How Boys Are Different
From the moment he was born, society began to exert pressure on your son to fit a certain model of masculinity. While boys do have certain innate abilities and desires, this does not mean you have no influence as a parent. In fact, your job is to act as a buffer for your son.
You see them on television and driving down the street:signs that show your son how he is supposed to act to be a man. These commercials, movies, books, and magazine ads are just one part of the problem. Society also plays a big role in enforcing these stereotypes such as: Boys roughhouse, and your son should play with trucks, not dolls.
Emotional and physical growth paints only a small portion of the overall picture of the innate differences between boys and girls. While it is not imperative that you understand and list every difference, the point is that the differences are there. As a parent, you must learn to determine how these differences matter to your child. Your son will spend the rest of his life doing the same thing without even knowing it.
Cultural messages can be overwhelming. While it is important to help shield your son from them in some respects, it is also important to acknowledge that these influences do matter and that they do have a point. But your son needs to learn how to incorporate his own identity with that identity from society. Allowing him the flexibility to be himself is what adolescence is about. How he does this will be a personal journey that you can help guide, though not live, for your son.
Growing up as a boy is hard enough with two parents. If your son is growing up in a single-parent home, for whatever reason, this journey will be more difficult. If this home doesn't have a male in it, your son's growth will be more difficult. Boys need a male mentor.
This male can be your son's biological father, but he doesn't have to be. There are other places to try to help your son find masculine role models. This might be a program that offers older male mentors to young boys, though these programs are often full and have wait lists. You might also have another male relative who can help you by spending time with your son.