10 Harmful Things Single Mothers Do To Ruin Their Sons Lives (Part 1)

Posted: November 16, 2005 in Uncategorized

by Gillis Triplett (guest commentator for Bahiyah Woman Magazine)


Raising Boys Wrong…

It the state of Georgia, as in most urban areas, two thirds of the Black children born, are born to unwed mothers. Most of those boys will grow up to be unproductive men in our society. For irrefutable proof one only needs to examine:

(a) The high school drop out rate amongst boys from single-family homes.

(b) The incarceration statistics for boys raised by single moms.

(c) The mass number of single mothers who have trained their boys to devalue and disrespect the entire female gender

Am I blaming society’s ills on single mothers? No! Am I attacking or demonizing single mothers? A thousand times no! I am dealing with a critical issue that has devastated multiple generations. One that has not been properly dealt with for too long. I have watched this particular group of single mothers reek havoc and sow seeds of discord in the lives of countless children. I had one incident in which a woman, (I’ll call Racine ) was dating a man, she got pregnant by him and they moved in together.

Like many women who give themselves to dishonorable men, Racine assumed that she could change him and that he would eventually marry her. She was so convinced of her abilities to alter his conduct, that she got pregnant, AGAIN! You should know that Racine was in the church while this disgraceful chain of events took place. After their second child, her live-in boyfriend just up and left. He coldly and calculatedly abandoned her and both of their kids.

It is no secret that this is the norm for single women who get pregnant by their boyfriends. But like many women, Racine chose to ignore those irrefutable facts. She somehow believed her situation would be different than the countless single women who are left pregnant and alone every year. Before bolting, her enigmatic lover prepped his family, friends and co-workers not to divulge any information of his whereabouts to his ex.

For three months Racine pleaded with his family and friends to tell her what happened. After constantly listening to her forlorned cries, one of his family members couldn’t take it anymore. She broke down and told Racine the truth. Her Night In Pining Armour had dumped her and hurriedly married some bimbo. When Racine heard the heart traumatizing truth, she promptly joined the (BSMC), Bitter Single Mother’s Club. She turned into an angry and vengeful single mom.

Her means of getting revenge against her ex was to physically abuse both their children. She would do things such as force them to sit outside in the freezing cold for hours at a time. She would choke her older son, ( I’ll call Joseph ) while swearing at him and cursing his father. Because of her physically and verbally abusive behavior, Joseph learned to hate females.

Because of how his mother abused him and his little brother, Joseph detests the female gender with an unforgiving passion. Like his mother had been drilling in his ears for years, he followed in the footsteps of his father. He got a female pregnant while in high school, but instead of abandoning her and baby like his dad, he married her. Not because he loved her, but to prove his mother wrong. Joseph had taken on the same vengeful and abusive spirit as his mom.

In less than two weeks after saying, “I do!” he physically assaulted his new bride. He has been abusing her ever since. Even at my behest, his wife refused to file charges. She felt as though she could change him. Their little girl will be 5-years-old in 2004 and Joseph has never held a conversation with her because of distrust and hatred of all females. The only things he has said to his daughter is, “Shut up! Didn’t I tell you… No! Sit down and, go get me a…”


  1. Reginald says:


  2. Vince B says:

    Very insightful and much needed, rarely discussed topic. The willingness to even engage in this type of dialogue is avoided like the plague out of fear that it will be perceived as an attack on Black woman. As long as the conversation is kept at the level which focuses on the absence of Black males in the home, we will never be able to deal with the reality of what’s happening in the now and its dire consequences.

  3. Donna Rogers says:

    I think the mis-raising of black boys is a little deeper than revenge for the sins of the daddy. Not too long ago black mothers used this way of raising their sons to SAVE THEIR LIVES. It was dangerous for black boys to think too highly of themselves. Black mothers humbled their sons, demeaned them, and taught them how to tolerate abuse as a way to preserve their lives. High self-esteem was a liability. The time for that has passed, but some of us insist on holding on to the OLD way of doing things.

    The reality is, for a variety of reasons, black women have had no choice but to raise their sons alone. Black men in the past were working away from the home at whatever job he could find, or he’d run away because he could not provide, or he was chased away by the welfare system. Times have changed and I wish to acknowledge the fact that a lot of black men are stepping to the plate and raising or participating in raising their children Things are NOT as grim as media propaganda would have us believe.

    My ex is the primary custodian of my 16 year old son because we both accept that I can not teach my son how to be a man. I can love him and teach him to be a good person, but I can’t teach him to be a man. I choose not to beat up my sisters for wanting to raise their sons. Some have no choice, but others are making a decision based on emotion rather than logic. I wish some of my sisters would look at the big picture for the good of their sons. But as a people, we are where we are.

    It takes two to make a baby and it takes two to raise, not just boys but girls too. A lot of my sisters accept less than they should from a man because they themselves had no father. They have no idea how a man is supposed to treat a woman. To get right down to it, there are very, very few of us in the black community who have seen happy, healthy relationships. I pray one day we can overcome this, but I don’t blame my sisters or my brothers for our family’s condition. Our people wore the chains of slavery and Jim Crow a long time. Change is going to come, but not if we devour each other like THEY encourage us to do.

  4. […] This comment was recently submitted by reader Donna Rogers on a past posting entitled “10 Harmful Things Single Mothers Do […]

  5. niyoga hubbard says:

    I agree with this post , i have seen where moms have beaten there kids and told them there just like there fathers ! this is something you just dont do !kids know things and remember things especially boys they hold things in and release it all at once its something that most can not control ! Most women dont know how this will affect there kids like by telling them these things and I hope most will learn by this article !

  6. david says:

    hey im a white dude and heres what my X did to me,got me thrown in jail for a crime i did not do(ask my mom she had the kids )we went to my Xs x-mas work gig she gets all messed up we go home she calls the cops tells them i hit her and im never allowed home since ..(but im 5 blocks away and see my son) but yes a boy needs a father to grow up and be a man and have respect for women .but now adays dude they aint like are moms were…nowadays women are out to fuck men up for something they messed up with being a hoe..the kids pay dude (and dont trust them)….ever

  7. Gloria says:

    I came across this while searching for information on how discrimination takes place towards single mothers in the workplace. And the first thing I would like to say, is that it is sad the mother is treating her children in that manner, and it is also sad the author of this did not contact the proper authorities concerning the alleged abuse. Now to the actual subject of women (particularly) Black women, abusing and destroying their children’s lives based on some inner hatred and desire to punish the father, and the assumption that women cannot raise their son’s properly because there is no man in the house…totally ridiculous! This is the fallacy that women have been subjected to for decades and it is something that will continue as long as men (the main culprits in this) continue to view themselves as some type of superior beings. Both men and women can raise children, together, on their own, ect. gender should not have any bearings on raising a child, male or female, with decency, and with the ability to convey that decency to their fellow human beings. I find it repulsive and offensive that in this day and age, single mothers are still being condemned for having children alone and that no only is the church involved in this condemnation, but the government, the mass media as well as people who you see on a daily basis. It is a shame that this stigmata of being a single mother (I would say father also, but there is no controversy in that) is still alive and well in 2007.

    In closing, those who have issues with their exes should not take it out on the children. Those who feel a single mother cannot raise a male child…look at what your mother raised (research states that mothers, even in 2 parent homes are the MAIN care givers!) and people get a grip, there will always be single mothers, instead of condemning them, rejoice in the fact that the majority of them ARE doing great jobs in raising productive citizens!


    I came from a single mother home…I am a single mother….and my son is doing great!

  8. lanette says:

    attacking the mothers? wow i have truly read it all. my father left when i was about 5 or 6 and my parents were married.
    my mother never spoke ill of his sorry ass…..

    i am glad he left. my mother had the nerve to want my brother and i to visit him. he lived in the same town as my grandmother.

    anyway i babble.

    fathers needs to step up,to blame single mothers is ..i can’t even find the words. some women probably are acting stupid by having babies with sorry ass men…but a lot of men are just that…sorry as hell…..no matter what the circumstances are…

  9. Kim Crouch says:

    This is a very interesting post. I do think as a community we need to take a hard analysis of all the issues that affect our community including harmful things women may do in raising our sons and women’s shared role for the situations we find ourselves in. I do think it’s important that we raise the issue, see what the problems are but then propose solutions. Let’s be honest. there is enough fingerpointing that can be done back and forth. But that’s not the issue. The issue is how do we raise these boys, whether as a single mom, or in a family unit that ensures and gives them the greatest chance for success. If this starts the discussion then so be it. But let’s not let it end with blame but with solutions.

  10. Allan says:

    Well. I can honestly say that to read these responses to this artical, is scary. You see. I am a 40 year old african american. I have been married twice, and I have fathered 8 children. Now I can tell you why men leave women, at least from my perspective. Yes women do try to change men. Yes women do get pregnant by men who really have no idea on how to raise a family. The question is why? Why would a woman marry someone who does not have a clue on how to treat or take care of a woman? I myself have been married to my current wife for 17 year now. I am trying to do the best that I can. But let’s face it. Staying with the same woman is not easy. Men and women are totally different, and don’t see eye to eye on most things. Black men and women are more likely to divorce, or not even get married for reasons mostly finacial, than whites or other races. So what can we do as society to try and remedy that? Educate our children, love them even if they are not yours. Treat each other with the respect that we would like to recieve ourselves. Talk to each other, don’t worry about color or prestiege. Say hello to people you don’t know in front of your child. Let them see the good in you as much as possible. We are all responsible for all the children in the world, not just your own.

  11. AhumbleServant says:

    I truly must state for the record that there is a major problem insofar parenting for some more especially black women, because a great many are faced with the direct results of their chosen “sperm donor(s).” The irony of this fact is the way in which a righteous, hard-working brother who is willing to embrace the male child of another. Often times the mother will give the appearance that she will accept having her son receive manhood training by her newfound love, but this is a rarity for many brothers who are constantly reminded that they are but “stepfathers” if even given that title. I bear witness that black women who have sons upwards to the age frame of 19 need to understand that if they have the fortune of having a good man who is willing to provide for them that he should be supported. Stepfathers who have experienced challenges in raising black boys that are not theirs biologically can attest to the fact that such is a challenge. I am a correctional officer and on a daily basis I see firsthand the results of poor parenting and lack of positive male (father) involvement. I can dwell on this matter long enough to make Dr. Juwanza Kunjufu want to do a case study, but my view is simple. Black men who embrace raising the children more especially black boys who are not theirs biologically MUST be supported by the mothers.

  12. Give it a rest says:

    I alway thought women were supposed to be selective in the mates that they choose to reproduce with?

    So why do so many black women make babies with un/under-employeed and un/under-educated men (and boys) and than complain after the fact that the father is NOT up to the task of being a father?

    It is time to cut the BS and admit that if you have a child by a uneducated, unemployeed, or criminal record holding man, he will NOT be able to be a good parent for many reasons.
    It is also quite indicative of teh qualities inherent in the women that lay down and have sex with these losers.

    These chicks are full of false expectations. The above is a recipe for a life of poverty yet far too many black women that claim to be smart continue to do the same crap over and over.
    Now I know there are some fools out there that are asking these bimbos for babies but most blackman that cant get it together are NOT asking to be fathers to children they know they acnt support financially or emotionally.

    I am a married black father and I do NOT feel much pity for women that PUT themselves and create children in bad situations. My wife and I did not have our fist child until we were 30 years old, when we were financaily and emotionally ready and MARRIED!

    I dont get it! Even the older black women with college educations behave the same way. They just end up pregnant ! No talk of marriage, one day they just show up to work with baby in belly and then feel sheepish when all the other women ask about the father and if they plan to get married.

    The irony is that many of them that think they are raising men are NOT. They raise boys that are beholden to their mothers and are never able to become real men to their own chidlren. My Mother was married to my father and I must say I was taught to treat women better than my friends that were raise exclusively by their mothers. These same women that are so proud of the job they did raising their son teach them NOT to trust women and in many ways limit their commitment to them. It hard to be a good father and husband if your mother is constantly asking you to help her out!

  13. Taylor says:

    Give it a rest you are absolutley right that women should be more selective of the mates they choose. However, I ask that you remember that as women our natural desire is to be loved and cherished by men not to be abandoned and abused. Black women have been conditioned to try to love and uplift black men throughout history even as society has devalued and underappreciated them. How you don’t GET why black women reach down to help some of your sorry ___ is beyond my comprehension. Please believe that we black women would love to marry someone on our level!!!!! Where ya’ll hiding AT! The bad choices that black women make for the most part are not indicative of some inherent character flaw but of the love that we have for YOU even when you don’t love yourself. Too bad we can’t just turn our backs on you.

  14. vera says:

    I feel that blaming only the parents for thier sons mistakes in some cases it is very unfair. Once a boy reaches an certain age they will do what they want no matter what any one says. I also think that the community should accept some of the blame too!

  15. paul says:

    even though you claim that you will not blame single mother’s for society’s ills, that seems to be a lot of what you are doing with this entry.
    somehow the mother is entirely to blame for being abandoned, and the father get’s a free pass for being an unbelievable loser. if nothing else, granted he may not want to be with this woman, those are still his children. and if he didn’t want kids, there were things he could have done to avoid that outcome.
    i regret turning this into a blame game because there really isn’t a black+white way of assessing these circumstances, there are many things that could be at play. but when it comes down to it, folks need to start owning up to their responsibilities.

  16. Rissy says:

    RE:VERA How individual people raise their children is their business, “society” holds no blame for bad kids. This is America, not Soviet Russia. The greater good is NOT as important as our individual actions, and anyone who blames “society” for their kids’ problems is a coward.

    In General: I live in Grants Pass,OR and I’ve only met a few black people in my life. I’d love to meet more, they just aren’t around. However, a lot of this rings true for the poor, rural white women I’ve known here in southern Oregon (we’re like 4 hours south of Portland and 5 hours north of San Francisco….middle of nowhere). So it may be a wider issue than the author comments on. I see women constantly raising their slew of brats on welfare, marrying/dating loser after loser and getting pregnant over and over. As if they don’t know what’s causing the problem or something! I think they do that because they’ve never had to grow up, and they have no emotional understanding of how to deal with anything. Government school does a great job of keeping people from growing up, and that’ just one factor. That may sound broad and harsh, but everyday I see people completely out of touch and completely out of control with themselves. They don’t know what matters, they don’t care what’s right or wrong, they just want their next cigarette/beer/load and they want their kids to shut the hell up so they can hear the TV. It’s because they’re children themselves and they’re completely unable to deal with the situation. so they don’t. And maybe they got that way because of “society” or because daddy wasn’t around, or whatever their wah-wah story is…but the simple fact is that they will NEVER be happy and fulfilled (and never attract a good mate) until they learn to deal with their own problems and take self responsibility. Most likely? They will never ever do that. most of them will end up alone in a government-funded health care facility slowly dieing of regret.

  17. Thinking Voter says:

    Isn’t great that Obama is Pro-Choice?

    If we lobby hard enough we can get Abortions covered by Medicad and Medicare and that will take care of this problem.

  18. anon says:

    Hmmmm, the first president was raised by Martha Washington who raised George for the most of his life as a single parent after the death of his father. Barack Obama was raised by a single mother. There are also countless numbers of black and white INTELLIGENT women who CHOOSE to have and raise children as single parents. Of course these are professional women who don’t rely on men or the government for support.
    I was a single mother who chose that life style after serving in the military and graduating from the university. At the time, I thought of black men as a kiss of death. I later married a wonderful Italian man from Italy and have since moved away from America. If something happened would I still be able to maintain my lifestyle and raise my children. Yes.
    By the way, the son I raised for twelve years as a single parent is trilingual, respectful, Jewish multiracial kid and I am sure that he will one day make some woman a good husband. I too ,was raised by a single mother. so, although I can see your point of view, I don’t think that you should generalize.

  19. Robert says:

    I totally agree! Very well put and factual. I would also add that in general, black women must stop disrespecting a father in front of their children. Even if mistakes are made, these should be taken up in private. After all ladies, if your child’s father, who is part of them, and by having sex with you was once a part of you, is a no account curse word, then what does that make the child? Or you for choosing them to sire it?

  20. blacknright says:

    Hey let’s not jump on “abuse” here. If I allow him to my son (who is only five) will scratch me, hit me, punch me and other violent acts as well. Yet, if I respond back like most people would by defending myself, I am the one going to jail. We are getting into therapy. Because obviously he needs help. I am also looking into Big Brothers because I think he needs more male role models in his life.

    Next, let’s not act like it is Black men who don’t stick around. Neither do White men. My son’s father is White and he has only met his son once and that is because I tricked him into it. Next instead of criticizing everything single mothers do wrong, let’s look at some of the things they do right. They are not quitters. They could’ve aborted the child, they could’ve gave the child away, but they kept their child and did their best to raise them. Even in trying circumstances. That is admirable.

    They are willing to sacrifice for their child, change their life. Their children often motivate them to do bigger and better things then they would’ve otherwise. Single mothers are not perfect but they are doing the hardest job in the world-alone. So instead of trying to bring them down, why not try to uplift them and say, “We know you are doing the best you can, how can we help. What are we not doing to make your job just a little bit easier?” If we came from that perspective we could accomplish a lot more.

  21. Clever says:

    Your article makes since and i understand where you were going with it. I have had similar conversations myself many times with single moms, as i can tell from some of your response’s is hard to be logical and rational when there are so many emotions involved, as we all have been affected by single parents in some form or another. I myself was raised by a single mom although i admire respect and am grateful for her strength and efforts she was no dad. She was just a mom i realized that once i got older and had kids of my own. The bitterness of multiple failed relationships had taken its toll on her ability to look inward at herself, she totally denies any personal accountability when it comes to who and why she chose to mate with.
    I find this to be most common in single mothers most of the times the circumstance and situation in which single parenthood came about in the first place gets manipulated by the person viewing the events in hindsight. I have found that the only way to have a non bias dialog about this topic is to address it to non single parents this eliminates a forum to vent, often at times the pain runs so deep that it becomes a gender war. Which any open minded person will tell you
    cause’s failed relationship in the first place along with undefined rolls…me personally i think the problem lies not with gender but with the level of education on both parties.
    the more self respect you have for yourself the more like you are to seek someone to respect you. But if your life was fragmented by poverty,lack of education improper roll models
    indecent morals, no foundation,poor judgement weak character, a dis functional support system the your odds of succeeding as the prototypical nuclear family are very low.
    Especially if you met your mate under these circumstances.
    There also would be a multitude of issues to address before the blame could be passed to anyone. The blame game aaah!! always a fun topic. My questions are ok! If a man runs off and leaves his kids and that man was raise by his single mother did she teach him that?If that mans daughter were to marry a man from a two parent household and the relationship failed resulting in single parenthood would we blame the mother being that she was raised by her mom alone? My question is this if a woman can be a mother and a father then who is raising young men to grow up to be dead beat dads?
    Or is that sole legacy left by an absentee father aka sperm donor.. Those two last question lack and show know signs of personal accountabilty..none what so ever

  22. susan says:

    I find this article to be incredibly judgemental. You have stated what black single mothers do to ruin their son’s lives but failed to offer any useful or adequate solutions.

    So here are 10 things this black single mother is teaching her son…

    I. I choose to forgive my son’s father and will teach my son to do the same.

    2. Teach my son that every person enters adulthood with deficits, whether that comes from not having a father in the home or another reason. Children who grow up with fathers in the home are not exempt from human suffering.

    3. Teach my son by example that while painful situations can not be avoided they can be met with courage and integrity.

    4. Explain to my son that while he may be the biological offspring of his father he is not his father’s victim. I will let my son know that he sense of worth and value is not dependent on his father being present in his life. His worth and value is intrinsic and cannot be deminished or negated by the acts or attitude of others.

    5. I will instill in my son the core values he needs in order to make good decisions.

    6. I will explain to my son that even if he grew up with his father, there would be trials and obstacles he must face alone. There comes a time in everyone’s life when they must stand on their own to feet.

    7. There are no excuses in life. Everyone has had something happend in their life they whis had not occured. Learn to take the good with the bad.

    8. People’s opinions about him or his situation are none of his business.

    9. I will let my son know that he has choices. He can choose to repeat the mistakes of his father or take ownership of his own life and choose a different path for himself.

    10. I will teach my son that there are no gurantees in life. Having a father in his life is not a gurantee that he would be more successful and not having a father is not a gurantee of an unsucessful life. To have the life he wants and to be a successful, confident, secure and self-assured man is a choice he must make.

  23. Teradactyl says:

    I am trying to type a comment while wiping tears that roll down my cheeks. I am a single mother of a five year old little boy named Blade.
    I left his father when he was three months old from getting tired of being a punching bag. His father and I were together for 8 years , never married, somehow I knew better. He served two years in prison and I concieved Blade the 3rd day he was out. Yea!! Well he now struggles with an addiction that I am almost positive will sooner than later kill him. I live with my parents, again, at age 27 and probably at the lowest point of my life that I have felt in a long time. I have been through so many different but equally traumatic events in my 27 years that I could seriously write a book about it. Though, as mad as I get at his father , my sister , my ex…..the list goes on and on,….NEVER, ..would I ever lay a hand on the body of which I gave life to. Okay , now that this site and all the people in it know a lot about me in just a simple introduction, I need to go get some shut eye if possible.

    Thanks York,


  24. lucas says:

    this isn’t just a black/white thing. This is a people thing. It is the victim mentality. X is holding me down/back/making me wait… Its choices and consequences.

    Plenty of people here made the point that single women and men can raise great boys and girls. Its the choices you make, the way you react and what you let stand in your way. Don’t complain about not having anything if you can’t save your money first. Don’t complain about a kid that hits you if you can’t give directions without yelling. The problems in your life stem from you. Don’t look for someone to blame. Get honest with yourself and start making the changes you need to make to make your life what you want it to be. It will take work, dedication and you aren’t going to get what you want in the short term, but it always pays off in the long term. Always. It never fails. Pick yourself off, dust yourself off, the pity party is over, give yourself the forgiveness you need (hey, you didn’t know right?) now go change it. Stop being a victim and start making stuff happen for you.

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