Raising a child with two competent parents is a difficult task. But when a parent is going through a divorce and the other parent isn’t present or supportive, raising a child can feel like a lonely and very challenging task.
But, with a lot of patience, commitment and hard work, a single mother can successfully raise a teen son without a father or significant male figure in his life. But the relationship a young boy has with his father or another male figure is very different compared to the relationship between mother and son. For some mothers this can be difficult to understand.
1. Even the most intuitive and understanding mothers can’t anticipate the concerns her son has.
One moment in particular is when a mother sees sadness in her son, like something is missing or hurting him. It could be anything. It could be that he misses his father, he needs to vent, or he is stressed out. There can be a lot of confusion and frustration for your son while going through the divorce process, especially if he feels like he has no one to talk to.
2. It’s important to find someone he feels comfortable to talk to so he can vent in a healthy way.
Another issue is rolling emotions. When a mother displays strong negative emotions about the father or men in general – Disappointment, anger, hate, and annoyance. These feelings can even be expressed years after the divorce and can roll over to the son causing misunderstanding about himself and even resentment towards other men.
Your son might be thinking, “Who should I follow or who I should act like if my father and all men are bad?”
Some mothers may even grow to believe the son is, “just like his father!” Or, have a very different reaction, such as finding emotional comfort or looking to her son as the man of the house.
Boys who grow up in single mother households can have a difficult time becoming the man they want to be, having a challenging time walking the journey of manhood, especially when they don’t have a positive male role model.
3. I think the determining factor of how well a boy grows up with a mother is if she manages her negative feelings for her husband and for men in general.
It should be up to your son to decide who his father is and what being a man means. I think it’s better for a mother to learn to understand how her son thinks and feels, helping him get through the divorce without unnecessary stress and confusion.
Even though there might be anger and mistrust between two people after a divorce, it is important to try to co-parent consistently. Research shows a boy will have a more fulfilled and happy life if both parents are in his life. General research also suggests children are better off both economically and emotionally when there is joint-custody rather than single-custody, unless the relationship between the parents is so bad it hurts the children more than support them.
Even though your son might not say it, he most likely wants and needs an adult in his life during the divorce and through his adolescents. He will benefit most from people who he can trust, create a positive relationship with and who will provide him unconditional love.
4. Focus on a positive future for your son and remain connected with him throughout the divorce process and after.
If you have any questions or comments please write below. I would be happy to answer!
For more great information about your teenage son … go to teenagesons.com