How to Raise Boys On Your Own
How to Raise Boys On Your Own
Raising a child on your own is unspeakably difficult. Your child's wellness and happiness is a responsibility that falls solely on you. There are no breaks, there is no me time. His needs will come first, and that means you can easily wear yourself out. So, if you are a single parent reading this, then our first piece of advice is to find some help. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and in many ways this is true. No matter how much you love your child, you are human, and at some point you will become tired. If you exhaust yourself there will be no one there to care for your child. The best thing you can do for him is to find a good babysitter. Perhaps a grandparent, or a good friend. Invite them over, let your child get used to their company so that they will feel comfortable in their care. Get used to the idea yourself. Letting your child be taken care of by someone else for the first time is going to be hard for you too.
Raising boys can be especially hard on a single parent as boys are more rambunctious than girls, on average. Boys will also enjoy more physical play, and are more likely to end up in the emergency room if you don't keep an eye on them. This is because boys tend to communicate with physicality more than girls. They are more sensitive to touch and physical gestures. They will enjoy cuddling, dog piling and mock combat, and will engage in these activities all the time.
Boys are also less likely to listen than a girl child. The part of their brain that is responsible for verbal communication develops slower than their sister's. Again, this is because of a focus on physicality. The best way to get them to listen and pay attention is to initiate physical contact before giving an instruction. Touch your son's shoulder and look into his eyes when giving him instructions.
There is also a stereotype that boys will enjoy violent play more than girls. This may or may not be true as girls tend to enjoy activities that are geared towards girls and boys, but it is certainly true that your son will engage in mock fights. They will pretend to shoot or slash their friends with mock weapons. Don't discourage this behavior. If you try you will only be teaching him to be ashamed of his feelings. Instead, try to get him to understand some of the consequences of violence. As he grows, his play will get more sophisticated, and the mock battles will help him work out his feelings about right and wrong, and about the use of violence against others. Don't let him hurt his friends, and enforce a no hitting rule to help socialize him and teach him to use words to describe his feelings, but don't try to suppress his natural feelings either.
Raising a child on your own is going to be about sacrifice and constant support. Keep your heart focused on supporting your child to become a healthy adult and make sure he knows it. This will do more than anything else ever could.