O.K. this is a word to all you mothers who talk to your young men with the same regard as one would a bit bull. I have heard you speak to your young boys with vicious words and hard tones that tell them they have about as much sense as a rusty nail. I have seen you popping them on the head or swearing at them as if they were some guy on the street. I have heard you nag and question them about every decision they make—as if it is impossible for them to move without your constant questioning and redirecting. Not only are you setting them up for failure but you are daily chipping away at their self-confidence, damaging their manhood and causing them to question their self-worth. Our males are being emasculated.
For many reasons Black women have this stereotypical persona as being harsh, unhappy and difficult. Based on our history, we have every right to be so; many of us are single moms raising babies on little income, we have dealt with the man that never stays, or the one that stays but is abusive or even passive. Yes, many of us have come up on the rough side. And raising boys is not easy. But we in turn pass this kind of hard, aggressive, angry attitude on to our children. They inherit our resentment, anger towards the world and all that is within it. They sense the fear in our voices and our behavior. Problem is, living under this guise our children’s self-confidence becomes warped. As they grow they doubt their ability to make a significant impact to the world. They never feel that they are good enough. They question life’s meaning or more importantly, how they fit in the scheme of things. Many wander aimlessly for years trying everything but the right thing.
If our young boys are not nurtured properly, they will find ways to create a sense of meaning. They will define manhood on their own terms—whether it’s through making money—any way they can—or making babies or simply making trouble. Just because they grow up tall and muscle-bound with a deep masculine tone in their voice does not make them confident or strong. They can possess the look and be as weak as a newborn. Our men are walking around with a hard demeanor, strong swagger but still as confused and angry as a caged dog. Our boys need to be told of their worth, their significance. They should be praised for doing well and redirected when they fall away. They should NOT be cursed at, slapped up side the head or left for their peers to give them direction.Find strong, confident men with whom they can create a bond. Pray over them. Show them examples of strong men in the bible. Teach them to know God as father. Seek to discover their gifts and talents and help them to pursue them. Find ways to tap into their individuality. Because, dear mothers, we as women don’t want to date another woman-beater, or player whose self-confidence is directly tied into how many women he can sack. We don’t want your sons who are looking for welfare checks and babies’ momma’s food stamps, because he can’t figure out how to play in the game of economics and win. We don’t want to raise your sons while raising our own boys. When you send them out into the world, send them