Do you celebrate Father’s Day? If you answered, yes, then what is it about your dad that makes you want to celebrate him? If you’re a single mom, do your children celebrate Father’s Day with their dad? Or, if your children’s father died or is out of the picture, what do you do for Father’s Day? Do you have a surrogate father or father type for your children?

No matter what kind of relationship you have with the father of your children, if you are raising a son or two, you know boys are different from girls. And as the mother of a son, you want to teach your son what it means to be a man.

Hope for Single Moms focuses on traditional families with traditional family values. This blog is written from that perspective.

We’re going to start the discussion about what it means to be a man, and what it means to raise a son to be a man. Entire books are written about this topic, so we can only scratch the surface here. There are some recommended books to read at the end.

God created boys/men to be risk takers, to be adventuresome. Think about it. The movement west across this country was led by men, by expeditions into the unknown. Women and families came later and brought civilization to the Wild West.

Looking at play time. Boys play cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians. Girls often play house, play mommy, play school. Let’s look at talking. Boys make sounds, noises—like cars, trains, planes, trucks. Girls speak words, sing.

As a single mom, how do you let your son be adventuresome, yet not put himself, his siblings or his friends in danger? How do you teach your son to be responsible, when perhaps his father isn’t acting responsibly? How do you teach your son to not to act like his father, without disrespecting his father? Because, after all, your son does look up to him.

Minimize his father’s indifference, as much as possible. Allow your son to be sad about his dad not being a bigger part of his life. Help him learn what he wants to do differently when he’s a dad. Teach your son Who is the Father to the fatherless. Teach your son that God will never let him down. It may seem that God does. But God is not a genie, so don’t expect Him to be and feel let down when He doesn’t do what you or your son think He should do.

Teaching your son to be a man starts with the little things. It starts when they’re young. It’s reminders about what to say and do. It means reminding him to do those things. It means talking about them over and over and telling him why it’s important. Here are some basics.

  1. Never shake a man’s hand sitting down.
  2. Always look someone in the eye when you speak to him/her.
  3. Always look up and greet someone who enters the room.
  4. When entrusted with a secret, keep it. (Unless it’s dangerous)
  5. Ask your mom to play. She won’t let you win.
  6. Generosity and kindness are never wrong.
  7. Admitting your mistakes and apologizing is always right. Don’t make excuses.
  8. Eat lunch with the new kid.
  9. Stand up to Bullies. Protect those bullied.
  10. Write down your dreams.
  11. Manners makes the man.
  12. In all things lead by example, not explanation.
  13. Never turn down a breath mint.
  14. Respond do life and circumstances, don’t react.
  15. Return a borrowed car with a full tank of gas.
  16. It’s better to overdress than underdress.
  17. Never be afraid to ask out the best-looking girl in the room.
  18. You marry the girl; you marry her family.
  19. Carry two handkerchiefs/Kleenexes. The one in your back pocket is for you. The one in your breast pocket is for her.
  20. Thank a veteran.
  21. After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.
  22. Give people credit when appropriate. Don’t be afraid to take the blame.
  23. Take time to treat your pets well. They are part of your world, but you are their whole world. They love you so much and are always happy to see you.
  24. Be confident and humble at the same time.
  25. If ever in doubt, remember whose son you are and REFUSE to just be ordinary!