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I am a 23 year old single mother with a 4 1/2 year old son. I am wondering what advice is out there for raising a man? Do you know of quality books and focus on raising quality humans and not just quality women? I can't tell you how angry I get when I over hear women regurgitating man-hating rhetoric right in front of their young, impressionable sons. Sometimes being a single mother sucks, but I try to remember that I am raising one of them, and I need to love them just as much as I love women. That is very hard- especially when his father makes himself so damn easy to hate. I am having a supremely difficult time finding any information that addresses this issue. Do you know of any good resources?


Kelly in Mountlake Terrace, WA


Dear Kelly,

I was raised by a single mother and so I have some sense of what you are experiencing. I think that the greatest challenge in raising children of either gender is to treat them no differently than you would a child of either gender. For instance, we protect each of them differently and this plays out in their personalities later. All of the men I have dated for instance have totally different pressures on them as men. For instance, they don't have to go home over the holidays or to a family wedding the way girls are expected to. This translates into their being less responsive in other ways because they think that they are exempt. In terms of books -- Free To Be You and Me -- though old, has some of these messages in it. I also think that the Harry Potter Series goes a long way toward opening things up to both men and women. In reality, I think that your unique situation will go a long way toward helping your son -- watching you do everything. That's the way it was for me observing my mother -- watching her be the primary bread-winner and the one who took out the garbage. And just being conscience of it means that you are tens steps ahead of others. Good luck.



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