Positive Male Influence
It is a general categorization by psychologists and experts who study best practices for raising boys, that boys undergo massive transformations every 7 years. First 0 to 7 years, they need lots of love and affection and touches and hugs. This makes them feel loved and safe. I am more interested in the age span between 7 and 14, because that is where my son’s age lies.
It is said that between 7 and 14, boys are looking out for male role models. They imitate them, try to follow their footsteps, and if they find one, they would be assuming whatever they do are normal, and good and the way boys should behave. This is a crucial stage especially in terms of single mothers with sons, because providing lots of love and affection during first seven years is completely under their control. But genetically we cannot be a male role model, because you know we are women. I found it difficult to accept that I am not going to be sufficient enough to raise my son into a good citizen. Ouch!!
It takes time to accept this scenario. But reading lots of articles and books on boys of age 7, how they would behave and what they need, I swallowed my pride and eventually accepted that he needs good male influence, whether I like it or not. Now for the big question, who would that be? Well, I cannot reconcile with my ex for this because he is a woman abuser and hater in my opinion. I would not want those qualities to be imitated by my son. This is the foremost reason I came out of the relationship. So what else I can do to expose my son to positive male influence, especially as a single mother, without seeming creepy or stalky.
The answer, that I found is that it is difficult to get one single role model for my son, so why not make him interact with multiple good natured adult male (If I can find) and teach him to observe and imitate good behavior from them, so that we are not completely dependent and in the process go crazy with just one role model?
After searching, thinking and looking out for, here are some of the scenarios I think would help facilitate positive adult men’s influence.
- Temple: Priests are predominantly male. I have never seen a woman priest yet. Thought there might not be much personal interaction, something is better than nothing. Their slogam chanting and their mannerisms might have a positive effect on my son.
- Any close relative(s) who could be of positive influence. Though might not be able to spend much time with them, on account of being polite and not creepy, I think it would still be helpful to imitate the good behaviors.
- Any local community programs or sessions that have men teaching kids. That would include life skills, yoga, dance, music, or any other extra-curricular activities.
If direct face to face interaction is not possible, at least phone calls or skype sessions. Instead of being adamant about my stand in my son’s life, I have decided to welcome positive male influence in whatever safe way I can, and to help him imitate those good behaviors. Do not worry about being left out in his life during these seven years. He still needs lots of hugs and affection. Mothers are still the most important person, at least until 14 years of age. But let me cross that bridge when we come to it.
I will make sure to take precaution in making sure the adult men I hope to help my son, are safe to interact with, and I can actually trust them.