Advice for a Single Mom Raising a Boy to be a Man

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Last Updated on June 19, 2023 by Lori Pace

You may possibly be a single mother raising a boy all by yourself.

From the moment you glanced at your newborn son you knew that all your ambition for your son’s future rested on everything you did from that point forward. Will you be able to guide him to become a kind-hearted, self-confident, and responsible man?

You may have questioned how you are doing in raising your boy as a single mom.  That’s why we have laid out a series of things that you can do to raise your son to be the kind of man you desire him to become.

How a Single Mother Raising a Boy Can Help Him Become a Man:

Assist Him in Handling His Emotions.

The silent type, strong, and macho goon may be attractive in the movies, but in reality, the nice guys are the ones who can adequately manage their feelings.

Some traits that we conventionally think of as ‘masculine’ are in fact repressive- being unexpressive and in control. If you always tell your son to ‘buck up’ whenever he is upset, he learns to suppress his feelings.

Get your son talking. If your son is bad-tempered after school, don’t bust in with questions. “Just say, ‘I see that you are upset, if there’s anything I can help, I’m here”.  Let your son sense that you won’t scold him and that you are on his side. When your son finally opens up, get him to realize that although bad feelings remain, they don’t really last.

Instill Empathy

Make him a better friend, husband, and dad in the future by making him understand others’ feelings. Empathy is an important social skill that helps you understand others and keeps you from doing bad things to them. As a single mother raising a boy, it’s one of the best foundations you can bestow your son.

However, according to studies, college students today are 40% less empathic compared to 20 years ago. Two probable reasons are barbaric video games and social media networks where they earn virtual friends whom they don’t get to know in a sincere way.

When your son is watching his favorite sport like baseball, sit in with him and say, The pitcher seems to be under a lot of pressure. If you’re on the mound, how would you handle it?”

It takes just a few moments, but you are teaching your child to consider the feelings of others by putting himself in others’ shoes. Additionally, encourage your son to read novels. Studies show that reading fiction uses the part of our brain where we use to understand people’s feelings.

The more stimulation of those parts of the brain, the ability to understand others becomes stronger.

Instilling Empathy Towards Your Child

Strengthen His Confidence

All men that you admire have one common trait: a healthy dose of self-confidence. Feeling good about oneself doesn’t mean being egotistical. It just means he deems you worthy, competent, and confident – precisely what you desire for your son.

Cut the false praise. Telling your son that he’s the smartest kid in the universe or the best baseball player ever, will set expectations that your child cannot live up to. Appreciate his efforts instead of his talents. Congratulate them for getting things done instead of saying general praise like I’m proud of you.

Don’t stereotype your son. Saying ‘Boys will be boys’ or other expressions that condemn his behavior on his gender will suggest that he can’t manage his actions, “because he is a boy”. Your son will start to assume that boys are troublemakers.

Teach Respect for Others

Establish rules and implement them. If he breaks a rule, enforce consequences. Boys will respect you if you hold their feet to the fire. If you spoil your son and don’t continue with consequences, soon he can grow unmotivated, uncaring, and ultimately spoiled.

Aside from teaching your child about respect, be a good example. Treat everyone in your son’s life with respect. If your son creates conflicts – say, with his teacher – control the situation with courtesy. Don’t just side with your son without hearing both sides of the story. Even if your child is right, instill in him that being rude to a teacher is never allowed.

Tell him that if anything like it happens again, he has to consult you first and never talk back to his teacher again. You are teaching your son problem-solving skills and empathy at the same time.

Teaching Respect For Others

Display Affection

Your son loved your cuddles when he was younger, but when he hits the teenage years, he will begin separating from you to build independence. Don’t worry, it’s normal. However, you can still hug and kiss him, but make sure to do it in the right place at the right time.

He’ll be embarrassed if you cuddle him in front of his friends so do it when he’s about to go to bed or hug him when he is upset. They may not show it, but boys need a mother’s caring touch.

If you are in a setup where the Dad can still come and spend time with your son, that’s a good thing because Dads have an upper hand when raising boys: They know where their son is coming from because of their gender. As a mother, you can help your son be a good man, but the father will be able to show him what it actually means – and that is very important.

Parenting is a tough job, even more so for single parents. It is of good knowledge that the government supports this group and offers grants for single mothers. Go check that out if you feel it might be the right fit for your family. You’re welcome to ask any questions here as well.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!