In the modern world, the family model has changed a lot compared to what it was 50 years ago. And we know that not always the family is complete. Often a mother has to raise children without a father. Many people say that a child needs male attention. Let’s discuss the problem of raising a son as a single mother, and at the same time tell you how you can compensate for the lack of regular male attention in a boy.

A single mother can be a real superhero. She not only performs the functions that are traditionally attributed by society to a woman in the family (to feed, pity, take care of safety and comfort), but also thinks about the psychological aspects and needs that a boy needs in the process of his development.

Some experts still argue that a woman cannot compensate her son for the attention of his father. But what if the situation has already developed in such a way that the mother has a boy in her arms (whether he is just a baby, a schoolboy or a teenager), and there is no father in their life for one reason or another? Put an end to the child, believing that it is definitely not possible to grow a full-fledged personality out of him? Frantically looking for a man who could replace the boy’s dad (and this, obviously, is not always an easy process) and marry the first person you meet? Let’s see what mom can actually do and is it so difficult in reality.

different models

To begin with, we will draw up a small action plan for three situations that are perhaps the most common in the post-Soviet space. These are the reasons why women are left alone with their son, without a man nearby. How best to act in each of them?

Sunday dad
This situation can hardly be called a complete absence of a father. She suggests that even though the boy’s parents divorced, but dad expresses an active desire to participate in his fate and see him. Well, if he is not anti-social, did not show violence towards you and the child, and you parted on a normal human note, then he has every right to do so.

What is required of you as a mother in this case? Despite the fact that you and your ex-boyfriend broke up, he is still an important part of your son’s life — and most importantly, wants to remain one. Even if you still have some grievances, your son does not need to know about them, especially in all the darkest colors. This can be a good model for him to part for the future: human paths often diverge, but maintaining peaceful relationships is a real art.

Dad went into the sunset
This also happens quite often: it happens that a man leaves when he finds out about the pregnancy of his girlfriend, or does not withstand the heat of life with a small child, when the son is still quite a baby. And it also happens that a woman has a child «for herself», not planning to maintain further relations with his biological father. In all these cases, the boy may have little or no idea who his father is, although he is probably still alive.

The formation of an exclusively negative image of the father in the child in this case will definitely not be a good idea, especially if the boy is still small. The ideal image in this case is neutral: without thickening clouds, but also without sugary lies about the father-pilot, who heroically serves in intelligence, possessing all imaginable best human qualities. Let your son know his father from your words, as an ordinary person with his own strengths and weaknesses. Explain that sometimes people break up or have conflicts, and sometimes they decide not to have any contact with those who were in their lives before. It may be sad, but it happens and it is worth accepting. And let your son form his own view of the situation himself. He’ll get over it when he grows up.

Father’s death
It also happens that a woman remains a widow. And despite the tragedy of the situation, it is, perhaps, to a certain extent simpler than the previous ones, because neither you nor the deceased spouse are to blame for the fact that the pope is not in the family, and there is no need to present your relationship in a veiled form.

No need to lie about the fact that your son’s father was the best man on earth, idealizing his image. It is better to concentrate on the positive qualities of the boy’s father, but to talk about them truthfully and sincerely, without unnecessary exaggeration. This will give the child a healthy attitude towards the memory of his father and help him to acquire certain good qualities of his personality, even if he does not remember him at all.

Live in the present

We have considered several situations in which a mother brings up her son without a father. How should a mother behave in order to compensate for the absence of an adult man in her son’s life?

Not only father
Not only dad can form the correct model of male behavior in a growing boy. Attract men who will be able to participate in your life often enough, spend time with you and the child several times a week. These can be not only candidates for the role of your husband, but also grandfathers (your father or the father of a former spouse), your brother, good family friends. It is not at all necessary that there be many of these men: for example, two people are enough. They may have completely different life backgrounds, but at the same time they should be united by positive qualities that you would like to see in your son too.

If you do not have the opportunity for close men to visit your family regularly, this does not mean at all that your son completely loses the opportunity to receive male attention. You can enroll him in a section where the boy can communicate with the coach. An example would be a good teacher in his own school.

media pictures
You can complement the image of a man in life with the help of good male characters in movies, books, comics, and even among musicians and media people. Discuss with your son which of the following fascinates him the most, which character is his favorite. You can talk about why he likes this character, what qualities he has, what the boy would like to adopt.


Son: I like this superhero because he can beat anyone.

Mother: Do you think hitting people is good?

SonA: Well, that means he’s strong.

Mother: Do you need strength to beat other people?

Son: Not. But if, for example, some villain attacks my friends or you?

Mother: So you think that strength is needed to protect other people?

Son: Yes.

Mother: I also think that being strong is not bad. But it seems to me that it is still important to be able to think and reason, so as not to use your power in any way. What do you think about it?..

An example is yourself
While some experts believe that it is impossible for a woman to take on a male role in a way that her son will perceive adequately, in the modern world, a single mother still has to sometimes move away from the role of «guardian of the hearth.» First of all, the image of the mother and the relationship with her form the boy’s view not only of women who are likely to please him in the future, but also in general about friendship and human relationships.

This does not mean at all that you urgently need to enroll in a boxing section and play war games with your child all day long, even if you are a calm and gentle person by nature. You can definitely become an interesting conversationalist for him, to whom you can tell not only about things at school, but also about the new film from Marvel. A person who, at the same time, will not only be a silent listener, but will also be able to keep up the conversation. Play with him, because fun active games are not only for dads, joke, become an example of a good adult for him.

Today, stereotypes about the family from the past are fading into the background. Mom can become an excellent accomplice in entertainment and games, and dad can hug and support when the child cries, share his sadness with him. And if it so happened that you are a single mother, do not rush to be horrified or worried about the future of your son. You can take matters into your own hands, armed with your own strength and the help of people close to you.

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