As a single mom, finding male role models for your son can feel like a life-or-death situation. We might ask ourselves “Can my son become a good man with respect for others without a father figure in his life?”
The answer is yes. Although their father isn’t entirely in the picture, there are other ways to ensure that your son has good male role models in his life. Whether it be responsible men from inside your family or your community, finding a male role model for boys doesn’t have to feel impossible.
Instead of relying on a romantic partner to become a father figure, it’s best to have your son be surrounded by suitable male role models that you know and trust to show your boy how to become a well-rounded man. Here’s where and how to find male role models for boys as a single mom.
Table of Contents
- Why Boys Need Male Role Models
- Dating as a Single Mom
- Men Inside the Family
- Coaches in the Community
- Church Youth Groups
- Classic Camping: Boy Scouts
- Finding a Mentor: What Interests Your Son?
Why Boys Need Male Role Models
As young boys develop through the years, a positive male role model is critical to them in learning how to act and become responsible men. Unfortunately, one-fourth of all the children in the U.S. live in a single-mom household. As a result, these children are likely not regularly engaging with positive male role models.
As a single mom, you know that although having a dad in the picture is optimal, it’s not always right for your family’s situation. Whether your son’s dad chooses to not be in the picture or because they cannot be a positive role model, sometimes it’s best that dad stays out of your son’s life.
Yet, we need to ensure that our boys still have favorable role models present in their daily routines. Research has suggested that boys without male role models present are more prone to criminal activity, addiction, and lack of education. There’s a reason why 58% of women graduate from higher education while only 42% of men will do so.
Aside from scary statistics, boys also simply need men in their lives to encourage risk-taking, confidence, physical activity, and challenge them to positively embrace their masculinity. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we single moms try, we can’t be the positive male role models our boys need.
Dating as a Single Mom
At first, you may think that by dating and meeting potential partners they can become role models to your son. However, this is more complicated than you may think. Sons will naturally react negatively to new men in the household. Meanwhile, not every man you date will be a proper role model or willing to become one.
Dating often entails meeting new people repeatedly until you can find the right person. You don’t want to introduce every man you meet to your son. This will cause instability in his life and can create negative outcomes like behavioral issues, emotional distress, and even cognitive disturbances.
That’s why it’s best to not introduce a romantic partner to your children unless you are certain that they are a good role model and worth pursuing a long-term relationship with. Until that man comes along, it’s better to date on the low without interfering with your son’s life.
While waiting for Mr. Right, there are other men around you who can be a good influence on your son and become positive role models. These men may include:
Men Inside the Family
Male figures already inside the family can help step in and spend time with your son. This can include grandfathers, uncles, older cousins, and more. By allowing them to build a strong relationship with the responsible men in your family, your son can receive the positive influence they need while also understanding the value of family.
On the other hand, this can also extend to close family friends. Does your best friend’s husband seem like a good father figure to his own children? If so, take your son over for dinner and allow the boys to do what they do best while you can spend time with your friend.
Whoever it may be, if they’re responsible and close to your family, they may be able to help your son witness how men and fathers are meant to act and how they respectfully treat others. It’s crucial for your son to see a man treat other men, women, and their own children with compassion, respect, and kindness.
Coaches in the Community
Not only is it good for your son to join a sports team to make friends but to also receive a positive male figure in their coach. Coaches are proactive men in your community who are hoping to have a positive influence on children and teach them discipline, manners, and engagement with other boys.
From soccer to hockey, there are plenty of sports for your son to explore and see which one he likes best. No matter what, sports and playing in a team is a perfect way to ensure that your son is experiencing proper male bonding under the supervision of a positive male role model.
Church Youth Groups
If you are religious, spiritual, or want to instill it in your son, allowing them to socialize in the church community can help them discover good male role models. Whether it be their pastor or their youth group leader, churches usually have multiple programs for children and teens to engage with optimistic male role models.
Talk with your pastor or church coordinator to learn more about the programs they offer and which ones might be best suited for your son.
Classic Camping: Boy Scouts
Now, there’s a reason why cub and boy scouts have been around for so long. Not only will joining the Boy Scouts of America introduce your son to enthusiastic male role models but it will also provide personal guidance, adventure, and practice of crucial organizational skills.
Most teachers at elementary schools and even further on are women. If your son doesn’t experience consistent interaction with male role models at home or school, then joining boy scouts can ensure they receive that on a weekly basis.
Scout leaders are often fathers volunteering to continue the boy scouts tradition and will be more than happy to be a positive role model for your son.
Finding a Mentor: What Interests Your Son?
If none of these options seem like a good fit for your son, try to think about what interests them. If they don’t enjoy sports, do they like arts and crafts? Find a local art club or youth art class that can help him socialize with men who share the same interests.
No matter what your son enjoys, be it Legos, chess, karate, or painting, there’s a group in your community ready to take him under their wing and nurture his passions. Social media, especially Facebook, can help you find these groups and reach out to them.
By giving the extra effort of finding this for your son, you can better ensure he is developing into a well-rounded man with male role models ready to mentor him through life’s journeys. Although as a single mom you want to try and be everything he needs, a boy needs a responsible male role model in his life to learn how to be a man.