Are We Disservicing Our Boys?

I had the opportunity to hang out with a friend, we’ll call him Tim, this weekend that I haven’t seen in awhile.  As we were catching each other up on our lives and having a great time, Tim gave me a suggestion for my blog.  As a teacher, he has an opportunity to come into contact with students and parents of all backgrounds. He suggested that I write about single moms and how they do a disservice to their children, particularly their sons.  I kindly pointed out that it’s not just a problem with single moms-it’s ALL moms who make excuses for their sons.

I have heard of numerous stories where moms, single and married, make allowances and excuses for their sons’ bad deeds, whether it’s condoning disrespectful behavior, making bad grades in school, being lazy, and even having children and not taking care of them.  If their daughters were to behave the same way, these mothers would get in their tails so quickly the girls wouldn’t have a chance to see them coming.  These boys grow up to become men who expect women to take care of them, will sit around the house all day, and will essentially not be good to anyone.  I have heard of so many stories were mothers allow their sons to behave any type of way, even at 5 years old, and not discipline them or tell them that they are wrong.  And God forbid someone else try to step in and teach the boy right from wrong, even his own father.  A mother will attack and quickly say, “You will not talk to my child that way.” 

Mothers are protective anyway over their children, and I truly believe that boys hold special places in the hearts of their mothers.   In some African cultures, it is customary when a boy reaches puberty for his father to take him away from the home and teach him how to be a man, without the interference of his mother.  I think a little bit of this should be adopted into American culture.  If there is no father in the home or the boy’s life, he should have a strong male figure that is easily accessible, that he can look up to, and discuss things with that he can’t talk about with his mother.

Now, I don’t have children, but I do plan to one day.  And it is my hope and prayer that if I do have a son that his father can teach him the ways of being a man, because that’s something I know nothing about.  So what say you, good people?  Are we disservicing our boys by allowing them to behave any way they wish?  By having children and not taking care of them?  By not respecting authority?  Or are we making a mountain of a molehill? Is the problem deeper than mothers relationships with their sons?   Most importantly is it true that, “We raise our daughters but love our sons”?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.

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