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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son is almost 2.5, so does that make this the right forum for this question? I opperate somewhat like a single mom. My dh is a truck driver and home about every 6-8 weeks and only home for a short time, so sadly, he's more like a fun uncle than a father figure, IMO...the kids talk to him on the phone about 400 times a day, but not with much content as they are little.

What I'm wondering is if it's important to find an "alternate" and more "constant" male role model for my son and also for my dd, 6. We don't have family close by, but I'm thinking if I can put him in something when he's 3, that he can connect with a strong male role model, that might help? I guess I just don't think I ought to be his only view of adults. I don't ever spend time with my friends when their dh's are home--so it's not like they could be of any help.

my dd is in a martial arts class and the instructor is male and phenomenal. But even with that, I don't know how tight the connection becomes--at least until they've been in it a while.

does anyone have any imput on this?
My poor son went to pee on a tree by the sandbox and squatted
...and now that I'm thinking about it, the poor kid has every nail hand and foot with pink and purple nail polish (thanks to big sis, but he likes it)

sarah
 

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I think the fact alone that he his the father makes him the most important male role model. My father was pretty much out of the picture (MUCH more so than your dh) & my brother even had a Big Brother but still my Dad was the one that mattered to him most.
 

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Of course his father will always be his best and most important role model but I don't think it'll hurt to have other men to model after and to provide him with fun and care.

Organized sports are great - what about church? Is there a church group you belong to where perhaps you could have your kids interact with a pastor or youth pastor?

Growing up in a house of only women, my godfather was my only close male role model and to this day we're very close. My father chose not to be in my life but with plenty of uncles, cousins, and some of my mom's long term boyfriends I think we did ok
 

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I agree that having his father around at all is great! I have found that it's helpful that my son does sports. It's not about male or female role models but it gives him a chance to learn how to interact with different adults.
 

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I think it's great to have adults besides only the parents around to learn from and look up to, both male and female. Is there any sort of community you could join - neighborhood, religious, shared interest, activism, or volunteer organization? Maybe you could come across people there that might fit the bill, and make new friends yourself. For our family I don't feel sending a young child to structured classes would be great, but time spent watching and copying a friend's dad or something would be appropriate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kwynne View Post
What is it that you really *want* from the role model?

Of course i had to ask, being one mom of a two mom family, raising a boy.
Weeeelllll.....let me tread lightly, hehe.

I do believe in the research that shows a child's most important role model is that of the same sex parent. I am so much like my mother and even though we didn't live with my dad, my brother is a lot like my dad....however he also a TON like my step-dad, though he probably wouldn't admit it. For example...my dad wasn't much for responsibilty or parenting and didn't give us much attention, but my step-dad was all of those things....my brother is very strict (like my step-dad and not at all like our mom) and really puts a lot of energy into his children in ways very similar to my step dad. The ways he's like my dad are more of the social ways--people flock to my dad and want to be around him constantly--same for my brother. My brother's mannerisms are very much like my father, his work ethic is very much like my step-dad.

Sooo, anyway...I do want to make sure that my son is surrounded by the men I wouldn't mind him emmulating. Like it or not, he's going to look for someone to compare himself with, to follow in the footsteps of etc.

good question--I especially like who it came from!
sarah
 

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Yes yes...well, let me see if I can tread as lightly


Quote:

Originally Posted by mamatoady View Post
I do believe in the research that shows a child's most important role model is that of the same sex parent.
And I believe in the research that says that gender is a social construct. I mean, what does it mean to have a "male role model?" Do I want my little boy to know how to play T-ball, fix cars or pee standing up? My partner is a pretty good mechanic, I enjoy ball quite a bit, and, well, peeing standing up? Not hard to teach really. I guess I wonder when people say that boys need male role models, I want to know what kind of "male" they are thinking about. My son has a few men in his life, most of them very fey gay men. I am excited for them to teach him about the importance of gender diversity, and that yes, boys can really be fairies IFYKWIM.


I think children need various people in their lives, regardless of gender. I believe that gender does not determine what kinds of lessons we can teach our children, and being a feminist, I think that ideas around gender need to be unsettled anyway. I know that there will be a time when my little boy will want to talk to another penis bearing person, perhaps about issues I am not familiar with having grown up without one. In that instance, he has a range of folks to approach - his donor, his gay uncles and even our fathers. Which is fine for me. However, those people in his life are not the be all and end all of lessons about gender, or about being a boy. And I don't think my kid is in trouble (not saying that anyone said this, just saying) because he has a limited amount of time around men.

Quote:
good question--I especially like who it came from!
sarah
Cool
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kwynne View Post
Yes yes...well, let me see if I can tread as lightly


And I believe in the research that says that gender is a social construct. I mean, what does it mean to have a "male role model?" Do I want my little boy to know how to play T-ball, fix cars or pee standing up? My partner is a pretty good mechanic, I enjoy ball quite a bit, and, well, peeing standing up? Not hard to teach really. I guess I wonder when people say that boys need male role models, I want to know what kind of "male" they are thinking about. My son has a few men in his life, most of them very fey gay men. I am excited for them to teach him about the importance of gender diversity, and that yes, boys can really be fairies IFYKWIM.


I think children need various people in their lives, regardless of gender. I believe that gender does not determine what kinds of lessons we can teach our children, and being a feminist, I think that ideas around gender need to be unsettled anyway. I know that there will be a time when my little boy will want to talk to another penis bearing person, perhaps about issues I am not familiar with having grown up without one. In that instance, he has a range of folks to approach - his donor, his gay uncles and even our fathers. Which is fine for me. However, those people in his life are not the be all and end all of lessons about gender, or about being a boy. And I don't think my kid is in trouble (not saying that anyone said this, just saying) because he has a limited amount of time around men.

Cool

what a great conversation--your making me think and ponder in a different direction!

I do think in the end, it is the quality of the bond with ANY person that matters and both my children will be enriched by having strong bonds with people of upright character regardless of their gender. However, I do believe both of them, in a quality world, would be enriched even to a greater degree if males and females fill the roll. To only surround them with females (or all males) would be less desireable than to surround them with both. I believe that men and women are equal in the sight of God--not one above the other and like a bird needing both wings equally to fly, my kids need both kinds of role models....

I guess since dad isn't around much, it would be desireable for me to assure that both my children have strong male role models in their lives.

and I think by "strong male role models", I am referring to male role models that put family first, play with their kids, enjoy life (all the same things that I want from a female--but to have them see it and experience it with a male as well.)

My dh's male role model was his father who basically sat on his ass from the minute he got home from workand was served by his mother until bedtime. This is NOT the type of male role model I am looking for for my children. I want them to witness and experience men and women working together, helping each other, communicating and being responsible people and not dependent on others for their happiness, but finding joy inside and sharing it.

....So...maybe I've answered my own question here. More food for thought....thanks kwynne--if you have any other thoughts or different perspectives, please share!
Sarah
 
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