It’s time we examine Mother’s Day as it pertains to single mothers and their unique responsibility when it comes to raising male children. Children are the products of our future, and male children are critical components of same. I acknowledge the difficulty of being a single parent. I was raised by a single mother, albeit I reference my widowed grandmother most.
My grandmother used to say, “Having a baby doesn’t make a woman a mother.” Some may argue that she didn’t have a very high regard for women. That’s not true – she didn’t have a high regard for women lacking in self-respect and those who as mothers were inept, train wrecks.
My mother and grandmother believed it was their responsibility to comport themselves with respect, and they firmly believed it was their singular responsibility to instill in me reverence to God, respect for women, family and to be an asset to my future community. They re-enforced said measures by living them.
It is time we stop applauding women for encouraging their children (especially their male children) to be petulant and self-absorbed – seeking first their own personal gratification, unless the child determines he can do something that appears to be selfless, when in reality it is still done out of self-interest. Giving a child an Xbox and putting a cheap faux stud in his ear doesn’t give him an awareness of his world, nor does it make him a man.
Particularly egregious are women who impart few moral or relative values in their children and who support male children in being whiny and manipulative, in constant thirst for personal gratification. Consider the dysfunction that is wantonly imputed into the child’s psyche. What can we reasonably expect these to pass on to their future families?
As a gentleman, there are few things that annoy me more than observing single mothers teach their male children to disrespect women. In my world, men open doors for women, they hold chairs, they help them with their coats – they do the little things that show respect and courtesy. Any man can reasonably do something extravagant, but men stop doing the small things if it becomes apparent that women don’t respect themselves enough to expect such common courtesies.
Having been raised by a single mother who invested herself in me, I argue it is the single mother’s responsibility to teach and instruct. It is for her to expect and accept nothing less than respect. Yet, I observe single mothers today who reward their male child’s dishonesty, disobedience and disrespectful insidious behavior.
Single mothers of one or more male children have a responsibility not just to their child, but to every woman he will meet and interact with in the future, as well as the community in which he will be involved.
It is not a paralogism to argue that men are angry and distrusting of women today for justifiable reasons. Kay Hymowitz wrote: “[Men] are angry because [they] think young woman are dishonest, self-absorbed, slutty, manipulative, shallow, controlling, and gold-digging. [They] are angry, because [they] think that the culture disses all things male. [They are] angry because [they] think that marriage these days is a raw deal for men.” (“Love in the Time of Darwinism”; City Journal; Autumn 2008; Vol. 18, No. 4)
Kay can be assailed for her directness, but she is no less accurate. Men are not born with these attitudes, but a single mother with poor parenting skills contributes mightily to them. Raising a child is more than putting shoes on their feet and sending them off to under-performing schools. Spending more time on manicures, tanning salons and hair stylists than one does introducing their child to Twain and Dickens manifestly shows the value a woman places on her child. The high point of conversation should be more substantive than about meaningless television shows or something equally as valueless.
Boys treat women as they have been taught and as they have witnessed their mothers behave. I realize that there is a high degree of mordancy to my position, but it is time this topic was addressed incisively. As a man, I am tired of applauding women for simply having babies. I want to applaud them for being responsible mothers.
It is one thing not to know how to parent, but quite another to ignore good parenting advice when it’s pointed out to you. In the final analysis, people do what is important to them. Buying expensive toys and driving a car you can’t afford may appease one’s guilt, but it does not prepare the child for the future.
While I have been particularly mordacious in my address to single mothers, I have even stronger words for fathers on Father’s Day.
But for now, let me wish a belated happy Mother’s Day to those deserving of same. I send a special Mother’s Day acknowledgement to America’s Gold Star Mothers.