RAISING A MAN: Tips for single mothers AND fathers #5 of 10

Tip #4 suggested listening as a great tool for communication and understanding. It seems that my last tip conjured some reactions from mothers. I heard things like, “My son doesn’t listen to me.” or “I told my son the same thing but he didn’t believe me but when you said it, he’s all ears.”

Let me say this, I believe individuals, male or female, learn or comprehend differently. I’m not going to say gender roles because the male & female gender roles have been severely dissolved or morphed. The feminine behaviors that male children are picking up from their mothers is…hmmm.

Wait, I’m drifting.

I’ll take it a step back…this tip is not about listening or talking. This tip is about allowing your son or daughter to be with other men.

Where did that come from?!

Women are in the households, they’re in the churches, they’re in the schools…where are the black men? What I’m suggesting is you, mothers, take yourself out of the equation. He sees you all the time, he hears you all the time….you’re watered down, blah blah blah….all you do is hover and nag nag nag. (Joking, not joking)

I’m exaggerating but the point I’m making is…allow your son to be with other positive men. This will allow him to learn dynamically from other men.

YOU CAN’T SHOW HIM HOW TO BE A MAN! You can discuss it, explain it, describe it but a man lives it.

Look…no one is negating your ability and efforts as a parent…I dare not do that, women hold it down. I’m definitely NOT saying a mother or father is less than the other. I’m speaking of balance, as a race we have lost priority for the balance of a male/female household. What I am saying is that unfortunately for the last 3 decades there’s been an diminishing respect or latent attack on the black male. Since the inception of welfare, a black mans presence and value in black households has been squandered.

Resisting that rabbit hole…

So…allow you son or daughter to be around positive black men. I’m not endorsing the “thug” or the homosexual male friend. I’m saying a heterosexual black male that goes to work, pays his taxes, and has some spiritual base. Let your child see that dude in action. See him put on a suit, see him as a public speaker, playing ball, fixing the car, laughing with the kids, dancing with his woman…where is that dude? Find him and allow your child to see that because the nonsense on tv, the asinine reality series, the men in drag…those images are not helping the culture. These adult themes are not going to help produce the man you hope to see in families and in communities.

…back in the rabbit hole.

If he decides as an adult to be homosexual or dress drag that’s his adult choice but don’t obfuscate his choices or alter his values because of what he’s exposed to as a child.

So…the hope that your son or daughter will validate what YOU are saying when they’re out with other people. He will think, “Mom told me that” or another person will reinforce what YOU have told him. He will respect and appreciate you as his mother by choice not by obligation. You may be superwoman but you are not a man.


“If any human being is to reach full maturity both the masculine and the feminine sides of the personality must be brought up into consciousness” Mary Ester Harding

DISCLAIMER:  I’m not a psychiatrist or even a parent. This blog is my supportive opinion, which is based on about 26 years of mentoring young boys from the age of 7 to about 18.  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 also received formal training as a volunteer with Mentors Inc. 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 and men.

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