I have heard many comments that say a single mom cannot raise a boy properly. She cannot teach him how to be a man. I call bullshit on that one.
Ok, so she may not be able to teach him like a man. She can’t show him how to pee standing up. But she can tell him and she can help him. Don’t go all ewww and say that’s weird. Has his mother not been cleaning his penis since the day he was born? So why can’t she show him how to take his hand and aim?
All the naysayers out there are focusing on the wrong thing. You hear a woman is raising a boy on her own and your focus is on that. All you can see is that there is no man. You are focused only on the negative.
What you should be focused on is that here is a woman who is doing the best she knows how to do. She could use your support and advice instead of telling her she simply can’t do it. Because the fact is that is can do it and she has no other choice. If she doesn’t then who will?
Sure it would be ideal if there was a male figure in the boys life but it’s not like she can go to the local Wal-mart and pick one up. A mother is not going to let just anyone into her child’s life.
So, How Does A Single Mom Raise A Boy To Be A Man?
1. Teach him to respect you.
Top of the list is to teach him to respect his mother. A general respect of all people as well, but most of all he should respect his mother. Demand it.
2. He is NOT the man of the house.
Never make him the man around the house. Yes, you want to teach him to grow to be man, but there is a difference in being a “little man” and being a responsible adult. Your child (boy or girl) is not your confidant, your partner or your knight in shining armor. Correct people if they suggest that now your son “is the man of the house,” or that he should “take care of Mommy.” That’s not his job.
3. Spotlight desired behavior in other men.
Point out positive qualities in men that you and your son see on a day to day basis. Even if you’re buying your son shoes, and the salesman is especially attentive or friendly, point this trait out by mentioning what a helpful person he is. Everywhere you go has potential to be a learning point.
4. Get creative.
5. Get him active.
As he gets older, check out local boys groups or clubs that he could join such as Big Brother/Big Sister or Boy Scouts. Don’t be intimidated by such events like Father/son days or picnics. Let the troop leader know that you will be participating. A big benefit of scouting is one that should be experienced by all boys and is that initiation ritual that welcomes them into the pack. This is a boost to the self esteem of little boys, that feeling of belonging to a group with whom they can closely identify.
6. Accept your son’s differences.
Teach him your values, but let him express them in his own way. He’s a boy and will deal with emotional situations somewhat differently than you might. When you look at your son and see his father’s face, it’s okay to get a little emotional. If your ex gave you anything of value, you’re looking at it. Let your son know how important he is to you.
7. Encourage physical activities.
If your boy is really active, get a chinning bar for his room for rainy days. Exercise is important for all children, but boys might need other means of releasing excessive energy. Check out your local Target store for an expandable closet bar, the kind that has suction cups on the ends. Install between the door jambs of his room, and when he gets rowdy, make him “give you ten.” Make sure you tighten the bar so it safely stays in place and and check it regularly for slipping. Also show your son the correct way to grip so he doesn’t loosen it from the doorway. Start low and raise the bar as your son grows.
8. Enjoy your child.
Enjoy your time with your baby or toddler by not worrying about how they are missing out on anything by not having “dad” around. But don’t avoid “daddy stuff” completely. Read a variety of books to your son so he can see that families are all different. Your son will be influenced more by that time then he will by the absence of his father.