Sunday, November 25, 2012

Raising Boys

Shortly after being widowed, I read online an advice columnist telling a single mom that she could not raise boys on her own; that boys raised by single moms become surly, disobedient, and more-often-than-not gang members because there is no heavy-handed father in the house to put them in their place and teach them to respect their mother. He cited the day he had to shove his own son up against a wall for disrespecting his mother, and said the kid never again disrespected her after that. Of course I had to write in the comments section to say that I was widowed and what am I supposed to do in this case? I chided him for telling me that I could not raise my boys on my own.

The response was really weird. He responded that as a widow, the worse thing for me to do was to get remarried because in those situations, the stepdads usually end up physically abusing the boys, so we were better off alone. What a contradiction! Basically he was telling me that I was screwed if I do and screwed if I don't. What is a widow to do?

Stop reading idiotic advice columnists, for one.

I'll admit, I have a little trouble raising my boys, but not because of their behavior. I'm lucky to have really good kids. The trouble comes when they say or do something that I just don't understand, because I've never been a 14 or 16-year-old boy. If I had girls, I could try to remember what I was feeling at that age, but with boys, (like men), the thinking process is completely different.

I also worry that they do not have a male around to do "boy-things" with. There is no one around to show them how to properly use a chain saw or how to put up molding. I have no idea how to do these things because despite the fact that I have two Master's Degrees, Bobby and I really followed the traditional roles of men and women - I kept things clean and tidy in the house and handled the finances; he fixed things, took care of our cars and worked outside. (I realize that this might make some people, especially women, roll their eyes, but we were happy with this arrangement - it worked for us - but I digress...) Luckily I have cousins and the boys' uncles to show them things, but these people have their own families, houses and issues that need to be taken care of.

So while my friends tell me that I am "lucky to have boys" versus the ever-hormonal teenage girl, raising them as a reluctant single mom was not in the plan. I just hope they grow up to be all they can be, even though they had to grow up without a dad.

(And it should be noted that the columnist I cited above is no longer writing his column...he has retired).

No comments:

Post a Comment