A couple of months ago, I wrote an article entitled, If I Had A Daughter, Would I Teach Her To Think Like A Man? in response to the recent Steve Harvey movie based on his book. The premise of the article was to address some gender disparities that exist in America.
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Once my clients, students, friends, and family read the article, I began getting more and more questions about single parenting and how effective one parent can be in raising children. From both men and women, I was confronted with an age-old question: Do you think a single woman can raise a boy to be a man?
The question typically emerged when “Little Johnny” has done something wrong in school or in the community and the mom finds herself at wits end by trying to figure out why she might be struggling to get her son to “act right.”
Typically, many parents would typically short-change herself by rationalizing her son’s behavior by saying things like “Well, I’m just a single mom,” or “As a woman, I can’t teach my son how to be a man,” or “Boys will be boys and I just don’t know what to do with him.” So, can a single mom raise a boy to be a man?
Raising a boy to be a man means teaching him responsibility. Responsibility means commitment to oneself and one’s community. It means that when a boy becomes a man, he is able to be responsible for himself and be willing to care for the people who are closest to him.