When a woman is single and has a son, sometimes other people who live outside of the home often tell the son that he is the man of the house as a way of giving that male child some advice or directive in responsibility. I never really thought much of this as I’ve heard it before and seen the scenario on TV… that was until I found myself single raising a young man alone in my house. I then overheard the conversations from well-meaning relatives who instructed my tween that he was now the Man of the House. Thanks, but no thanks.
When I think of a Man of the House, I think a whole lot of things, but a tween is not one of them. A Man in My House will pay the bills, contribute to the well-being of other household members, be a responsible provider, and shower his woman with love and affection inside and outside of the bedroom. My tween will not have those responsibilities until he is a Man in His House.
It is my responsibility as a mother to take care of the needs of those in my household. That is not a child’s place. To add pressure to a child by giving them the role of Man when they are emotionally, mentally, and dang-sure-financially ill-equipped for the role is deceptive. Am I going over-board in my thinking? Nope, I don’t think so. Let’s dig a little further…
If a male child is told he is a man, when he is not, he tends to think that he is anyway. So now this “man” is in your home eating the food that you bought, bathing in the shower forever in water you provide, under a roof of which you also pay. What does this man do to contribute to the household? Maybe a few chores here and there like cutting the grass or taking out the trash, but nothing significant. Are you following me so far? Not yet? Ok, let’s dig some more.
This child who believes and is told that he is a man, now learns that a man is taken care of by the woman of the house. He doesn’t have to provide, the woman of the house takes care of him. How many adult males do you know who still live at home with their mothers who are hardworking women that take care of the household and that grown azz man? What’s funny is that woman is usually complaining that her son needs to grow up and gain some responsibility. Why should he grow up? He’s just being the “man” he was taught to be.
Today’s challenge is to pledge to stop telling male children that they are men. They are boys, allow them to be just who they are while instilling responsibility into them so that when they actually grew into adulthood that they will be men.