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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Two, with God

Single parents can say 'we'

"If you're a single parent, normally your kids know you so well they can play you like a harp," David Ludwig says knowingly. A Lutheran pastor who chairs the psychology and sociology department at Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, N.C., Ludwig also works with parents and children in a private therapy practice.

In counseling, Ludwig often witnesses situations where children play on emotions of guilt and frustration that parents can't contain. "The child doesn't want to rebel," he says. There's tremendous comfort, he explains, in the firm boundaries of parental authority. But some single parents feel they lack the emotional strength to set those boundaries.

"How can [single parents] find another set of emotions to use?" Ludwig asks. And he answers: in the word we.


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