While I've been single for 5 years, I've only been raising the children without the help of their father for the last 2 years, we last had contact with him on Christmas Eve 2011. Being a single parent is tough enough, but when you don't have the support of the other parent, it can be doubly hard. Having to make important decision without help, trying to be a Mother and a Father.
Raising my Daughter is easy, she's a girl, I'm a girl, so I know I can meet her emotional and psychological needs. But what about my Son??
My Son and I have a great relationship, he's 10 now, nearly 11, about to embark on the scary world of secondary school, he's growing up to be a lovely young man.
But I sometimes worry that I'm not meeting his emotional and psychological needs, I'm not a boy so I have no idea how boys think and how they process information or emotions. He has an excellent role model in my Brother and my Dad, but it's still not the same in having his Father around. But we carry on the best we can, we see my Dad every Sunday and he's such a positive person, very affectionate and I'm so lucky that he takes the time to talk to Damian and be that emotional crutch. They really are 2 peas in a pod sometimes.
But what can I do as a Mother?
I've put together some tips that I think we all need to follow when raising our Sons without the help of their Father:
- Never make him 'Man of the House', encourage him to be responsible but remind him he doesn't have to take on the responsibility of being a parent-figure.
- Never ever bad mouth men around him, instead point out good traits.
- Keep your opinions of his Father to yourself, he is not his father.
- Find a positive male role model for him, whether that be a friend, an uncle, a neighbour or a grandparent.
- Let him express his feelings, it's okay for him to cry, comfort him like you would a daughter.
- Never ever tell him to 'Man-Up' or 'Be a Man'
- Do not introduce a new partner unless you know it is a serious relationship and he will be a good role-model.
Above all, have fun and be silly, wrestle and rough and tumble with him.