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Along with letting your child seek his own heroes and role models, there are things you can do to allow him to be male. Whether or not you have a man around to show him the ropes, your son can grow up to be an emotionally healthy male just as many boys of single moms have already done. Did you know that Tom Cruise, Ed Bradley, Alexander Haig, Bill Clinton, Alan Greenspan, Bill Cosby, Dr. Benjamin Carson and Les Brown were raised by single moms?
The following tips have been compiled from my own experience, the expertise of "current or retired" single mothers and single parent advisors.
1. Accept your son's differences.
2. Never make him the man around the house. True, you want to teach him to grow to be man, but there is a distinction between being the "little man" and being responsible for things that adults are supposed to do. Your child is not your confidant, your knight in shining armor or your rescuer. Especially important for the newly widowed or divorced, correct people if they suggest that now your son "is the man around the house," or that he should "take care of Mommy."
3. When you look at your child and see his father's face, it's okay to get a little emotional. After all, if your ex gave you anything of value, you're looking at it. Let your son know how important he is to you.
4. Point out the positive qualities in men you see on a day to day basis. This means that even if you're buying your son baseball shoes, and the salesman is especially attentive or friendly, point this trait out by mentioning what a helpful person he is, or "Isn't this man very nice?"