When your relationship ends after you have children, you may worry about many things.
Work-life balance, guilt for not being able to spend as much time at home, and fatigue from trying to carry the entire load — emotionally, cognitively, and psychologically.
And if you’re raising sons, you may have an additional worry: How do you raise them to exhibit the positive qualities of manhood?
Boys need positive male role models who can show them traits of positive masculinity.
But what if your ex-husband has no plans to financially, socially, emotionally, or mentally raise your son to be the man you want him to be? As a single mom, you can ensure that your son is taught positive masculinity with these six suggestions.
1. Provide space to explore the world on their own, but make sure they know they can come to you.
Allowing him to make his own decisions — within reason if he’s a minor — but only stepping in when your instincts warrant it absolutely necessary.
This goes a long way in establishing a healthy mother-son relationship.
2. Be tough and tender.
It’s easy to implement an element of toughness when it comes to boys. But it’s more important that he sees your vulnerable side, too.
When he sees and feels your “humanness,” you’re indirectly creating a young man that will be compassionate and empathetic — qualities that are necessary for maintaining healthy relationships.
3. Ask questions and keep asking them.
As they grow and develop as a man, their inclination is to pull away.
You, as a single mom, will have to push through this obstacle. It will help him feel connected and develop a way to process and communicate his feelings, especially in future romantic relationships.
4. Establish a friendly co-existing relationship with his father, if possible.
This is critical. It will help him to understand that relationships don’t always work out, but it’s imperative to maintain a cordial working relationship.
You don’t want the relationship to be bad because of your behavior.
5. Respect is a must.
Boundaries are very important, not only to his development but also to you, as his mother.
You shouldn’t put undue expectations on him like he’s the man of the house.
6. Foster an independent but disciplined mindset.
It’s important that boys be allowed to experience independence early in life. Doing everything for them will only cause them to seek partners that demonstrate those same characteristics.
Having an independent mindset will help your son be assertive, make good decisions and be their own advocate.
Single moms, you’ve got this!
Parenting and teaching positive masculinity to your son is not anchored to gender. You’re either good at it or you’re not.
Just by nature and time, boys will become men but with your guidance, you will help your future man become a better human.
Originally Published on YourTango
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