Q: Hey Cheyenne, I’m a single mother, my son is 16 and he’s sexually active. The father isn’t involved in his life, and I’m doing my best as a single mother to respect his privacy, give him space and allow him to be a man. I don’t want him to go off and get some random girl pregnant, but I do understand that he’s at that age where he’s going to be attracted to girls and he’s going to want to have sex. How can I help steer him in the right direction without pushing him away?
A: Hi, thanks for sharing. Your son will be 18 in a couple of years, so right now he’s looking to find himself as a man. Since the father isn’t there to show him, he’s likely to try and prove himself as a man in areas that he feels valued and appreciated. Children will rebel if you give them a reason to, so as his mother, you also have to be his “psychologist”. You have to take the time to understand how his mind works, and figure out a strategic way to communicate with him and get your point across. There is nothing you can do to get him to stop seeking young women or sleeping with them, but you can figure out ways to occupy his time to where he is focusing more on activities than women. Sports, a job, volunteer work, internships, etc. Young male teens need to be around a male authoritative figure that they respect. Unfortunately, in many cases, a young male may love his mother to death, but the respect factor isn’t always there simply because you’re a woman. The extent of that respect will be simply because you’re his mother. What he needs is a man who will enforce rules, regulations, standards, requirements and firm consequences for breaking rules. In his mind, he feels he is stronger than you, wiser than you, and has more experience than you, so most of what you say will go in one ear and out the other. Males tend to also be more of risk takers than females as well, so although you’re giving him the best advice in the world, he still will want to go out and try it for himself. The solution… try to strategically position him around a man who has power and influence, someone he will respect and model after. For me, it was my High School basketball coach “Bob Hurley”. I graduated from St. Anthony High School in 2002 and to this day I would never cross my coach. My father passed when I was 1 yr old. My step-father was the only father I knew, but he never enforced any rules. When I met my coach I thought FINALLY… a challenge. A man who won’t take any of my mess and will chastise me anytime I stepped out of line. Not that my mother or sister wouldn’t do so, but I felt more of a man standing up to a man than taking orders from a woman. When facing a man, I had a choice… I could accept the rules, fight back, or walk away and do my own thing. A man likes to have the option to fight back, and that option isn’t there when he’s facing a woman, which results in emasculation. A man will look at his 16 year old son who’s having sex and say “Protect yourself at all times” and then give him a pep talk about what’s our their in the world. After this talk, the young man will be more responsible about who he’s having sex with, why and how. When it’s comes from a woman, it feels like it’s “nagging”. Position your son in front of the right men or man, and he’ll learn more about what it means to be a man. This will have a greater impact on him than you trying to have a talk with him about sex on your own.
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Life & Relationship Coach