Single Mom Raising a Boy

single mom raising a boyI 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.


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 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.



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18 thoughts on “Single Mom Raising a Boy

    1. Hi Leo,
      I couldn’t agree with you more. I feel it’s better a boy is raised alone by his mother than have a father there who doesn’t want to be.

  1. I so agree with your post, especially keeping him active and into sports. Actually, good for girls too!

    1. Hi Mary,
      Thanks for reading. Yes, that is very true. Boys and girls need to stay active instead of sitting in front of a video game.

  2. I raised my son from the age of 3 up until now (he is now 30), I’m still his mom even though he is a man now.

    We participated in Boy Scouts of American from the time he was in Kindegarten until he Graduated High School. He is an Eagle Scout and now he is an adult leader volunteering for a couple of different troops.

    We went camping every year (usually more than once) for a week and each year I was able to go as an Adult Leader myself. This was a first for the Troop because the Scout Master was somewhat “old school” and it was the men who took the boys camping not the “moms”. I got lucky because they needed someone and I had been trained. The first thing he told me was that I wasn’t “mom” that week. My response, “no problem”.

    One night sitting around the campsite, my son was off doing his wilderness badge so he wasn’t there, some of the other boys decided to take the opportunity to ask me questions. They point blank asked me why my son’s dad wasn’t there. Without missing a beat I told them that sometimes I got to wear the “father” hat with Dan since his dad wasn’t around.

    They didn’t ask another thing.

    1. Hi Susie,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is great to hear how a single mom worked it out. It sounds like the boys had no problem accepting you into the troop either.

  3. This article is great. Throughout my travels I find single parents treat their kids as if they were their peers. And once they become teenagers the kids begin to treat and communicate with their the parent as if they are their peers. Respect is non existing. You’re right the boy child is NOT the man of the house; it’s just to much pressure. Parents should allow their kids to remain as such as long as possible and not bring grown up stuff into their lives. Great article. Many parents should take heed.

    1. Hi Wanda,
      Thank you for your thoughts. I absolutely agree that children should be able to enjoy their childhood. Boys and girls alike don’t need responsibilities they are not ready for.

  4. Quite right too, and very well put!
    Speaking as a man, It’s not something
    men really give a lot of thought to, but
    after reading this, I agree with what you say!

    1. Hi Ian,
      Unfortunately you are not alone. And it’s not your fault you never thought of this. That is the way most men are raised. But more and more families are single parent households. A woman needs to have support from her community.

  5. In my opinion, a single mother can raise a child very well on her own. She can very well teach him how to be respectful, treat everyone equally, and show all the appropriate behaviors we like to see.

    I never believe it’s a male or female thing, but more so a personality thing. Any single parent will need to learn the responsibilities of both sides of parenting. Especially for the parents who grew up with both a mother and father figure.

    It might seem like a much larger responsibility, but like anything we achieve in life. The larger of achievements make the best of self satisfaction. It keeps us motivated in moving forward.

    Keep up the amazing work Angela! I see you have some other really great resources.

    Cheers for now!

    1. Hi Damien,
      Thank you for your thoughts. It is great to see men as well as women supporting single mothers. I also believe a woman can find a way. I did it. You just have to motivate yourself and a child is a great motivator.

  6. I am proud to say that I was raised by a mother and witnessed all her sacrifices, especially when my father left us (with another family of course). But the thing that I so much learned from her and would carry all my life is to forgive a person and start again as what she did to my father. Until my father dying days, she took care of him. My respect goes all to all the single mothers all over the world.

    1. Hi Bernie,
      Thank you for sharing your story. God bless your mother. She sounds like a wonderful person. It takes a lot to be able to forgive someone like that. She must have a big heart.

  7. I’d like to share a personal experience of mine.

    I was about 15 or maybe 16 years old when my parents were undergoing their divorce. It seemed pretty evident that their impending divorce was coming to fruition, so my mom hauled my three sisters and I to my grandma’s place.

    As a young teen, it was the era of delinquency, rebellion stage and testing stages of turning into a man to prepare for adulthood (boy i’m regretting that time. It took its course and I’m a 29 year old father of one now lol). What went through my mind at that time was frustration, disappointment, and revenge brewed in my blood.

    I was frustrated that my dad was being an infidel.
    Disappointed that given the fact that his marriage was 17 years long, a record boasting loyalty and longevity of love, and he was forsaking it for the sake of another woman.
    Revenge as I wanted to spoil as MANY girls, to play with their feelings and thereafter leaving them in tatters (yes I had that resent towards the opposite sex, especially ones that resembled the third part in my parents marriage).

    I took the opportunity to come home late on the pretext of studying late, I started being vocal in decisions that my mother made on family matters… but one day I came to my senses that I was still young, and that although my sisters needed a manly figure in their lives, I learnt to be a SUPPORTIVE son and elder brother to all my sisters. Being an authoritarian in the family isn’t good. Its analogous to being like a deputy overthrowing the monarch of his king/queen and the consequence is you get disrespected and resentment by all.

    Fast forward many years now, my kid may be in the EXACT situation I was in many years back. I’m currently undergoing a divorce, but it’s a tale that only I find it reasonable on my own terms. Perhaps I’ll share this tale soon with you one day Angela!

    Let’s raise a glass to all single mom’s and the near impossible feat to those who raised excellent sons throughout their age.

    Nas aka WickedM

    1. Hi Nas,
      Thank you for sharing a bit of your story with us. I am so glad you realized your mom needed you and that you straightened yourself out. I hope that your divorce is a smooth one and that you and your wife will do your best to still make sure your child feels your love and support.

  8. I don’t have any children but I have to congratulate you for stepping up and taking on the roles of both parents as well as taking on issues such as extra special care to provide for a son’s health concerns. You write a well-thought out Blog and we could feel your compassion! I like the ideas you shared and you covered some important topics. From shaving to peeing, yup, you got it all! Thanks for sharing thus far and your visitors will find you to be humble and as a result, your visitors will be repeat customers! Congrats!

    1. Hi Deidre,
      Thanks for reading. I personally have raised a daughter but I have always thought it was crazy for people to say a woman can’t raise a son. Even before single moms became more common, women raised families while husbands were off to war. A woman can teach a boy to be a man.

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