How can I teach my son to be a man when I'm not a man?
There is an ongoing debate that happens every year near father’s day. Some women like and appreciate being acknowledged on father’s day while others balk at the idea, and assert that they are mothers and want to be recognized as such. Some women feel that because they took on the sole responsibility of parenting their children without the help of their children’s father that they acted as both mom and dad. Yet other women feel that being a single mom does not qualify them as mom and dad. I would fall in the latter of the two. I raised my sons as a single mom for a great part of their childhood. However, I don’t want to be celebrated or recognized on father’s day because I, “Acted as both mother and father.” In fact, I did not. I am simply a mom who raised her sons as a single parent. If I put this in layman's terms, a mother cannot be a father, just as a father cannot be a mother. A mother by its very definition must be a woman, and a father must be a man. Which leads me to the question, how can a mother teach her son to be a man?
The answer to that question is, she can’t, and this is coming from a woman who raised four boys. I did the very best that I could, as a single mother, but my sons were still missing something. They needed to see a man in his rightful place, at the head of the family. As a woman, I know that women have the ability to be many things. I am the first to support girl power, but we can’t be dads. If their dad wants to be in their lives, we must allow him to be in their lives, even if he isn’t providing any monetary assistance. Children should not be used as leverage to force a dad to support his children monetarily. The children are the ones who suffer from this behavior, we must put our feelings aside and put our children first. What we can do for our sons is teach them how to be good people, we can surround them with male role models and mentors. We can enroll them in a sports program, be intentional about providing positive male role models for our sons. As women we can’t teach our sons to be men, but we can certainly surround them with positive male influencers who can help guide them into manhood.