How Important is it for boys to have a positive male influence

@laglen (19782)
United States
November 6, 2008 3:13pm CST
How important do you think it is for sons of single moms to have a positive male role model in their life? My sister has two boys, 8 and 12. They y are having some pretty bad problems and I think one of the problems is lack of a positive male role model. What do you think?
4 people like this
18 responses
@katsmeow1213 (29029)
• United States
6 Nov 08
A number of years ago we lived across the street from a single, working mom of a 5 year old boy. The boy was a terror. She of course thought he was a perfect angel, but he was a plain monster. Hubby and I would oftend discuss the boy's problems, and said it was due to lack of male discipline and male role model. We think boys of single women grow up to have different feelings towards women, such as women being the controller of the relationship which is not healthy, or they may idolize women, which can also become unhealthy, or they may just have no respect for women at all. Now of course I'm no expert, these are just my own thoughts on the subject. But I also think that at the very least, a child in a single parent family will never learn the dynamics of a marriage, and therefor will have a more difficult time in their own relationships in the future, since most of us learn how to have a relationship by watching our parents.
2 people like this
• United States
6 Nov 08
My guess is this woman came from a broken home, either watching her parents physically abuse each other, or having only 1 parent or something of that nature. It's sad because broken families seem to be such an epidemic these days, and as the children of these families grow, they create even more broken homes. I'm hoping to break my own cycle. I was raised by a single mother, but I had many male role models such as uncles, male friends of the family, my Godfather, etc etc. I also had a second mother... a foster mother, who was honestly a better woman than my real mother. But now I'm a married mom of 5 kids. Hubby and I have our problems, but the foundation of our relationship is strong, and I don't forsee us ever breaking up.
2 people like this
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
7 Nov 08
You are so right. She did come from an abusive home and what we didn't know was that she also had drinking problems. He has moved on and has a new girlfriend that is very nice but the first one is still stalking him. He was so obsessed with her that I sometimes still worry that they will get back together. When they split she wrote me abusive letters and I was not in the same country as her! I never replied or got into their problems at all. I tell you one thing - parenting never ends no matter what the age of the child. It never ends. Again, children live what they learn.I'm so proud that he never hit her back as she would have called the police.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Nov 08
It is good he never hit her back. I'm sure he was very frustrated. It's so awful when things like this happen. I hope that woman eventually finds help for her situation and can find peace for herself and those around her.
2 people like this
@seabeauty (1481)
• United States
6 Nov 08
I believe that all boys need a male role model to look up to. There maybe some things that the boy needs to talk about that would be embarrassing to discuss with his mom. This is why after my husband and I separated, I sent my 12 year old son to go live with his dad. He needs another male to do male things with like play football or go fishing or go to a baseball game. Those are things I don't like doing although there are women who fish and watch baseball :).
2 people like this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
11 Dec 08
That was very big of you. My mother did that with my brother. She didn't like it, but knew it had to be done.
@p1kef1sh (45642)
6 Nov 08
This is a tricky one. I grew up in an almost entirely female family and was sent to all boys schools. The last one being a boarding school. I had no shortage of male role models but it was the women that probably influenced and moulded me the most. They still do. However, I think that boys should have a balance of the sexes and that depriving them of access to a male role model(s) is not generally a good thing. I feel the same way about girls and women. I don't know what you mean by "pretty bad problems", I imagine that their behaviour is poor. A male friend of mine was killed a few years ago and his son went badly off the rails because his mother caved into all his demands. He became spoilt. Another (male) friend who owns a garage has since taken him on as an apprentice and he is a changed boy. So yes, if it is possible, try to inject a male who seems sensible but with a good sense of fun into their lives. Easier said than done I expect, but good luck.
2 people like this
@laglen (19782)
• United States
11 Dec 08
Thank you for your response. Good input.
@mods196621 (3631)
• Philippines
7 Nov 08
The influence of male in household is important. We cannot called the household a family without the presence of a father and a mother as well as the kids. But if the case is like a single mother, and you alone in the house without parents or brothers with you it is hard to play a role of a father, for it's serves as male influence by them. Well it is not take too much problem for them, bring them to your parents house for vacation or invite your brother into your home. But the fact really is they need the influence of a positive male in your home to be their model as they're grow old. Male outside is not enough for them to see, as like this and that. As of today there are bad guys who will influence to them if we cannot guide our sons activities.
@anujs007 (98)
• India
7 Nov 08
i think its really important for boys to have a male role model. Boys need a man to look up to ,especially after a certain age.
2 people like this
@ASteward (120)
• United States
7 Nov 08
I think boys do need to have a possitive male roll model. It puts them in check, gives them someone to model as well. Gives them someone to look up to and want to be like. Do they have a grandfather? Do you have a husband that could kind of mentor them. At this point I don't think your sister should look for a man to be the father though. She needs to concentrate on her sons. Is she dating and they are acting out because she doesn't give them enough attention? Just some thoughts....
2 people like this
@wujinbo (340)
• China
7 Nov 08
there will be lack of a positive male role model.you should be their model,because the boy is a learner,they should need a model,or you will be worse and worse.you take the role is perfect,and they will take you as a dad treated.lost a dad or suffer devoice the boy will be weaken inmind ,so you can comfort them.what a poor boys.........
2 people like this
@JUNGLE (1157)
• South Africa
7 Nov 08
Yes they do.I spent most of my formative years with my Mother,because my Father stayed mostly at his work place.He came home just once a week,but his presence was felt very strongly and he was the biggest influence in my life. Now even in my adult life he remains my greatest hero.
2 people like this
@mariposaman (2967)
• Canada
7 Nov 08
I agree with most of the sentiments expressed here. It is just as important for girls to have a father too. I think kids tend to learn from their own experience as they grow up. It is best to have a loving father and mother. However that seems not always possible as the role of father has been degraded to the point some people feel it is not even necessary, or the parents divorce, so a lot of children are now in one parent families, usually the mother.
2 people like this
@cripfemme (7718)
• United States
7 Nov 08
I think it's very important for boys. I think it's very important for girls too. The absence of positive, upstanding men in children's lives is the only thing the religious right and I agree on. It doesn't need to be a dad, but there needs to be someone that a kid can ask those "what's happening to my body" questions. No 12 year old boy I know is going to ask his mother that. For girls, it's very important also because they learn how they deserve to be treated by the predominant male person in their life. If dad, or whoever doesn't treat them well, they're not going to know that their boyfriends should either. Just my two cents.
@avidwhit (1492)
• Mexico
7 Nov 08
I think its tough for a person to care for two or more kids rather than one. Regardless of gender. Hard to divide attention. Some kind of male influnce for boys is good I think. Is the a big brother type program maybe? :)
2 people like this
@annjilena (5621)
• United States
7 Nov 08
i think it,s very important they can only learn so much from the mother a boy can he needs his father to show him manly things that men do for him to learn how to be a man i think.a mother can teach him the emotional part especially how to be patient and caring the father can too but there is a differents between mom and dad male and female.
• United States
6 Nov 08
I think it's important for both boys AND girls to have a positive male role model in their lives, and I don't think it's any MORE important for boys than it is for girls. I also don't think that it's only children in single-mom families that need positive male influences - some of the males I know who live with their wives and children are so far from being positive male role models that the kids would be better off if they weren't in the home. I know that won't be popular, but it's true.
@slash23 (102)
• Philippines
6 Nov 08
I've read somewhere that the absence of either parent greatly affects the emotional well-being of a child. I think each child acquires certain traits as demonstrated by each parent e.g. from mom = being gentle and loving; from dad = being firm with his decisions, etc. Lacking one parent somehow creates a void. Now this is the challenge to the single parent. He/She should make extra effort to cover all areas left by the absent parent. And yes, it would also help if there is a male role model in the lives of your nephews. Someone they can hang around with and share their problems with, esp those topics that can be discussed only to a guy. Hope everything turns out okay. Wish your and sister's family well.
2 people like this
• United States
6 Nov 08
It is very important, for reasons women can understand, but may not like. For some reason I can not fathom, most men are born inherently unable and unwilling to learn from women. Some men never even learn better as they grow up. Hence, many men raised by women don't become socialized properly. The solution for this problem is for a strong male to teach the basics of right and wrong to young males. This should especially include listening to women, taking their advice, and treating them with respect. This is the primary way many men ever learn that women are such great people.
2 people like this
@bamakelly (5194)
• United States
7 Nov 08
I do believe that it is important for there to be a good role model for children no matter what. It is important for the mother to instill good values in their children and a positive male model is equally as important. There are a lot of single mothers out there who are doing a hard job raising children. But boys do need a man in their life.
1 person likes this
@ronaldinu (12445)
• Malta
12 Nov 08
I think no matter how hard a single mother tries to raise her children well, children do need a positive male influence in their life. Boys need to associate with a role model in their life. Up to ten years of age kids look upon their father as their hero. living with a single mother they lack this aspect in their life. © ronaldinu 2008
@skysuccess (8882)
• Singapore
7 Nov 08
laglen, To begin with please do not take me as someone who is fully against single mothers but I do have reservations of single parenting - be it single dads or single moms. As you have brought up a valid point in this discussion, the same would be encountered if there is a father to a single daughter, retrospectively speaking. To begin with I cannot stress just how important it is for a child to grow in a balance and complete family. The problems faced by children in single parent families goes beyond having the lack of a positive male role model. In an article published by the Telegraph (UK) it mentioned that children in single parent families are three times as likely to become aggressive or badly behaved, as according to the comprehensive survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Living in a "reconstituted" family containing step-children or step-parents also increased the risk of developing behavioural problems. The stark findings of the study, commissioned by the Department for Health and the Scottish Government, fly in the face of the Government's repeated failure to extol the benefits on children of growing up in a traditional family home. The ONS report involved interviewing parents, teacher and children themselves to find out how many suffered emotional problems such as anxiety or depression, how many had "conduct disorders" such as aggression, and what the possible reasons behind them were. After interviewing 5,364 children aged between five and 16 in 2004 and again last year, the researchers found that 3 per cent had developed problems over that time. In addition, 30 per cent who had emotional problems at the first survey, and 43 per cent who had behavioural issues, still had them three years later. The researchers stressed they had not discovered any direct causes of emotional and behavioural problems developing or persisting in children, but agreed there was a link to living in a broken home. Children whose parents had split up over the three years were 4.53 times more likely to develop emotional problems than those whose mothers and fathers stayed together, and were 2.87 times more likely to show the onset of behavioural disorders. The report said: "The odds of developing an emotional disorder were increased for children where there had been a change in the number of parents between surveys, from two parents to one parent compared with children and young people in families that had two parents at both times." In addition, children whose mothers were mentally ill were found to be more likely to develop conduct disorders, as were those whose mothers were poorly educated. Children who endured three stressful events such as seeing one's parents divorce or appear in court, or suffering a serious disease or being badly injured, were three times as likely to develop emotional problems. However those who were happy where they lived, had lots of friends or enjoyed activities outside school were less likely to become unhappy. So, as you can see the root of the problem is beyond the absence of a positive male role model. Ref: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/3235650/Children-in-single-parent-families-more-likely-to-suffer-emotional-problems-report-finds.html