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Tips for Single Mothers Raising Sons

In this post, we will look at some important tips for single moms raising boys:

1. Accept your child's differences.

2. As your son matures, investigate local boys groups or clubs that he could join such as Cub Scouts. Don't be intimidated by such sponsored events as father-child boat races or picnics. Let the troop leader know that with the number of single parent families, you would be comfortable if the den would acknowledge parent-child events. But the biggest benefit of scouting that should be experienced by all males is that initiation ritual that welcomes them into the pack.

3. Be a little creative in helping your son learn guy stuff. For instance, many single moms report concern over their child's using the potty while sitting, or playing with their makeup. Chances are your son won't spend the rest of his life peeing sitting down while wearing mascara. Homosexuality doesn't exist because you didn't monitor the morning makeup sessions! But if you want to get a head start on defining the differences between secondary sex characteristics between males and females, try this: Set out a little basket just for your son. Fill it with a mock razor, gentle shaving cream, watered-down cologne, his toothbrush, toothpaste and a comb. Let your son know this is what most men do every morning to their faces.

4. Enjoy your time with your child by not worrying about whether he is missing out on anything by not having "dad" around. At the same time, try not to avoid "daddy stuff" totally. Even though many kid's books feature animal families raised only by mom, its okay to read stories about all kinds of families to your son. Place a high value on man-woman relationships in order to give your son a realistic perspective.

5. If your little guy is really active, get a chinning bar for his room for rainy days. Exercise is critical for all kids, but in cases where males can't seem to center themselves as comfortably as females, they might need other means of releasing excessive energy. Check out your local 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, have your son "do ten." Make sure you tighten the bar so it safely stays in place and show your child the correct way to grip so he doesn't loosen it from the doorway. Start low, but raise the bar as your child grows.

6. Never make your son the “man of the house.” True, you do want to teach your son to grow to be man, but there is a distinction between being the "little man" and being responsible for things that adults are supposed to do. Your son is not your confidant, your knight in shining armor or your rescuer. Especially important for the newly widowed or divorced, correct people if they suggest that now your child "is the man around the house," or that he should "take care of Mommy."

7. Point out the positive qualities in males you see on a day to day basis. This means that even if you're buying your child baseball shoes and the salesman is especially attentive or friendly, point this trait out by mentioning what a helpful person he is, or "Isn't this guy very nice?"

8. Role models are important and will be found in every aspect of your child's life. Boys need men, but not necessarily dads. Just because a dad lives at home does not mean a child is being "fathered."

9. Teach your son your values, but let him express them uniquely. He's a male and will respond to emotional situations somewhat differently than you might.

10. Try not to have negative attitudes toward males, even if you became a single mom out of the most excruciating circumstances.

11. When you look at your son and see his dad's face, it's okay to get a little emotional. After all, if your ex-husband gave you anything of value, you're looking at it. Let your child know how important he is to you.

==> My Out-of-Control Child: Help for Parents with Oppositional Children

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