IT’S not easy for single mums to raise their sons.
A single mum should somehow find a way to make a man of her son.
But she’s a woman, and can hardly play the male role model to perfection.
Boy children are known to have lots of energy, and this can tax the strength and endurance of a single mother.
Boys tend to relate to mythical characters in comic books.
They enjoy energetic cartoon heroes with super powers who save the world.
How can a single working mum cope with her boy’s surplus energy?
Speaking to SunBuzz, young single mother Simphiwe Mngomezulu said: “I come back from work and don’t have energy. All I want to do is bathe and sleep. But I can’t do that because my son needs my attention.
“So, what I try to do is tune in to cartoons and interact with him. At weekends I try to spend time playing all these active games he enjoys.”
She said she’d like to know other parents who were raising boys, and ask them how they did it.
“I’m always tired and end up wanting to beat him for being too active. That doesn’t stop him. But it makes him play less when I’m around,” she said.
Claudia Marais said she wanted a boy, and growing up she played with boys, so she knew what they enjoyed.
“The only thing I enjoy about my son is he’s carefree and curious. I research things that keep a boy child’s mind occupied.
“Toys that are similar to musical instruments that keep him busy and expand his brain.”
She said outdoor activities were the best for her son because that’s where he tried everything and she got to know what kind of person he was.
Said Claudia: “The trick is to adapt to what your child loves. Fuel the fire and keep him busy so that he doesn’t think of something else.
“Kids have short attention spans and get bored easily. That’s why you need to be ready to jump from one activity to the next.”
Here are some tips for single mothers raising boys:
- Accept your son’s differences.
- Never make him man of the house.
- When you look at your child and see his dad’s face, it’s okay to get a little emotional.
- Point out positive qualities in men you see on a daily basis.
- Be a little creative in helping your child learn guy stuff. An uncle might come in very handy at this stage.
- As your child matures, investigate local boys’ groups or clubs that he could join like Cub Scouts. Don’t be intimidated by such sponsored events as father/son boat races or picnics.
- Teach him your values, but let him express them uniquely. He’s a male and will respond to emotional situations somewhat differently than you might.
- If your boy is really active and is always on the go, get a chinning bar for his room for rainy days. Exercise is critical for all children, but when boys can’t seem to centre themselves as comfortably as girls, they might need other ways of releasing excessive energy.
- Role models are important and will be found in every aspect of your son’s life. Boys need men, but not necessarily fathers. Just because a father lives at home does not mean a boy is being “fathered”.
- Enjoy time with your baby or toddler and don’t worry about whether the child’s missing anything by not having “dad” around.
- But at the same time, don’t try to avoid the “daddy stuff”.