I remember being a kid and my mother telling me “Now that it’s just me and you baby, you got to be the man of the house.”
At the time, I felt honored. My father had passed away, and my two older brothers were in the penitentiary. So naturally, because I was the last and only male in the home assuming the role of “Man of the house” was the correct course of action… Right? WRONG!!
Even though I could appreciate what my mother was saying, it wasn’t practical. In my opinion, this way of thinking can be troublesome to our community as a whole.
Children who come from economically deprived areas have a hard enough time accepting the harsh realities of the inner city. Inferior schools, gang violence, drug dealing, as well as sex, all become a part of everyday life.
The environment becomes a cesspool of temptation and bad decision making. In most cases, telling your young son that he is the “Man of the house” accelerates his childhood. He begins to act like a “Man” without the necessary context or experience to do so.
Placing importance on things he shouldn’t have too. Of course, every child should embrace their mother and want to do whatever’s needed to help out, but we need to be careful. If your child is now consumed with being the “Man of the house” how can they still be a kid? The answer is…he can’t.
We witness it all the time, a young man that would normally be worried about class schedules and homework now have to think about money and how he is going to provide for his family.
Unfortunately, many kids in that situation turn to the street life for monetary gain because of how readily available it is. Look closely at young athletes and entertainers, if you hear them speak about what’s motivating them to improve their situation it normally sounds like this: “I want to make it so I can move my mom out the projects” or “I want to buy my mom that big house she never had.”
Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with taking care of your mother if you’re in a position to do so. However, as an adult, shouldn’t she be capable of doing those things herself? Shouldn’t she be in a relationship with a man that assists her with those needs? As parents, it’s our job to provide the necessary resources for our kids to live healthy normal lives, not the other way around.