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  • You Are Not Making Your Sons Less Masculine If You're Raising Them by Yourself, Moms

    In the absence of the father, who do your kids see as a father figure?
    by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
You Are Not Making Your Sons Less Masculine If You're Raising Them by Yourself, Moms
PHOTO BY @phollapat cheechang/iStock
  • Mothers and fathers play different roles in their children's lives. They are not only their providers and protectors; they are, for the most part, their children's guide and role model as they grow up -- mothers teach their daughters values becoming of a woman, while fathers show their sons what it takes to be a man.

    However, relationships don't always work out the way we hope they would, and as a result, family dynamics change. We all know someone who is raising his or her kid alone, and while the situation could be better, the one left behind has to fill the shoes of the other.In more common scenarios, it is the mom who finds herself in charge of raising the kids alone. The situation becomes even more challenging with a son, because how does a woman teach a boy to be a man?

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    Our society being patriarchal, it is natural that we expect our children's father to teach our sons the ways of manhood. Whether raising sons or daughters, in the absence of the father, who plays the role of a father figure? We asked the single moms in the Smart Parenting Village who they turn to for help.  

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    "I am a single mom who lives with my mom, brother, lola, and tita. My daughter calls my 21-year-old brother Tito Daddy or Daddy. They are really close and I can see that they really love each other. Even if he spoils Zia, my brother knows how to discipline her as well. When Zia throws tantrums, I just call him and he would talk to her. He doesn't shout at her, he just tells Zia that it's bad. He's the one who taught Zia how to say sorry, too." - Shayne Caravana, 24, mom to a 2 year old

    "My son and I live with my parents and brother and my son sees my dad as his father figure. My parents taught my son how to be respectful and God-fearing." - Kristina Carbonell, mom to a 1 year old son

    "My kids look up to my dad. Sobra silang attached sa "papu" nila especially my youngest and only son. Pag umiiyak sya, marinig lang nya yung boses ni Papa, tatahan agad sya. Pag may mga bagay na hindi ako pumapayag, kay Papu sila tatakbo para di na ko maka-hindi. Sa school, si Papa ang nilalagay nila na name sa father. I'm very grateful I have my Papa and that he's always there for my kids." - Micha Francisco, mom to 4 kids

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    "I’ve been living with my siblings since college, and when I got pregnant two years ago, I still stayed with my brothers. My son’s father is still involved in dad matters but only through text messages. In terms of a father figure, my older brother and our bunso have been there for him. I am not sure if at this point they have taught LO anything, but I know that he feels loved." - Jessica Fleur Gonzales, mom to a 1 year old son

    "As a single mom still living with my dad, my daughter sees him as her father. He takes care of her too when I’m at work. I guess what he taught my daughter is discipline and being a loving daughter to me. After work, when I arrive home my daughter would welcome me with a “mano”, hug, and kiss. I didn’t teach her that."- Dang Cahanding, mom to a 4 year old  

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    But research shows, in fact, that the kind of support boys need in transitioning towards manhood is the kind they get from their moms. This includes listening to them and validating their emotions amidst struggles. It is actually a mother's love that helps a boy stand his ground when faced with peer pressure. However, many moms feel that their close relationship with their sons could weaken their masculinity.

    Not so, says a study. It found that among those observed, 63% of the young men who had a close relationship with their mothers tended to look for more meaningful relationships than casual hook-ups, largely due to the role their mothers played in their lives.

    So, moms, do not be afraid to be present in your children's lives. That their father is not around is not your fault, and should not hold you back from loving your child. If anything, it should serve as further motivation to love your child even more, because a child who is loved will grow up to become a man who knows how to love others.

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