Advice to a Single Mother, from Her Son


This isn’t a criticism of single mothers- it’s a criticism of what some single mothers do wrong with their sons.  Not all situations are the same.  Sometimes both parents are “to blame”.  Sometimes no one is.  Everyone loses at the blame game.  It’s time to take an honest, non-judgmental look at emotional abuse and the cycle of broken lives it perpetuates.  )I want this to be a balanced posts of do’s and don’ts, but I don’t know any single mothers well, so put positives in the comments and I’ll insert them into the article!)


The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

According to the author Shawn James*, “contrary to the belief of most feminists and liberals, a woman CANNOT be a mother and a father to a boy. Nor can she raise a boy to become a man.  Only a man can teach a man how to be a Real Man.”  Here is a summary of his analyses and observations.  (Some points assume the father can, would, and should be in his son’s life, which isn’t always the case.  Read the full article here.)

  1. Speaking negatively about their father.  The boy grows up doubting himself. They think that there’s something wrong with them.
  2. Saying negative things about men.  This makes little boys afraid of embracing their masculinity and their male identity.
  3. Teaching their sons to disrespect their fathers’ authority.  Boys growing up to disrespect of their fathers have no respect for all other men in society.
  4. Teaching their sons to disrespect male authority and male authority figures.  This is why many boys who come from single parent homes have a hard time adjusting to the real world.
  5. Projecting anger at the father onto the son.  These emotionally abusive blows knock boys down for the count emotionally before they even get up to become men.
  6. Not allowing their father to see them.  Boys need that relationship with their father to gain a sense of themselves and to understand their masculinity and male identity.
  7. Bringing in substitutes for a father.  Oftentimes he winds up just as overwhelmed and frustrated as the single mother is because he has no understanding of the family’s history or the previous history of the child.
  8. Coddling their sons.  Their sons never grow up learning they have to take responsibility for their actions.
  9. Inconsistent discipline.   Boys never learn that for every action there will be the same reaction every time.
  10. Teaching boys to be emotional.  This loss of self-control can cause him to be seen as weak by other men and make him a target for the abuses of both predatory men and women.
  11. Not teaching their sons what boundaries are.  They don’t know when they’ve gone TOO FAR. They violate people’s personal space. And they can’t take NO for an answer.
  12. Not teaching their sons coping skills.  When things like rejection, failure and loss come into their lives they don’t grieve, hurt for a while and move on like Real Men do.
  13. Establishing a co-dependent relationship.   They use their sons to get their emotional and other needs met it literally sucks the life out of these boys, preventing them from growing up to become healthy, functional men who can have a relationship with women his own age.
  14. Smothering.   All it leads to is him growing up dependent on women for his existence.
  15. Bullying.  Single mothers often use threats, intimidation and verbal abuse to control their sons because they become frustrated when they act in masculine ways they don’t understand.
  16. Trying to run his life.  Boys have grow up and learn how to do things for themselves if they’re going to survive out there.
  17. Thinking she can raise a man be a man on her terms.  There are only some lessons a man can teach a boy about life, and women need to understand this.
  18. Trying to turn their sons into “Perfect” people.  Boys who grow up to become men who are afraid of taking risks. Men who are always playing it safe. Men who are nothing more than cowards.
  19. Not encouraging them or supporting them in their quest to become independent men.  without that boy to maintain that co-dependent relationship with them, they’ll wither away and die pathetic lonely women. Or worse, they fear that their sons will find out the TRUTH regarding the relationship between her and his father.
  20. Not encouraging boys to embrace their masculinity.  By emasculating him and destroying his masculinity and male identity, she hopes to get back at that man who she thinks did her wrong.
  21. Not encouraging boys to embrace their sexuality. there was nothing wrong with sex. There was just something wrong with the way she had relationships with men that led to her having bad experiences.
  22. Misleading boys about Male/female relationships.  The Single mother may want a man who is their friend after her failed relationships with men. But younger women who are functional and want a good relationship DO NOT want their man to be their best friend.
  23. Telling boys that all women are whores.  The goal of this shaming language is to make the boy back away from a possibly healthy relationship with a woman outside of her and continue maintaining a co-dependent relationship they have with each other.
  24. Sabotaging his relationships with women.  Single mothers hate their sons having girlfriends because they fear that as he gets closer to this woman, he’ll start establishing healthy boundaries that will sever the emotional hose they have hooked up to them.


It takes two to make a woman a single mother.  Fathers have a role to play.  I’m not judging anybody.  I will say, though, that every parent who wishes the best for their children will do everything, looking past their pride, their past, their needs and their pain, to give them the best chance in life by avoiding obvious mistakes.


* Freelance Writer.  Here’s his explanation of his post, in the comments to the original article:

I’m not implying anything. I’m just stating the facts.
Let’s look at the statistics in the Black community which is 70 percent single mothers and 70 percent of all births are out of wedlock:

  • 70 Percent of all Black males born to single mothers wind up dropping out of school before they finish High School (Some even quit Junior High schoo,)
  • 70 Percent of all Black males born to single mothers usually wind up in some type of trouble with the criminal justice system before they turn 18,
  • 70 percent of all Black males Born to single mothers wind up incarcerated,
  • 70 Percent of all Black males born to single mothers usually wind up unemployable.

When boys are born to a single mother they’re usually put on a road to destruction.

One of my family members is a NYC school teacher and sees the dysfunction and chaos caused in the lives of boys due to living in these single parent female headed homes. These boys are insecure and act out because there is no man there to meet his emotional needs.

Why are boys today softer and more effeminate than in previous generations? Why do they attach themselves to images of males on TV? Because THERE IS NO FATHER IN THE HOME TO MODEL MANHOOD FOR THEM.

You do need a father to raise a son. Only a man can teach another man to be a man. Now I’m sorry if things with the man you chose to be with didn’t work out, but without a positive male in a boy’s life he is not getting what he needs emotionally and mentally to grow up to become a functional adult.

A woman CANNOT teach a boy to become a man because she DOES NOT KNOW what it is to BE A MAN or what a MAN will face in the world.

I grew up with a part-time Dad and now I’m just realizing what I missed out on because I didn’t have a man in my life full-time to teach me about manhood. This piece was to let know women know the numerous ways they harm their sons by depriving them of a father.