Single Mom Seeks Male Role Models for Kids

How can a single mom find a man (or several men) capable of providing the masculine influence and guidance her children need as they approach puberty? I feel it's important for them to have good male role models to look up to and learn from. Any ideas on how I should go about finding one?

You didn’t mention whether your children’s father is involved in their lives, but it sounds like he isn’t. If that’s the case, one of the best places you can look for male input is your own extended family. Do your kids have a good relationship with your father? If so, and if you believe he’s a positive role model, you might ask your dad if he’d be willing to spend some more time with them. If he agrees and lives nearby, you could arrange for your children to spend one weekend a month at their grandparents’ house. If grandpa lives far away, you might consider sending them for an extended stay during school vacations.

Another good resource is your local church. If a grandfather or uncle isn’t available, ask your pastor if there is a trustworthy older couple in the congregation who might be willing to act as “surrogate grandparents” for your family. Your children would benefit in many ways by developing a positive relationship with both the husband and the wife. Among other things, they’d have an opportunity to witness a positive Christian marriage in action. The key, of course, is longevity, not frequency. If your child meets weekly with a mentor over a period of four months, only to have the relationship cut off at the end of that time because of overload, it’s probably going to feel like rejection.

Speaking of the church, do your kids have male Sunday school teachers or youth leaders who have families of their own? If so, you might ask one of them if he and his wife would be open to including your children in some of their family activities.

Other options could include a trusted school teacher or coach. Of course, you’ll need to be certain that you know these individuals well, screen their backgrounds carefully with their employers, and make sure you’re comfortable with their values. A male teacher or coach should always include you, his spouse, or some other adult on any special outings or activities with your kids. Sad as it seems, the risk of sexual abuse is always present in modern-day society, and you are ultimately responsible for your children’s safety.

If you have further questions, Focus on the Family’s Counseling staff is available to discuss them with you over the phone. Call us for a free consultation.


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