A Mother’s Plea: “Find a Mentor for My Son”

Recently I received a phone call from a mother who said, “I heard you can help mothers find mentors for their children.” Through my longtime work in the mentoring field, I am often met with challenges similar to this one: single mothers faced with raising their sons without a father or positive male role model in their lives. There were a couple of things clear to me before she said another word: first, I wasn’t the first person or organization she had called looking for guidance for her son; second, something had created this urgency for her not to leave a stone unturned as she sought to find help; and lastly, there was an element of frustration in her request given the many dead ends she has faced.

As I listened to her, I could not help but think about the millions of mothers around the country who are struggling with the same issue of not being able to find viable programs that offer formalized mentoring programs. Even though there is probably a Big Brother, Big Sister, YMCA or Boys and Girls Club in many communities, these three alone are not enough to fill the mentoring gap.

We can see the issues saturating our inner cities and leaving destruction in their path. We ask: “where are all the good men?” Scores of reports, papers and research have documented the devastating statistics effecting black men. In 1965 the report The Negro Family: The Case For National Action, by New York Senator Patrick Moynihan, continued to speak to the statistics that devastates black families, but black males in particular. Even the New York Times has found a readership interest in defining the reasons for the absence of black men in black communities.

Somehow, we must get past what seems like the normalcy of the situation and begin to react to the urgency of our children’s need. The problems created for children by not having responsible fathers and mentors are evident. It’s painful to see that the poor outcomes of these children have not been enough to motivate more adults to consider mentoring as a responsibility.

A few weeks ago we saw the ugly side of mentoring when 45-year-old rapper Too Short was interviewed by XXL magazine and described how little boys could sexually take advantage of little girls. As a father, I cringe to think that any kid who goes to the same school as my daughters might hear this, believe it, and further attempt to try it. What chance does a young girl have to combat this idiotic behavior without a positive, nurturing, caring, and loving father in her life? Or when dad is unavailable, an actively responsible male role model to convey what true manhood really looks like for both girls and boys?

Though National Mentoring Month has now passed, the gap remains. Our children are vulnerable and under attack by dysfunctional societal behaviors. When active fathers and mothers are not in the lives of their children they are not fully protected from the chaos that awaits them each and every day. More must be done to recruit mentors, specifically black male mentors. It’s an obligation that can’t be stressed enough.

This phone call served as a wake-up call for me that we have a long way to go. My advice to her was simple: Never give up on your son. Look for indirect opportunities for mentoring such as organized activities in sports and school clubs. Get into a church that has a strong youth ministry. Do anything, but don’t allow him to do nothing. The more you keep your child occupied the less chance they have to get in trouble.

I’m optimistic that the advice I gave this mother will help in her search for a mentor. I also hope that what I said keeps her motivated not to give up yet smart enough not to place her child in harm’s way just for the sake of providing him with a mentor. Not just any mentor will do, only the right one.

7 Comments

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Hi,
Recently my son who just turned 14 and he has been making poor choices and as a single parent I'm very concerned. He loves basketball and has been playing since he 5 years old, he has played for Jr. Warriors, CYO and AAU. Since his grades are failing this is the first year he has not played basketball but after talking with his doctor it was recommended that I find him a mentor so I registered him with the big brother & sister program and I was told it can take up to 2 years for my son to be matched with a mentor. The doctor also suggested that I allow him to play basketball again for motivation because he swears without it he will be going down the wrong path. So my question is where can I find a program for at risk youth?
Thank you,
Tina

I have the same question as the woman above. Can you help?

Dear Sir/Madam

I'm a single mom. I have single handedly raised my son who just turned 18 a few months ago. In the past 14 months or so, he has being making some really poor choices and I'm indeed extremely concern. With every fibre in my body I crave the help of a mentor who can help my son get back on the right track as quickly as possible. He has indicated to me that the he wants to start college next year. Further he has indicated to me that he wants to stop the things that he is doing and I'm happy that he realized that he has a problem and wants to stop. However, I'm afraid if he doesn't get help now going to college would only make the problem worse. Please HELP me.

Best regards
Myra Williams

There were a few positive people in my community, like teachers, community leaders, and others who helped to improve my self-confidence and encourage my drive to persist through college. They believed in me. This is the same passion and commitment I want to exhibit to your black male son.

For further information, please contact me via social media or mobile. We can also Skype or Google + for a face to face meet up. I am looking forward to working with you.

http://www.mentormyson.com/

I'm a single mom. My son is 13 years old & craving for a male attention. He comes to me with questions a male should be answering. However I am open with my son & will continue to assist him with the resources to becoming a positive male. Please help with finding a mentor for him.

Best regards,

Monique Waters

I am in agreement with the other single mothers that have posted. I see his need to identify with a man he can relate to and turn to. My son is 16 now, his father died 3 years ago, and I am looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you
Mary McDole

I'm desperate to find a mentor for my 16 year old son. He has difficulties in school and at home. I'm married with 4 sons so we have a stable home life but my son has adhd and in trouble with the law (no felonies) and has a temper that seems out of control at times. I want to get him into a Challenge camp through the national guards but I need a mentor for him first. Can anyone help me?

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