“Knock Before Entering”: 20 Sons’ Advice For Single-Moms Of Boys, Who Don’t Want To Learn The Hard Way

Published 1 year ago

Anyone raising a child knows that it comes with its own unique challenges. When it comes to boys versus girls, there are even more subjective challenges to deal with. When you’re a single mom to boot, it’s a whole other kettle of fish.

One interesting Ask Reddit discussion took off when single moms of sons got together online to commiserate and share insightful advice on raising boys. From the way that boys deal with emotions, to their adolescent stage of wanting to punch everything, the following answers cover anything to almost everything and may in fact be beneficial to any parents of boys.  

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Image source: WorkHardEnjoyLife, Inzmam Khan

Please.. Never put another man before your son.

Also he is not his father, don’t hold him accountable for things that his father may have done.


Image source: anon, Eren Li

Do not wake up boys in the morning and immediately ask them to get out of bed.

It *will* result in a very awkward conversation neither of us wants to have. Wake us up and tell us to come do whatever you need in a few minutes.


Image source: Sleestacksrcoming, cottonbro studio

A teenage boy is going to have mood swings from I want to punch everything to I want to hump everything.. he needs outlets to deal with both. And both are helped with healthy doses of privacy so he can sort it out.


Image source: Freshman44, Ron Lach

Don’t harass him about girls he likes or dating, it’s not funny or cute to prod, it’s uncomfortable as hell and not something everyone wants to really talk about


Image source: Dipsendorf, Karolina Grabowska

Leave if you find yourself with more abusive men. It’s not fair for a child to feel as though the most important person to him chooses a******s over him. It causes lasting damage.


Image source: Zaddy13, cottonbro studio

When you meet another man that you fall in love with we are still there and we still need your love and attention


Image source: Aninvisiblemaniac, Monstera

If you’re not on good terms with the boys father, don’t talk s**t about him constantly and then tell your son that he is “just like his father”


Image source: Terwin95, Kindel Media

Boys have a lot of emotions. Teach him to understand his emotions. Teach him that it’s okay to feel those emotions.

Also, teach him how to control those emotions. Boys can pretty idiotic at times, and oftentimes emotions are what lead to that idiocy


Image source: Turtle_Lurtle37, Anastasia Shuraeva

Don’t coddle them or act like they’re five years old. Learn to give them independence and grow up.


Image source: mysecretsidekick2000, Tima Miroshnichenko

Let your kid have space. Especially the older they get. Don’t be afraid to text instead of walking in their room or even knocking.

Educate them on alcohol, drugs, sex, cars (safety/ speeding), violence, etc. make sure they know and understand the consequences. How it affects life. What going to jail means (especially after they’d get out). Your kid will drink and do drugs. The best you can do is prep him.

Make condoms available. Don’t try and fool yourself that your son will not have sex before you think he will. Don’t go counting the condoms. Ever. Just put some in a drawer that he readily has access to. His bathroom drawer is generally a good spot but, hey, the kitchen junk drawer works too.

Have male figures around. Your BF (if applicable) does not count. Male friends, family, etc. they don’t need to be the kids father but different male role models (grandfather, uncle, best friends dad, a friend of yours, etc). You don’t need to go and get a husband just for your son. Positive male role models in his life are just the same.

This is more single parent to child:

Be as patient as you can with him. You are both going through hell and back for different reasons in different ways. He’s a kid though and literally doesn’t know and doesn’t even know what to know.

Be open to whoever they bring home as dates. You won’t be able to plan for it.

Tell them you love them, you care about them, you want the best for them. Ask, “How was school?” Every day they have school even if they or you are pissed or whatever. Make sure your kid knows that you are trying and want to do the best for them. That you need to hear from them, also, even if its just an honest, “can I tell you later” reply.

Above all, good luck. I feel lucky with my mother and how she brought me up. Even as bat-Sh7T crazy as she is.


Image source: Lyrro, Kindel Media

If you don’t like the men you’ve met, raise your son to be a better man. Don’t just constantly berate males in general to your son and expect him to just be better.

Being a single parent is tough, but never give your son (or daughter) the “you think you have problems, you’re just a kid. You don’t even know what problems are.” speech.


Image source: justsomedude322, Los Muertos Crew

Research male puberty so you’re prepared to give “The Talk.” Also be prepared to teach your son how to shave because his father may not be available to do so himself. My mom was fully prepared for all this and more, she credits that to having 3 brothers and being the only girl. Also don’t be afraid to expose him to girly things too! Every boy should also have an understanding of the female body because it helps them empathize with their female friends and family. Also don’t be afraid to share your interests and hobbies with him too, it will only deepen your bond! One of my fondest memories of growing up was watching the Golden Girls with my mom.


Image source: martiantrucker, Joel Santos

Don’t marry someone you don’t love because you think your son needs a father-figure or for the sake of financial stability. My mom did, no one came out of it happy.


Image source: JeremyDonJuan, Charlotte May

If they’ve hit puberty, **knock before entering**. It will save both parties some trauma and awkwardness


Image source: brodyhaffer, cottonbro studio

Not a son of a single mother but a medical studnet: please for the love of god teach your son to dry his penis after he leaves the shower. You have no idea how many rashes and infections are caused by that.


Image source: anon, Bave Pictures

I’d say for boy or girl, never, ever, compare your child to the parent that left. Every time my mom says “Don’t act like [Dead beat]” or “Don’t make that face, you look like [Dead beat]. It breaks my heart every time because I know just how much she hates him and I don’t want that for anyone else.


Image source: Anequiit, Erik Mclean

If the door is closed. Keep it that way when you exit.


Image source: Manofluckhoa, Victor

Do not expect your son to fill your missing spouses role.

My mom would constantly act like I was some male patriarch of the house, constantly giving me extra stress like financial concerns and death plans. Gave me an unnecessary amount of stress and didnt allow me to have much of a fun childhood since I was “playing dad”


Image source: Strawberrythirty, Ron Lach

I’m a wife of a man who was raised by a single mother. And I can answer this one based on complaints my husband confided in me.

Don’t use your sons as emotional rags soaking up all your problems. We understand you need to vent and don’t have a mate, that’s not your sons fault. Get friends and let your son be little, don’t burden him with your adult problems


Image source: my_research_account, cottonbro studio

Males and females don’t necessarily process things the same way in several key areas. This starts being observable in adolescence in subtle ways, but is *especially* true once puberty hits. Testosterone is one hell of a game changer; we are *still* learning about new and weird ways it affects mental, sexual, and, of course, physical development. Testosterone has very significant effects on how many emotions are processed and how males approach various things and giving the young man the impression he should be able to mimic a woman’s methods can cause problems when he is incapable of doing so, which is compounded by testosterone’s tendency to magnify anger from frustration.

Just one example: it seems to have a significant impact on the ability to cry. It is a pretty common thing for FtM transexuals on testosterone treatments to notice they simply can’t cry like they used to (and MtF on inhibitors notice they cry almost uncontrollably often). Shaming a teenage boy for getting angry when frustrated and not crying as a release (which I’ve seen quite a few single mothers do, if not necessarily intentionally) can do a lot of harm because he may pretty close to literally be unable to and he needs other ways to process the emotions.

Tons of observed differences in how sexual urges work between the sexes, too. Interesting book by a lady who, back in the 90s (might’ve been 80s), pretended to be a guy for like 2 years. I’ve only watched the news segments on it and listened to summaries of the chapters, but quite a fair bit was regarding her observations of just how different men’s sexual minds were from her own (even as a lesbian, iirc).

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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boys, moms, parenting, parenting advice, single moms, sons
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