Manhood & Anger – What Dads Can Teach


In a recent post in Psychology Today , Mark Banschick, M.D wrote a great explanation of the connection between fathers and sons and why fathers are needed. Single parenthood is not easy for fathers or mothers. The notion of choosing single parenthood is foolish. There are clear reasons why it is a bad idea. Here are a few things we might want to think about:

It’s very difficult for a mother to discipline a teenage son. This is something that I have seen from decades of work. Women can and do raise wonderful boys and bring them to manhood, but if there’s a conflict – it’s tough.

A major reason is that a boy – or young man – will often see caving into his mother’s wishes as castrating. This is largely unconscious. It may not be right, but he hates his dependency – and bridles at being reminded that Mom’s in control. This aggression requires containment, and some single mothers have no one to turn to. One can claim that this statement is culturally biased; that women are perfectly capable of raising healthy, non-violent young men. I agree, but it’s not the whole story.

Too many years of clinical experience argues for the need of both parents.


I don’t know how many more times it must be repeated, but yes, children need a mother and a father.

Healthy fathers (and male role models) can serve as an important buffer between a young man’s rage and expressing that rage. A normal, well intentioned, father tells his son that men don’t hit women, or threaten them. The boy internalizes the father’s strength and it becomes his own. He takes pride in containing his anger – in his own developing masculinity. This is the healthy outcome. It’s just tough to pull off as a single mom.


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