Being a single mother has it’s own unique parenting pressures and challenges. They are multiplied when the child – unlike you – is a male. Don’t fall into the common trap of believing these three things:
- You should never tell your son he can’t have something. Understandably, there can be some guilt associated with single-motherhood that manifests itself – whether justly or not – in the way mothers parent their sons. Most commonly, there is a degree of guilt around the economic limitations of the household, because mothers can’t help but feel like if there was a financially contributing father, there would be more money available to buy your son all the things he wants – the latest Jordan’s, the newest iPhone, and whatever the want of the moment is. However, by teaching your son that he is entitled to whatever he asks you for, you are only teaching him to take you for granted, and that he does not have to earn the things he wants in life.
- Speaking negatively about your son’s father to or around him doesn’t affect him. There is no way for your son to detach himself mentally from half of his origin, no matter how outstanding of a mother you are. Whatever his father’s shortcomings may be, there must have been something redeeming in him at some time. If your son believes that he originated from a terrible human being who does not love him, how could he ever have any self-worth or self-esteem. If he is taught to dislike or hate the man that he came from, he will, whether he verbalizes it or not, dislike or hate himself.
- Your son is your emotional and psychological partner. Your son may be, by circumstance, the man of the house. He is not, however, your man. Be careful not to rely on him as your emotional support system, or as your emotional partner, especially when he is a child. Emotional support is one of your responsibilities as a parent, not your son’s responsibility to you. Model to your son that as people, we are responsible for creating our own happiness, and do not rely on him to create yours. The effects on his emotional development and his perception of women will be deeply affected in a negative way by this common mistake.
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