In this series, I’ll write in a sequence that builds on each tip from 1 to 10. My tips, I hope, will present another perspective outside of your own. In no way am I indicting any mother on her ways of raising her child. My suggestions relate to the raising and structuring of a male individual.
So let’s start there…the first of ten tips for mothers raising sons is structure.
I feel structure is the most important concept for raising a male child,
…but there has to be rules.
You build structure with a rule philosophy. The adherence to rules builds his concept of order. Young boys need structure so they could grow to be responsible men. It could start with your son is running around the dinner party acting a like he has no home training…at the same time, your friends are looking at each other embarrassed for you, cause he’s not listening to you. This is the first hint that you’re losing control of your son.
So…it starts with a concept of telling your toddler son “No”. Yes it grows to him washing the dishes before bed, homework before xbox/playstation, no cursing, no weed, whatever. Trust he may do those forbidden things when you’re not around but you have to run the house with rules. My main point is that he must learn repercussions before he becomes an adult. If he isn’t compelled to follow the rules at home, what will compel him when he becomes a legal aged adult? Structure and rules build on his ability to pay his bills on time, keep a job and even keep male friends.
Your son must live with boundaries and guidelines that align to become a law abiding, tax paying citizen. You cannot allow your son to do what he wants when he wants. If he has to take out the trash before you are home from work…it better be done. Structure builds on his concept of rules and repercussions.
Repercussions…there MUST be repercussions, no cellphone access, put up the xbox, do something. I beg you…don’t let your heart allow you be easy on him.
It’s a simple concept but I believe the hardest thing for mothers to do is to resist the urge to nurture and support your child. Nurturing is what comes natural to a mother. I say resist because you should not coddle your son into being handicap. You are not helping him when you protect him from his bad decisions. When you insulate him from the pain of a bad decision…you fortify bad habits that become his behavior and he will never learn to do the right thing. Your son grows up to believe mom will always save him or more importantly, it’s not his decision that caused his circumstance. Without repercussions…as a man; he will not keep his word, he will not obey traffic laws, he will becomes that neighbor that blast his music at 1am.
Your son is not your friend, your surrogate husband or your baby. He will be a man with habits that you’ve allowed him to think are okay. Our professional and private environments need responsible men, our communities need responsible black men. Your son will grow up with behaviors that you’ve endorsed, what traits do you see in your son that a woman… a wife would desire in her husband?
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a psychiatrist or even a parent. This blog is my supportive opinion, which is based on dating single mothers, mentoring young boys from the age of 7 to 18 for almost 3 decades and other various life experiences. While mentoring, I have also received formal and informal guidance from older black men/volunteers from the DC Chapter of Concerned Black Men, Inc. I received formal training as a volunteer with Mentors Inc. Lastly, my personal development and growth from the 7th – 12th grade includes my attendance of an all male boarding high school called Girard College. While my opinion can be applied to young women, I believe most times I have an inherent bias towards masculine issues. My lens, for good or bad, is aligned to young males becoming men.