Do Strong Single Mothers Raise Men Who Create Single Mothers?


by Gloria Malone (

I went to a workshop about including men in the parenting discussion when speaking to and helping young mothers. The director of the workshop brought up this idea and it has since been on my mind: Do strong single mothers raise men who create single mother?

With single mothers being so resilient and often taking the the defensive “get away from my child or I will bite you” approach with everyone, even the father of our children, do we inadvertently raise young men—and women—who continue the cycle of single parenthood?

Picture a scared young man that never had the guidance of a father figure in this life. He has since found out his girlfriend is pregnant and she says she wants to have the baby. His response is, “I can’t do it (parenthood).” He looks at his mother, a strong single mother that raised him on her own and thinks, “If my mom can do it, so can she.” And with that he’s gone.

Now picture that same young woman. She did not have a father figure either. She is the child of a strong single mother. She sees that her mother raised her on her own and did a good job at it and thinks so can I. She’s angry at the boyfriend and decides that he has no place in her or her unborn baby’s life.

What now?

Can strong single mothers have a hand in raising young men that do not stay to raise the child and young women that are to concerned with “doing it on their own” and don’t want a part time father in their child’s life? Or is this just another thing to blame on my single mother peers and myself?



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Written by Tara

Tara Pringle Jefferson is the founder and editor of


  1. I do see the correlation, but I don’t think it’s that easy. A strong, single mother can still raise a son that knows the benefit of a strong family. She can make the young boy understand that he is the man of the house and he can help his mother around the house like his dad would if he was there. That way he understands that a man plays a part in the relationship.

    There’s a difference between a strong mother and a stubborn mother. The stubborn mother seems like the one that begets more single mothers.

  2. they may – but the cycle can be broken. the child in the single parent home knew that a parent was missing regardless of the circumstances and that missing made you want to have the other parent there. When you become a parent, you CAN MAKE the choice to stay – its not a foregone conclusion that because you were raised by a single mother that this has to repeat itself. Leaving may be hard, but its harder to stay and deal with what you have created. You make a conscious choice to be the parent.
    when i read this article, what comes to mind is saying my parents were thieves, or highly critical, etc, so i have no choice but to be one. Behaviors can be relearned and new legacies can be created.

  3. I think it more has to do about how a person raised there son. That would be like asking are strong mom raise girls who become single mothers? I don’t think we do, a real mother will teach her child to make the best choices and support them or get on their butts when they aren’t. And a a boy can have a strong father figure in his life, even if it isn’t his actually father. Also a young man will see how his mother struggle to support and raise him on her one. I would thing that would be have a powerful affected.

    I won’t lie, I am beyond sick and tired of single mothers always being pointed out about what we do. We need to learn to put the fingers at both parties. I am also seeing a raise in single fathers caring for their kids. We just need to focus on good parenting (single or married or whatever).

  4. I think it’s all about what you put into your kids. I very believe in training up children in the way they should go. So, whether you’re training up your kids as a single or married parent at the end of the day they values and morals you put into your child will be with them as adults. My mom was a single parent and my brother turned out fantastic. If anything seeing my mom’s struggle has made him determined to do everything in his possibility to not put another young woman in that situation.

    I do think that if your child’s father is trying to be positive influence then why not let him be a part of his child’s life whenever he can be? Just put your best into kids and give them a great foundation of right and wrong. At the end of the day, even the best parented child will make mistakes as an adult and at that point parents are no longer accountable for their actions.

  5. I hear about this a lot. To be honest, you can’t blame it on one group of people-Women. I honestly believe that these discussions or arguments are meant to make you feel bad about the situation that single mother are currently in.

    It takes two to make the child, and when one person does not want to be in that child’s life, you cannot just blame the baby’s mama. Boys need a good role model. Be it their father or another male whom they can look up to.

    Maybe I am coming from a different Point of view, but when the blame is solely put on women and their single status with kids without looking at the men, that just annoys me.

    One day I hope that the finger pointers would stop, and really try to find a solution to the problem, instead of trying to find blame.

    Great post, and very thought provoking.

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