The Challenge for Single Mothers Raising Sons

Rearing children in the twenty-first century is a challenge any way you look at it.  Traditional home environments where a mother and a father work together to raise a child to achieve a level of responsible adulthood are plagued with every imaginable child rearing issue.  The task of taking on the child rearing process is a responsibility not to be taken lightly, by any means.

Under the best of circumstances, raising a child is a challenge.  For a single parent, the obstacles are greater, the challenges may be more intense and the resources necessary to achieve the desired level of success may be significantly reduced from that of a two parent household.  To add just one more complication to the single parent role, a mother raising a son alone must deal with developing a sense of self within her child that is quite a bit different from her own perspective on life.

Every child benefits from having a same sex role model in their lives.  Single mothers must often seek out a strong, reliable male figure to share in portions of her son’s development.  Oftentimes, the child’s grandfather or uncle can fit this requirement quite well.  Spending time in a “man’s world” provides a wider perspective for the child.  The single mother should make an effort to expose her son to the options of participating on sports teams or other male oriented activities.  Help him to become part of a group he can relate to easily.  Equally important, however, is that understanding that she should not push too hard to overcompensate for the lack of a male presence.  Allowing and encouraging the son to develop his own interests will be the best path to his ultimate success as an adult.

It’s important that the single mother not try to overcompensate for the absence of a father in the household by putting too much pressure on the son to be the “man of the house.”  Children are not simply miniature adults and they should not have the roles of adulthood thrust upon them too soon. 

One of the dangers of the single mother raising a son scenario is if the presence of the son becomes a disturbing reminder of a failed relationship between the mother and child’s father.  The single mother owes it to her son to see him as an individual and not simply an offshoot of the past.  She should always avoid comparisons. 

Many successful men have been the product of a single mother household.  Nearly every child must face some challenges in the growing up process.  It is part of the recipe for creating a strong, self-reliant adult who is ready to take on every aspect of the adult world and come out on top.  With a positive outlook and a determined eye towards the goal, a single mother can give her son the kind of childhood he needs to develop into a responsible adult.