Regardless of your child’s gender, male role models are important to their development. Unfortunately, for single mothers or lesbian couples, finding a positive, involved male role model for their children can seem difficult or even impossible.
That’s why today we’re discussing some ways to bring a little more male influence in your child’s life.
Why Male Role Models Are Important
It is probably obvious to most people why a father figure is important to a young boy’s development, but what a lot of people don’t realize is that father figures are vital to ensuring well-rounded development of any child, regardless of gender. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that, studies have shown that kids without a positive male influence tend to perform worse in school and are more likely to have emotional problems as they get older.
With that being said, single moms and same-sex couples pursuing LGBTQ adoption need not fret. Though they are commonly referred to as “father figures,” positive male role models aren’t just dads.
How to Find a Male Role Model for Your Child
In some cases, staying in contact with the child’s biological father may not be an option. They might not be around or it might be unsafe for you or your child to interact with them regularly. In situations like that, the first place to look for a male role model is in your family. Are you close with your own father, uncle, cousin, or brother? You might consider moving closer to them and asking them to be more involved in your child’s life.
Other options for male role models include teachers, doctors, or coaches. If you are religious, you might turn to male church leaders. If your child is a boy, you could have them join the Boy Scouts or the Big Brothers program, both of which are great ways to cultivate meaningful male relationships.
If you are a single mom and you’re interested in pursuing a new romantic relationship, your new partner could also work as a male role model for your children. This is not necessary, of course, as you can already see how many other options there are for male role models.
Keep in mind that if you do start dating again, some children (especially boys) will become defensive or protective of their mother and it may take time for them to warm up to a new father figure in their lives.
The Key Is Consistency
Children are most likely to experience the positive effects of having male role models in their lives when their relationship with them is lasting. They don’t necessarily have to see them every day, or even every week, but the meetings should be regular. If the relationship is abruptly cut short because of overload or overwhelm, that might just feel like a rejection to the child.
Overall, parenting a child as a single mom is a lot of work, and it’s hard to think about adding another responsibility on top of all the others you’re already dealing with. But by providing your child with a positive male influence, you will help them grow into a well-rounded and emotionally adjusted adult. And that’s the ultimate goal for every parent in the end, isn’t it?