Raising Teen Boys

PineTreeFarmer

Woodpecker
Woman
Protestant
I have been a single mother for most of the life of my sons. Generally speaking they're respectful, good students, have a great sense of humor, have had a good support system of responsible, gainfully employed men with traditional family lifestyles to emulate, say their prayers, go to church and chastise me for not doing the same, refuse to let me cut my hair, etc.
However, the eldest, by virtue of always having looked out for his little brother, treats his little brother like he's supposed to listen to the eldest like a father.
The youngest asked for many years of he could have a new dad, and the eldest has actively discouraged my leaving the house or dating.

We live in a hyper-insular, rural community and most of the people here who aren't black are family. I really haven't dated at all. And in large part, it's because the eldest is vehemently opposed to someone dictating what his lifestyle should entail. He has classic spectrum personality traits; ability to look at a map and remember everything on it, can calculate with large numbers in his head, refuses to try new things until it's been offered many, many times, and breaks down in large crowds.
My question is, what, if any, steps should I take to learn to manage their personalities as they grow older? The eldest will be a teen this year, and his brother is 11. What are the tricks I don't know? What should I be looking out for?
 

TexasJenn

Woodpecker
Woman
Orthodox
I'm not qualified to give advice on raising teen boys... but I don't think they should stop you from dating and marrying again if you want to. You're the adult and a good, loving man in your lives could be good for all of you <3
 

Kitty Tantrum

Kingfisher
Woman
Catholic
My biggest word of advice: don't allow a son to become a surrogate husband.

It is one thing for an elder brother to expect deference from the younger because of the nature of their relationship. It might grate on the younger brother and go to the elder's head, but is not so detrimental and will likely sort itself out as they get older.

A son who grows up standing in for the man who was supposed to be in his mother's life will not only impede the mother's efforts to find a suitable husband (which the family may sorely need), but the son himself will eventually find his own search for a wife, or the health of his eventual marriage, sabotaged by his covert psychological espousal to his mother.
 

PineTreeFarmer

Woodpecker
Woman
Protestant
My biggest word of advice: don't allow a son to become a surrogate husband.

It is one thing for an elder brother to expect deference from the younger because of the nature of their relationship. It might grate on the younger brother and go to the elder's head, but is not so detrimental and will likely sort itself out as they get older.

A son who grows up standing in for the man who was supposed to be in his mother's life will not only impede the mother's efforts to find a suitable husband (which the family may sorely need), but the son himself will eventually find his own search for a wife, or the health of his eventual marriage, sabotaged by his covert psychological espousal to his mother.
There's no competing for our respective parents as heads of the household or a legacy. The whole culture here is set up to serve our parents, and my husband would not. So I'm trying to honor our respective parents' wishes for me to raise heirs to Southern land. And it's overwhelming and exhausting.
My eldest won't ever be responsible for lol my emotional care. He's grey eyed Anglo autistic. We had to move him out of a culturally diverse city to manage his personality. It's a lot of teaching someone to care.
 

PineTreeFarmer

Woodpecker
Woman
Protestant
I'm not qualified to give advice on raising teen boys... but I don't think they should stop you from dating and marrying again if you want to. You're the adult and a good, loving man in your lives could be good for all of you <3
Not one I like would kowtow to the culture here. But in an amazing act of grace, my mom's church, which even my great grandparents went to, are learning about Orthodoxy.
 

PineTreeFarmer

Woodpecker
Woman
Protestant
I'm not qualified to give advice on raising teen boys... but I don't think they should stop you from dating and marrying again if you want to. You're the adult and a good, loving man in your lives could be good for all of you <3
The only men who seem to be genuinely interested are half way between my kids and my age. And I feel like a Gramma!
 

BennyB

Pigeon
Woman
Trad Catholic
My biggest word of advice: don't allow a son to become a surrogate husband.

It is one thing for an elder brother to expect deference from the younger because of the nature of their relationship. It might grate on the younger brother and go to the elder's head, but is not so detrimental and will likely sort itself out as they get older.

A son who grows up standing in for the man who was supposed to be in his mother's life will not only impede the mother's efforts to find a suitable husband (which the family may sorely need), but the son himself will eventually find his own search for a wife, or the health of his eventual marriage, sabotaged by his covert psychological espousal to his mother.
This is a real thing Kitty, def not saying this is what is happening to you Pine Tree...

my kid sis just married. Her husband is one of 3 boys who had a single mom. My bro in-law recently joined the church (Deo gratias!) and his mom came with his brothers for his confirmation. It was very obvious her sons have served as her "husbands" through the years. It was very comfortable (stroking her 30 yr old sons beard, tell him how good looking he is, threatening not to iron his shirts if he didn't do something she wanted him to etc etc). I immediately saw why my sister has set up real boundaries right away with his family.
 

BennyB

Pigeon
Woman
Trad Catholic
Are there any good male mentors available to your sons? Uncles, grandpas, men at church or school?
 

BennyB

Pigeon
Woman
Trad Catholic
Not close.
Dang. I've read on situations like this. I can't remember where...hum. If I can remember I will send your Pine Tree. It offered real solid advice, advice that would likely bring you some peace. I better prayer to St. Anthony that I can find that knowledge buried somewhere in my brain.
 
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