Sharing a meal together. Connecting with other teen moms. Gaining new information and support from a member of the community. Working on individual goals with your mentor. These are just a few of the things that happen during a weekly Lifeskills Workshop™.
For the past 30 years, Teen Mother Choices (TMC) has prioritized Lifeskills Workshops™ as one of its program’s cornerstones because of the many benefits they provide. The content of the Lifeskills Workshops™ are rooted in the Five Life Roles of a Teen Mother. The Life Roles include being a Seeker, Teen, Mother, Student, and Employee. As a new mom, we want to provide suggestions and tools for how to address different aspects of this role but to ignore the other aspects of who she is would be doing her a disservice. If we stress only one or two of the Life Roles we are recognizing her as a whole person. We all identify with multiple roles in one day. I am a child of God, a follower of Jesus, a wife, mother, daughter, sister, employee, friend, aunt, (etc.).
As a ministry whose purpose and calling is to share Jesus Christ with teen moms, it is important that we integrate the role of Seeker into every aspect of her life. We all seek after something to help us feel fulfilled. Our prayer is that every teen mom who participates in a TMC program will choose to seek God. God’s word has much to say about work, money, how we treat people, being a mother, etc. The more often we share God’s instructions and heart as it relates to a teen mom’s life, the more she will see how deeply loved she is, how she has been created for a purpose, and how God has good plan for her life and future if she places her trust in him.
Over the past year, TMC programs have offered Lifeskills Workshops on topics like creating and maintaining a spending plan, resume writing, understanding taxes, healthy self-esteem, effectively using coupons, choosing safe childcare, understanding developmental milestones, and setting goals. In addition to these topics, once a month the teen moms and their mentors meet with a Financial Counselor to discuss their current financial picture and their goals for the future. Several teen moms have been able to start saving money, paying off debt, purchasing a reliable vehicle, and obtain affordable housing. The teen moms work very hard for everything they accomplish but to know they have the support of the staff, mentors, volunteers, and Lifeskills Workshop™ speakers at TMC makes the process less daunting. The beautiful thing about Lifeskills Workshops™ is the opportunity for a wide variety of Christ followers to offer their time and abilities to help teen moms connect with the Hope, Purpose and Future they have in Jesus Christ. The teen moms will gain a bigger picture of what the body of Christ looks like and those in the body can see how their gifts, talents, and abilities can benefit teen moms.