Monday, September 4, 2006

Single Mothers of Sons

While, flipping through radio stations tonight in the car, I paused on a station where Focus on the Family's James Dobson was talking about raising boys.

Just before I was about to move on to the next station, I heard him say that single mothers are incapable of teaching a boy how to be a man.

Incapable? I think not.

For one thing, there's no "how" about growing up to be a man (or a woman, for that matter). You are born male (or female) and if you live long enough, you grow up to be a man (or woman). Pretty simple, I would think.

While a mother cannot share anecdotes on the experience of being a man in our society, women are quite capable of teaching both boys and girls how to be decent human beings; to teach character that is the same for both sexes.

After turning the station, I got to thinking of successful men who had been raised by strong women with absent or uninvolved fathers or men whose main influence had been their mothers. And I came up with a long list of Presidents: Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and that's just off the top of my head.

While having a good father is no doubt an asset for both boys and girls, as I can readily attest from my own experience, a boy raised by his mother alone does not necessarily suffer from a deficit in parenting. Most single mothers do a damn fine job raising their children despite whatever odds they face.

Dobson needs to focus on his own damned family for a change.

No comments: