can make your kids’ summer fun and take the burden off you as you work your regular summer hours. Be creative. You might be able to get your kids volunteer positions somewhere! Be open and ready to ask!

Blessings from this single parent to help all children’s church leaders assist the single parents in their ministries this summer.


*Kathy Fallon is senior church ministry coach for Church Initiative, the organization that sponsors this blog. She guides churches in setting up, promoting, and running successful Single & Parenting and DivorceCare programs.


Church Initiative has several programs to help people in crisis. You can check out other programs through the following titles. Every curriculum has its own free ministry coach to assist you in developing a viable, healthy, successful program. These programs are available to churches as they minister to adults and children.

DC4K, DivorceCare for Kids: divorce support groups for children ages 5–12

Single & Parenting: support groups for single parents

DivorceCare: divorce recovery support groups for adults

GriefShare: grief support groups


This article is updated and adapted from an article originally published on the Kids & Divorce blog on June 10, 2015.  

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4 thoughts on “Do you have single parents dreading the summer? Here are some ideas from an expert.

  1. Great advice, I think the young teens would have a great experience as junior counselor at the local Y or at the many vacation bible schools that are plentiful.
    You can also just Google, free things to do in … (In Your local city).
    Be creative, there are many volunteer programs for your teens locally that you may not be aware of, and some do give a paycheck…try local hospitals, libraries, city recreation departments, etc.
    Your kids are only kids once, make it count.
    Blessings, John Prior

  2. Pingback: DC4K » Question of the week: How can single parents overcome unique summertime problems?

  3. Pingback: How Can Single Parents Overcome Unique Summertime Problems? | KidzMatter

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