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2 important facts about raising boys single moms need to know

Being a single mom is undeniably testing, and when you add raising a boy in with the general mish-mash, it's something else entirely through and through.

As a single mom, raising a child of the opposite sex has surprised me in various ways - and honestly, it keeps on doing so. All through my experience, I've come to understand that unique struggles are attached to the mom-and-son dynamic. Struggles that as a single mom it never occurred to me that I'd struggle with.

It's actually quite basic when you think about it, I'm a girl and he's a boy. We are built differently, not just biologically, but physically, mentally and emotionally. We behave differently and our demeanor is different. I also think that we also sometimes see the world through different coloured lenses.

Raising my son, I never expected that our differences would play a significant role in our daily lives. From the way we communicate to even the things we enjoy doing, there's always an underlying contrast that often stops me in my tracks.

Above all, the following two don't seem to be talked about much and have stood out to me, as a single mom raising a boy.

Processing emotions

One of the most noticeable aspects of raising a boy is witnessing firsthand the unique ways they process emotions and challenges. As a single mom, I've often found myself navigating a world of emotions I might not have encountered as frequently with a daughter. Boys may express themselves differently, and sometimes, understanding their feelings can be a puzzle that often requires patience and understanding.

In general, boys may be more inclined to keep their emotions to themselves or express them through actions rather than words. As a mom, you know when something's bothering them but trying to get them to open up and share what it is with you sometimes is a futile effort and can lead to frustration from both ends. You don't want to be too pushy because it'll just drive a bigger wedge between the both of you.

Boys might manage their emotions by turning to activities or distractions, like sports or video games, which is fine. This might be enhanced as they grow older and may refuse to share anything at all with their mothers and I've experienced how hard that can be on myself and distant it can make one feel.

I've occasionally caught myself attempting to draw parallels between my own female experiences and what my son could be going through, only to discover that our viewpoints are very different. From this, I have learned how crucial it is to actively listen to him and respect his distinct viewpoint, and this in return has helped me relate to him so much better for me and it has helped me be better at giving him the right support.

As a female, the way we process and manage emotions is different to males. Personally, as a single mom, I have had the opportunity to teach my boy that it's okay to show his emotions or to share his feelings, even if it is with me and about me. I would prefer that he be open with me about how he feels rather than not knowing.

By doing this, you can help him learn how to better manage his emotions and also possibly help him find a solution. I cannot imagine letting my son carry the weight of the world on his shoulders all by himself, especially when he doesn't know what to do with all the big emotions he chooses to keep to himself.

The secret of getting your boy to open up to you comes from the environment you create for him to do so. He needs to know that you are a safe and secure place for him to open up to. No judgement, no punishment but a lot of active listening, empathy and understanding.

Physical demands

The physicality of parenting a male is another noteworthy feature. Keeping up with their adventurous attitude may be fun and stressful at the same time since they are more often than not just the epitome of energizer bunnies. It's a constant go go go! It's both thrilling and exhausting at the same time.

I've learned to accept my son's naturally active needs, which include anything from climbing trees and running around aimlessly to playing any kind of sports, and even getting up to no good in the process.

Even after a hard day of work and all I want is to let my couch swallow me whole, I'd fight myself and spend time with my son, kicking a football around, going swimming or taking him to the park so that he can manage the energy that he has.

Of course, you'll encourage him and teach him how to make friends and at certain times that takes the pressure off you from constantly needing to be on the same energy level as him, but there will be times that you'll be the only one that he can turn to, so take a second and think about it, you won't be doing this forever, so do it while you can.

As tiresome as it may seem, now that my son is much older, looking back on his childhood, I'm glad I did all that with him. At that moment in time, I might not have truly immersed myself in the appreciation of it but looking back, I truly appreciate the laughter, silliness, the simple joys of just allowing him to be him and having a role in it.

The last thing you want to do for your boys is to stifle their natural need for physical activities.

Anyhow, despite the challenges, there is immense joy in raising boys. Watching them grow and develop into young men is a privilege, and being an important part of their journey is definitely an honour. The love, laughter, and moments of pure joy make all of the struggles worth it. As a single mom of boys, you're not just raising children, you're shaping the next generation of men, and that's something to be proud of.

Every milestone, every achievement, and every moment of connection with your sons is a cause for celebration. From their first steps to their first soccer goal, you have a front-row seat to witness them grow so cherish every moment. Embrace their unique personalities, interests, and talents, and encourage them to explore what they are passionate about.

Always remember that you are a source of strength, love, and guidance in their lives.


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