Many single moms go through a period (or several) where they are just disgusted with men in general. They’ve been cheated on, lied to, abandoned, or any number of other things and in that state of pain, decide that all men are just jerks and not worth it.
While it’s normal to have those feelings, if you’re raising a son, it’s important not only to not let him think he’s included in there, but to make sure he becomes a better man than those that have hurt you. This can be very difficult, however, because we often don’t understand our sons. While daughters may confuse us, we at least have the memory of having once been there ourselves to see us through. But since we never went through childhood or adolescence as a boy, we’re at a total loss as to what they’re going through.
Here are 10 tips that your son would like you to know, straight from the mouths of men who were once there:
1. I may be the oldest male in the house, but that doesn’t make me the man of the house.
Many well-meaning family members or friends may tell your son that he’s the man of the house now that your spouse has passed away or your relationship has ended. It’s also fairly common for single mothers to begin to lean on their sons for emotional support, although not intentionally. But it’s important to remember that he’s your child, not your equal. He’s not your partner, your husband, or your friend. Assigning him chores is fine, and telling him that you and your latest date are no longer seeing each other is fine. But don’t subject him to listening to hours of you trying to figure out where it all went wrong or expect him to provide you with the emotional support you should be seeking from a friend.
2. I need to get dirty and play with bugs and other stuff you might hate.
Especially for mothers who have always been very feminine, seeing your son get down in the dirt and is expected to admire the big cricket or other strange insects he brings to you can be very jarring. It can be tempting to try to redirect him to other activities, like playing with action figures or coloring. While it’s good to encourage your son to explore a wide range of activities, and he will certainly play with action figures and draw beautiful pictures, the fact is boys need that time outside to explore nature and play with bugs. Dirt can be washed off and most of the bugs he’ll find won’t hurt him or you.