70% of African American children are raised by a single mother. A large percentage of these children are male. Often these male children do not have a lot of contact with their fathers. We believe that it is vital for mothers to learn more about male parenting and male development.
Before beginning this activity it is important for mothers to think through two basic questions: Are you still angry with your son’s father because the relationship ended? Are you open to reconnect you son and his father in spite of the broken promises, lies and other issues that have impacted the relationship?
The Family Unit
• Maintain an open and on-going relationship with your son’s father (if possible, all attempts need to be made to cultivate this relationship)
• Surround your son with extended family and friends
• Create family meeting times with your son to discuss your lives
• Set fair expectations and limits with your son – make sure expectations and limits are clear and appropriate for your child’s age and ability
• As your son gets older, give him more choices, freedom and responsibility
• Pick your battles wisely. Things like your son’s safety and respect must always be a priority
• Don’t expect your son to like all of your decisions. As a parent it is your job to make final decisions
Punishment & Discipline
• Talk to your son about consequences and being accountable for his actions
• Make the “punishment fit the crime.” Avoid being too harsh even when you are angry
• Be consistent and realize that growing up as an African American male is tough. Oftentimes we are too punitive with our sons.