Don’t Depend on Him For Your Self-Esteem
One thing that we have reiterated several times on parenting today is that we cannot allow our self-esteem as parents to be wrapped up in our children. If our emotions are tied to their performance then we cannot discipline properly or be objective. This is very true for the single mother. She cannot allow her self worth as a mother be tied to how her children are doing. Often times if a son isn’t doing well it is easy for a mom to beat herself up. On the other hand she also can not push him hard finding her self- worth through his success. She needs to remove the emotion from it in order to get proper perspective. Click Here to see our previous week on the topic of performance and parenting.
Listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic.
Give Him Independence
We spoke last week about how important it is to allow your son to begin to make his own decisions. We must do this in order to begin to instill leadership characteristics in our son. This is even more important for the single mom to make this a priority. This is in fact a two part process for the single mom especially if there is an older son.
The older son needs his mom to cheer his decisions and not attempt to make them for him. He must be allowed to fail in order to learn. The other thing that is equally important for the single mom to process is that she cannot lean on her son for emotional support. He cannot be a male “replacement” or someone to vent to. He must be allowed to stay in the role as child. Mom must be careful to put up boundaries in the adult/child relationship and not begin to lean on or emotionally confide in her children. If this is an area of need in her life she needs to seek out a godly friend or even a counselor to vent to.
Another thing to always remember is that we are never alone, no matter how lonely we feel. Our Heavenly Father promises He will never leave us or forsake us!
Listen to today’s podcast for more practical application on giving your son independence.
Don’t Degrade His Gender
It is very easy for us to take out frustrations and stress on the people around us, and unfortunately it is most often on the people that we love most. Especially, when we have been hurt we can even unconsciously take out our pain and anger on those we love, i.e. our children. For those who have suffered through a divorce, especially those with sons we need to be aware of this.
We need to make certain that we are not making negative statements about the male gender as a whole. A son will not only look to his mom for the affirmation of his gender but ultimately to define what it looks like. This is vitally important for a son’s development but also for the mother son relationship. If a mother cannot affirm his gender, the relationship with her son will be strained.
Listen to today’s podcast for practical ways to affirm a son’s gender.
“Put Your Oxygen Mask On First”
As a single parent, mom must realize that she will be dealing with many emotions. She must give herself a chance to work through them so she doesn’t emote on her children. Healing is a slow, two steps forward one step back process. It will take awhile. Mom must allow for it and find the appropriate level of help, whether that is a strong Christian friend or even a counselor. You cannot give the appropriate level of emotional care to your children if you have not begun the healing process yourself.
Another thing to keep in the forefront of the mind is if single parenting is a result of a divorce a mom must realize it was her divorce not her children’s. That is unless there was some form of abuse and a mom needs to put the protection of her children first. For all children but especially a son, a mom cannot use custody or opportunities for him to be with his dad as a weapon. It will cause her children further pain.
For the rest of this week we will be discussing the topic of raising a son as a single mom, what that means and how to do it well.
Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.
Willingness To Let Go
One of the most painful things for a mother is the letting go of a child. The emancipation process for a son is vitally important, per Genesis 2:24, “the man shall leave his mother and father…” The letting go of a son in preparation for adulthood, and ultimately marriage, is something that is more painful for a mom. She will no longer, and should no longer, be the most important female in his life. If this is not intentionally done a man will eventually marry a “mother” figure rather then a wife. This is very detrimental to the marriage relationship.
It must be something that is gradually done from childhood on. In childhood, we begin the emancipation process with allowing them to begin to make their own choices. High school allow them freedom with in the boundary of the rules set up and not hovering or taking their choices personally. As boys grow into men she needs to understand the fact that, while she will always be his mother, she needs to “wean” the mothering and allow him to make his own decisions. This is a very difficult and unnatural process, therefore, it must be a supernatural process. For an amazing example of this read 1 Samuel 1 and reread the story of Hannah.
For more insight on this topic listen to today’s podcast.