If you missed last week’s Conversation with Korey post and video on the impact of fatherlessness on girls, I strongly suggest that you read/see it! Korey’s insight was spot on. Not only about how these young ladies are often preyed upon by boys, but also how many of them seek validation outside of home.
This week, Korey brings that same level of “been-there-done-that” insight to our discussion on the impact of fatherlessness on boys.
As I stated in my disclaimer last week, the purpose of this post is not to assign blame to anyone for the very complex subject of fatherlessness. I think we can agree there is plenty of blame to go around and too much at stake to waste time pointing fingers. Instead, I choose to focus attention on the people who fatherlessness impacts the most –the kids! And clearly, boys are just as affected as girls, although in different ways.
In Search of Self
Korey believes that boys without fathers start out in life from “behind the eight ball.” He’s quick to point out that this isn’t a knock against their mothers, nor does it mean that boys without dads are automatically doomed for failure. But thinking back over his experiences as well as that of his fatherless friends, Korey realized they all shared some similar characteristics. They were always searching, not knowing what they were destined to do (or become). And they often struggled to finish whatever they started.
Why? Because they were used to having their moms save the day.
When Mommy Can’t Save the Day
Most single-parent households are headed by women. Their sons are used to seeing them take on the role of both mother and father to the best of their ability. I’m sure it’s quite a challenge for single moms to raise sons to become men with all that manhood entails.
It’s often the small things that later become a big deal for these young men. In the clip below, Korey gives the example of how boys without fathers find it difficult to even take instructions from another man, because they’re so used to taking “orders from their moms.”
I’ve also had boys share their painful experiences of growing up without fathers to show them how to do those “small things” that turned out to be a big deal. One day, a freshman young man stayed after class to speak with me. His conversation went as follows:
When you talked about the impact of fathers not being in their kids' lives, it really hit me hard. I’m on the football team and last Friday night was our first game. All of the players had to wear neckties to the game and my mother had to call her friend over to tie my tie. Do you know how angry that made me? My father should have taught me how to tie a tie. I try to pretend that it doesn’t matter that my father isn't around because I don’t want my mother to feel bad. But lately more and more things have been happening like this that make me angry that he’s not around.
The reality is there's only so much a mother can do to help prepare her son for manhood. Eventually there's going to come a point in his life, when she can't swoop in to save the day. That's where positive male mentors come in.
Korey was blessed to find a mentor whom he admits was responsible for calling manhood out of him. And just look at the young man Korey's become!
If your son's father is not involved in his life for whatever reason, please share the clip with him. Use it to talk about areas where he may feel frustration because he's missing male guidance. Or find out what he's searching for. Listening is a good place to start.
Next week in my Conversation with Korey, you'll hear the advice that Korey would give a little sister about love, sex and relationships. You don't want to miss it!