Monday, December 22, 2008
I am trying to get my son to stand up for his self ( 10 years old). His father is selfish and in my son's life at his convinence. Sometimes I feel I am to hard on my son and then I just shut down. I can't get angry; nevertheless, I am doing the best I can. I try to talk to his dad but he is to concerned about his girlfriend.
I have been dealing with him for nine years and I am tired. I give up on his father and I told his father that! Lord I need some advice and help. I am a successful professional women and his father resents that! He often tell my son he has to much. Nevertheless he is no where around!
When I treat his father with kindness he acts like she just wants me. When I treat his father like he deserves to be treated his father says why am I so mean. I do not know!
What to do
Please post comments and suggestions. You do not need to use your real name.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Hello. I am a single parent of a 6year old boy. I am not with his father and my son and his father do not have any contact. That in itself presents other problems that I am just starting to recognize and deal with and I can discuss those at a later time. However, I would like to comment on the two mom's that are having discipline problems with their sons. First as women and mothers - we talk TOO much. We try an negotiate and let our children run our lives and we tend to reward bad behavior. What ever you say you are going to do you have to follow through. A male friend of mine game me some wonderful advice. He said, I tell my son the cause and effect of his actions. If he does this - then I will do that. Period and then I follow through and do it. In regards to the 17 years old - he is almost grown now. However, there is NO way I'm going to pay for food, housing, clothing, etc and have a bad kid running my house and I am especially not going to be afraid in my own house. Little boys turn into men. Little boys and teenages try to see just how far they can go. At some point - mother of the 17 year old - your son is going to hit you. You still may be able to get your leverage back. Stop buying food, stop buying clothes, stop arguing - get on the defensive. Why are you afaid in your own house? You wouldn't let a stranger just up and walk in your house and take it over - why are you letting your son do it. Say what you mean and do it. To the mother of the 7 year old - if you are having problems know what are you going to do when he is big enough to hit you. You can take control back too by saying what you mean and following through. You have to be consistent. No is No. In the old days - parents discliplined their children - now parents want to be friends with their kids. Guess what - you cannot be friends with your children. You are their protectors, their providers, and we love them - but we cannot be their friends - it does not work as you can see. Finally, I feel that my ultimate responsibility with my son is to raise a son that is spiritual and knows God, that is mannerable and to provide him with the best education and social situations so that he can grow into a good man that is worthy to take a wife and raise a family. How we raise our sons has the potential of affecting generations after generations. Remember - that men that have bad relationships with their mothers tend to have bad relationships with women in general. So now is the time for you to suck it up, stop talking and do what you say you are going to do. You are the parent, and your child is exactly that - a child. Treat them like a child. For the mom of the 7 year old - you do not let your son hit you even for play. That is definitely something that is not to be tolerated.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
My perspective comes from raising my children with zero input from their father. If you are fortunate enough to have the father’s involvement even though you are not together, then work together. Show a unified front to the children (even if you don’t like one another). Show your child that you are both focused on their well being. Show them you can rise above personal feelings and do the right thing for the right reason. That alone will have a major impact on their views of right and wrong as well as their self worth.
When I was asked to write a piece on my experience as single mother and raising a strong confident empowered son I was eager to do so. But, I didn’t have different rules or guidelines for my children. I raised them both as individuals. When all is said and done the same rules apply, the same challenges are faced by both our sons and daughters. We no longer live in the days when more were expected of men than of women. And should our daughters one day be faced with single parenting; shouldn’t they also know these rules?
However, many of our actions as a mother can have a larger impact on our sons, than on our daughters so I will focus on those. If you want your son to become a good man there are several key factors that will hinder or help you along the way.
First and foremost, never compare the child to their father unless it is in a positive light. The problems and issues that led to the father being absent are not the child’s fault. The actions of either parent should never cast a shadow on the child’s self worth. Yet I see so many who compare the child (most often the son) to their father and the child subconsciously begins to believe they will become the same type of person. When mom does not respect and/or love the father any longer and the child believes they are just like the father (in a negative sense) the child cannot feel truly loved and valued, nor can they love themselves.
The next thing to always keep in mind is that everyone you bring into a child’s life and especially a son’s life is a role model. As the mother you will influence your daughter(s) the most, but you and many others will influence your son. You need to KNOW the morals and values these other people have and the impact those values will have on your son. This includes family as well as friends. A young boy is by far better off without a male role model than he is with the wrong male role model.
My children were raised without a father, and without family nearby. I was very cautious who I allowed to influence my children. Many volunteered, very few were allowed. I see people who make promises to children and never keep them. This behavior is allowed because they are a friend not the father. WRONG!! Never allow someone, no matter who they are to break a promise to your child. If they do it once, they will do it again. Your son will grow up believing it is ok to break a promise; that things come up and interfere with keeping ones word. Is that what you want your child to learn?
Gee, mom thinks the world of this man, he is the uncle, brother, grandfather or friend, and he never kept his word so that must be ok. The child had to accept that and in turn will grow up to believe his children (and others) will also accept it. Naturally, things do occur and plans do change, but your acceptance of this will be burned into your child’s mind. The lifestyle of your friends and family members will also impact your son. Be careful what you “imply” you approve of. Many of us do not agree with the choices our friends and relatives make but we love them anyway. That is fine, but make sure your child knows YOUR values, not those of others.
In order to raise a strong confident and empowered son we need to show them we believe in them and their judgment. Children and especially sons need to have faith in their judgment and need to know we have faith in them as well. We cannot make decisions for our kids; we need to provide them with the skills and tools to make those decisions for themselves. That is our duty as a parent. We need to teach them that making mistakes is what leads to making the right choices in the long run; providing they also learn from those mistakes. Most of all we need to teach our children to own their responsibility. This is especially true for our sons. Our duty as a parent is to guide and teach, not to live their life for them.
A young boy will always seek approval from a single mother. Make certain he knows you will listen and guide, but that he is responsible for making the decisions and that you “know” that if he checks his heart and conscious he will make the right choice. Most importantly is listening and “hearing”. You may hear things you don’t want to hear, you may be asked questions you are not comfortable answering, but you need to rise to the occasion and be the ONE they know they can turn to.
We all know it is not easy to always be the bad guy. The only one who disciplines, the only one who says no. But we also need to remember that being a single parent does not excuse our willingness to let things slide, nor does it excuse their behavior. Do not allow your child to use the excuse they don’t have a father to turn to. You need to be both mother and father. You need to show your child that their self worth is not tied to how many parents they have.
We live in a society where people make excuses rather than owning their responsibility. Don’t allow that to be you and your child’s lifestyle. Depending on the situation and the level of involvement from the father it is up to you to show your son that no matter what else occurs he and he alone can be whoever he sets his mind to be. He doesn’t need to worry about who others are or how they live. He only needs to be proud of who he is.
I think the most important thing any parent can do, whether single or married, is to let your child know he can always turn to you. No matter what the topic is he can ask you and know you will listen. He can tell you and count on you to ACT not to REACT. Huge difference ladies! Be prepared, you will be tested, but in the long run you and your children will grow closer.
Be honest about your own life. As a parent, and especially a single parent, our children want to believe we are saints and never make a mistake. But in the long run they benefit far more by hearing we do make mistakes and we learned from them. Don’t be afraid to show your son the real you.
I have a hard and fast rule in my life. Never date or marry someone who isn’t good enough for my child or my best friend. If the man in your life was dating your sister, your daughter, your best friend…… would you approve? A child whether male or female knows and picks up on so very much we do. Mom’s, if you are dating ask yourself this question. Is he someone you want your son to become or someone you want your daughter to marry one day? Not the actual person, but the character and integrity of that person. Are YOU the woman you want your son to one day find and marry? Are your friends good examples of what you want your children to grow up and become?
As adults we can separate and value the good in people, and understand each person’s right to make their own choices whether we approve or not. But children take everything at face value. Make sure they see you living the life you want for them. Make sure they know the value and importance of leading and not following. Allow them to test and learn and they will become the man or woman you want them to be.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
A possible message that we have sent to many boys (posted to encourage discussion). The person that posted the quoted material requested to be anonymous:
"Hello little boy, we want you to grow up to be a good man but we won't be clear what that is... We will tell you all that’s wrong with just being a man but hide the unique value. Oh by the way, you can get a clear image of being a "bad guy" everywhere. And it is good to be in-touch with your feminine side but your wife may hate you for it in the long run. Also, if you show any aggression or too much exuberance as a boy we will send you to the principal. We will ring all the passion out of you if it looks in any way like aggression then wonder why you don’t take enough initiative in life. As your sex drive develops we will just tell you it is bad and shame you about it, forcing it into the shadows. Don't you realize you are the "privileged one", you have everything, don't you feel it? You are male so you have all the power and are to blame for all the problems. "
Is that not the signal we send when we have not answered the following questions?
Thursday, February 21, 2008
A book for Boys! The Dangerous Book for Boys
Click here to see the book on Amazon.
"I'm a single mom of a teenager (age 15) and wish this had been around when he was younger. His dad skipped the country and he has no grandfathers either. Basically, no male role models period. Is this 'boys stuff' that I could do with him?"
"I've done a bunch of this stuff with my son (8) already! In this day and age, you don't have to be a male to build go karts or tie knots or make batteries. We have had so much fun with this book."
[Quotes from Single Moms on Amazon.]
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
A New book and post...Mother To Son: Words of Wisdom, Inspiration and Hope for Today's Young African American Men
By Kimberley R. Crouch
My eight year old son Julius’s confidence is quite remarkable. At 8, he believes he can do anything he sets his mind to. I sometimes sit in awe of the belief he has in himself. If you ask him, he will tell you he thinks he can do everything from fly an airplane to build a spaceship. The truth is most children my son’s age belief in their abilities are truly boundless. Most think they can do anything because they exhibit very little fear and trust themselves completely.
Unfortunately, much of this confidence dissipates as they progress towards adulthood because they begin to experience failure and setback and parents, teachers, and other meaningful adults in a quest to protect children from life’s failures unknowingly teach them cautious boundaries. The result is that children start to doubt themselves and never strive to strengthen their capabilities, which comes from making mistakes. In the end, these once confident children become cautious, predictable, risk averse adults. As an African-American mother, I think it’s particularly important that African-American parents do everything we can to ensure that our children feel empowered and confident because it provides the validation necessary to deal with challenges they will face as adults in a racist society.
There are three steps I think parents can take to ensure their children remain confident and empowered.
1. Recognize Failures as Opportunities To Learn. As adults, we should teach our children that mistakes are an acceptable part of life and that they provide the greatest opportunity to learn. As such, they are a key ingredient of success. Therefore, children should be encouraged to take appropriate risks even if they flounder because mistakes should be seen as opportunities to learn and not as signs of incompetence. The problem is that many well intentioned parents in an effort to protect their children encourage them to head in a different direction once a mistake is made and they never learn to strengthen their abilities and confidence. After all, the ability to persevere in the face of a mistake is a great confidence booster for children. The truth is mistakes define the event and not the person. It's not coincidence that the fine print of every stock advertisement states that past performance is not a predictor of future performance. Parents should instill this same sort of thinking with their children. This allows their children the freedom to move forward, strengthening their abilities and building their confidence without stifling their development.
2. Encourage Individuality. Too often in this day and age, parents, teachers and other
adults crave structure and order so much that they fail to recognize the uniqueness of each child and discourage their individuality. Successful kids, however, are often kids who understand their unique strengths and who are willing to step outside their comfort zone and challenge the status quo. They have minimal fear that their choice or decision is the most popular one. They listen to their own heart and they follow their beliefs. It’s very easy for parents and other adult caretakers to stifle this individuality because these types of independent minded children may be difficult as youngsters, and adults may view them as rebellious and disrespectful rather than as critical, free thinkers. But as parents, our job is to harness this individuality and channel it to create successful adults who have absolute comfort in who they are and their abilities. It is also our job to preserve their individuality and to fight for it even if other adults find it troublesome. As parents, we should always focus on our child’s unique strengths and successes and praise their talent and make them aware of their own worth.
3. Foster problem solving skills. As parents, we want to minimize any hurt or disappointment that our children may endure so we often interfere with their ability to fight their own battles. What we need to realize is that if our children do not learn to deal with their own problems when they are younger, then they won’t develop the problem solving skills or the confidence necessary to deal with tougher issues that may arise later in life. Allowing children to stand on their own and fight their own battles fosters problem solving skills that can build confidence in a way that nothing else can.
In the end, following these three steps will go a long way to helping raise, healthy confident kids.
Kimberley R. Crouch is the mother of two sons and the author of Mother To Son: Words of Wisdom, Inspiration and Hope for Today’s Young African-American Men.
Author, Mother To Son
Monday, August 13, 2007
What has worked?
How has your Son gained valued from men in your community or men in your family in his own maturing?
I am very clear what a challenging question this is so please email any story of success no matter how small to post here and put in the subject line “Please add to the Single Mom’s Raising Son’s Blog”
My email is: Martin@CoachingSupport.com
My book about 10 years of working with men, is out. I think it would be of use to any mother; to know the challenges that adult men have faced in thei
Keep the posting coming.. Many women have gained value from this blog.
To learn more about the book goto: