What can single parents do to help their male children when there's no strong male role model?
1. Get a role model.
Single moms should get a male role model (one she's NOT dating) involved with her boy. An uncle, grandfather, or a (carefully checked out) coach or neighbor who has time and interest in the boy will give him a healthy role model.
One of my client's sons made a connection with a neighbor who worked on bicycles in his garage in spare time. They fixed the bikes together, and I encouraged the mom to invite the neighbor over for a barbecue, and encourage the connection with her son. The neighbor was there when the boy had questions his mom couldn't answer.
Other ways to reinforce success: Watch inspirational movies with strong male roles and read biographies about successful males with your son.2. Take the time.
Single parents are stressed, but kids still need attention and affection. Find ways to talk to your boy in the car, or while you're making dinner. When you can't be there because you're at work, make sure he has a situation where he's monitored, and is around the right kind of role models. 3. Consider group activities.
Well-organized sports are great for boys, and give moms a little break. Church groups, science clubs, and other monitored activities keep him busy, and around suitable friends. Tina Tessina, Ph.D., has been a licensed California psychotherapist for more than 30 years. She has authored more than 11 books, including "Money, Sex and Kids"; “The Commuter Marriage: Keeping your Relationship Close While you’re Far Apart”; "How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free"; "The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again"; and, “It Ends with You: Grow Up and Grow Out of Dysfunction.” Tina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.