It takes a village to raise a child...

I need a village. I do not have family to speak of to help's just me, raising a son that is getting more aggressive by the day. What will happen when he's stronger than me? He already hits me and kicks me in violent rages. There is no grandmother or auntie, or uncle to correct him and help me with him. His dad has as little to do with him as possible, and doesn't really care much.

How do you raise a healthy freethinker...alone?

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I worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters for a year. It is a phenomenal organization. Belle...they usually have a policy of not matching kids who have any male people in his life as there are very few big brothers available. You'll have to stress that he barely sees his father if ever and that he is a terrible influence and that there are no other male people in his life (brothers, older cousins, uncles etc).

Highly recommend that any of you (men and women) sign up to be a big brother or big sister. It was a great accomplishment to get one new big brother each month!

We need that here in the UK. There are inner city London mentoring programmes but know of nothing else. What a great idea.
Davis, now that you and Dr. Bob suggested it I'm wondering what parameters they put in place to make sure the kids are safe? I am going to look into it myself also but from your perspective, how do they ensure that the "big siblings" are....not abusive?

Safety? They are pretty thorough. The men go are screened (their history, they speak with their boss and sometimes with family members or spouse, a psychological screening and a sort of aptitude test). Quite a few are non-douchy men in uniform (a lot of police, firefighters, paramedics) which obviously make great role models in a way. As in the kind who don't have a swagger or tell annoying stories about heroic things they've done. The councilors also ask them quite directly how the meetings go and are trained to look out for any potential problems. In Ottawa Canada where I worked there were no reported problems. Basically they have a much better record than teachers, day care workers and certainly better than baby-sitters. 

@Dr Bob

He is at the YMCA before and after school and his 2 caregivers there are both male (super awesome guys.) And I made sure for summer camp he's going to be with a male also.

I have thought about the girls and boys club....I have been hesitant because it means he would be alone with an older boy, right? I'm very untrusting because of how many times I was molested and tortured as a child (by peers) and I have always been very careful who I leave my son with. It would be nice for him to have a "big brother" though....

Hi @Belle,

Two different programs.   Boys and Girls Clubs are an after-school program similar to the YMCA.

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a different organization that pairs a kid from a family missing a mom or dad with an adult who acts as a friend and role model.   It's not a peer relationship, but a mentoring relationship with an adult.   The organization does an excellent job of vetting its volunteers and of pairing kids up with a Big Brother that fits their need.

Oh I see...I thought they paired my son with an older boy, or teenager....

So how do they ensure that the men mentoring kids are not abusers? (sorry for the question)...

If you ask me they should just have [female] chaperones and be done with it.  No disrespect to anyone, but we all know the pitfalls of this kind of situation. 

There is a legitimate need for healthy men in a boys life. Men are not just disposable like that. I see it every time my son sees his father. There are things he gets from his dad he could never get from me. It's apparent within seconds of them seeing each other.

I like to make fun of macho men, like maybe act mad for having to wear pink underwear. But then I get these weird looks and rejection from Latino women before I can endear them. Maybe if I really wore pink underwear... hey, my daughters would understand! But not the motorcycle gangs.

Belle, the most important thing for you to do is to get him involved in a group or activity that integrates him with peers. Take a look at Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Amongst them is belongingness.

It is critical for him to know that the two of you belong to each other, and that each of you have to work together to survive. (Forgive the obviousness of that part) The next part is to integrate him into a culture that gives him something/someone else to rely on, and that also relies on him.

Boys clubs, scouts, swim teams, community theatre, the list goes on and on for qualifying cultures, just find one that suits you both.

I volunteer with an organization that works with children, mostly teenagers. I've been with them for about 10 years, and I'm just now starting to see some of the results. It is truly gratifying to see a young person do well. Especially if you had something to do with it.

I also get to see regular examples of the world going the right way, with strong thinkers. I'll message you more about it. It is an Air Force program called Civil Air Patrol.

That is great Melvinotis!! Yes, it's actually funny. Since posting this thread it seems that he's turned around and been a "star"child these last several days :) ....I have had a lot of contact with other moms lately with kids similar ages.

I think the root of my frustration when posting this discussion is an overall exasperation for the way American culture has become largely individualistic. I've voiced my frustration many times about it, and it becomes more and more maddening. I do believe that being part of a community is important.

I've come away from this discussion uplifted and inspired. Thank you to you all :) I've been reminded that 1. I'm not alone, 2. I need to continue to reach out and stay involved and seek perhaps a program like Boys and Girls club (now something I'm going to do) and 3. not get discouraged.

When I wrote this I was in a pretty sad place and just....feeling depleted and frustrated. Thank you everyone! I have a renewed hope. I'm going to try not to focus on being scared and just take it all a day at a time...


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