A Letter To My Single Parent Sisters…

Recently, I wrote a commentary on a recent murder that happened. This murder happened by a young African American teenager in Philadelphia. He murdered his mother. It really hurt my heart to read about. There were some important comments made in response by mothers. So, I decided to write a letter to my sisters…

~This is to all my sisters….my single parent sisters~

I want each of you to know that when I lift up the fact that there is something…no some-one missing in this boys’s life that could have made a huge difference it does not negate or cancel out his mother’s efforts or actions to instill love, values, discipline, etc in this boy’s life.

I can understand why as single mothers there may be sensitivity when attention is called to the gaping hole and pain that exists when a father is absent. Because it is painful. But, let’s be real…. I know first hand. My father was an on again off again presence in my life for much of my childhood. It wasn’t until my mother remarried when I was 6 that I had a CONSISTENT male figure in my life. And, maaan did my stepfather make a huge difference. His mere presence, let alone his investment in me and love for me dramatically impacted my view of men, and the world…

But, guess what? Even with his undying love for his little girl (because he truly took me on as his own) it did not and could not fill the hole that was left by not having my biological father in my life.

Someone said: I AM THE FATHER. No…..you are not. You can no more be a father than you can sprout a penis or make sperm.

As women most of us can certainly understand how an absent mother can significantly impact a child. So, let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that an absent father does not. I’m not sure why some sisters felt the need to list the accomplishments of their children and talk about all that they have done to sacrifice for and raise their children well. My shedding light on the absent father in this scenario again was not an attempt to knock that mama or any mother.

My talking about the absentee father is certainly not saying that if a father or male figure is not around the male child will be an absolute failure. My point was that men make a difference in the lives of little men. You can have a successful young man come out of a single parent (woman) household and be SUPER successful in the world’s eyes. But, I guarantee you (and this is not just my opinion….this is based on years of experience, working with hundreds of young adolescent males, and the research) HE WILL STILL HAVE ISSUES TO DEAL WITH PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY AS IT RELATES TO NOT HAVING HIS FATHER OR RELATIONSHIPS WITH A MAN WHO GENUINELY LOVES AND LOOKS OUT FOR HIM.

PLEEEEEEEEASE understand that there is NOTHING you can do about that. Even in a two parent household there are pains that children will experience from one parent or another that the other parent can do NOTHING about. We can love the child, be there for the child, but you cannot take the pain away or fill the hole up for your child. Im sorry, you just can’t. Only God and that person can do it for themselves….

Now, as I mentioned in the post I have counseled African American male teens for several years and the common thread for the children I have worked with is that they are angry, delinquent, oppositional, and have no fathers. Now, wait a sec, IN ADDITION to that the environments they live in have a whole bunch of negative influences….oftentimes their mothers have significant emotional and mental health problems , these young men are not being exposed to different possibilities for their lives , and their are generational issues in the home like alcoholism, drug abuse, neglect etc.

So, I AGREE, having a home with an absentee father does not doom one to a life of misery by any means.

BUT KNOW THIS: The young men who had uncles, brothers, etc. STILL DID SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER than the ones with no male figure. Even the young men I worked with who had dysfunctional, f*@ked up fathers who were in the home or consistently involved in their sons’ lives DID SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER than the ones with no male figure.

Many of you said that you make it a point to have men involved in your childrens’ lives and that is so crucial! So, it seems to me that some of us understand that just because there is no father in the home doesn’t mean that our children can’t be exposed to examples of and HAVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH (there is a difference) strong men.

Like someone said ….it really does take a village. Why, a village? Because each person, each gender, each generation has a part to play…..has a role. If one person could do it all there would be no need for the village. But, it’s NEVER that simple…..NEVER.

Best Intentions,


12 replies
  1. aminta
    aminta says:

    I am not here to task you nor am I trying to discussion between men and ladies and where we are unsuccessful. But I know of several circumstances where the females ran the spouse or boy buddy off buy her own doings.

  2. MT in Chicago
    MT in Chicago says:

    I think this article is well written and needed to be said, but would have more weight if more men read it.

  3. SMonique
    SMonique says:

    WOW! Thanks for the follow up. Well written. I only have one word….DESTROYED. So, with that being said, I won't comment on this topic any further.

  4. K.O.
    K.O. says:

    I appreciate you, Aiyana. I totally felt what you were saying (in both this article and the last one). Thank you for always keeping it 100% real!!

  5. Lamar
    Lamar says:

    Keep telling the truth. As a people we continue to say that Fathers are not necessary and that marriage is obsolete all while our community goes to hell in a handbasket. WAKE UP!!!

  6. Lync
    Lync says:

    Sentence corrected-

    I am not here to challenge you nor am I trying to debate between men and women and where we fall short. But I know of several situations where the women ran the husband or boy friend off buy her own doings.

  7. Lync
    Lync says:

    Guys I hear all of this and it breaks my heart but I personally know of women who's pushed away great men in their lives. See conversation often lead to the man and how he did a women wrong. Yes there are cases out there. However there are a segment of women that have a good thing and just do not know how to keep it because of her short comings within. Again there are some very nasty women out there that make the best of you look or appear very bad.

    I am not calling you on here name nor am I trying to turn this thread into a crazy debate. But I know of several situations where the women ran the husband or boy friend off buy her own doings.

    So this door can swing both ways when you really look at the world and the people in it. I grew up thinking that wow, why did he do her so wrong with relatives that I know and as I got older I was a witness to seeing that there are women also the blame for this breaking up a family by not realizing the simple things between one another and for the sake of peace in a house hold.

    I applaud Aiyana and all that she saying here, But there will always be two side to this coin of men and women and who's really at blame here for the breaking up of a home – family. It's both and it takes me back the the "Courting" thing that I always bring up about when two meet for the first time and how important it is for the two to step back from urges and get to know one another over a period of time therefore you learn things about one another and you make choices to deal with it or just walk away it's up to you.

    But at least you would have given this gift to one another to get to know eachother before you lay down with them in such personal ways. A lot of the broken situations are guided by in my opinion lust and urges that cause us to fail every single time. You can not rune from this fact.

    And I believe that because there are so many relationship born from lust of one another there are so many misguided situations trying to figure itself out. Guess what if something is misguided from the start. How can we expect great stories from it. Come one we can not have it both ways.

    Yes there are a few that make it through, but they are rare cases here. Young boys that grow into men someday ask mother "why did my father leave"? oK Lets be honest. If you have a women who pride herself on hiding the truth about her self will blame the dad and let life play itself out.

    I would hope that after all that time this women over time came to some form of healing is able to share with this boy now a man, "We were not compatible" and there for we parted. But explain to this boy that's about to enter manhood, To seek friendship in a women before bedding with her.

    Explain to this boy and young women if there is a daughter how wonderful friendship if guided correctly can turn out with soeone who you want to spend quality time with and maybe marry some day.

    Is a parent smart enough to do these things, Now please think before getting upset with me here. Or do you think that most people run around with a grudge and can not see past the evil that drives them into blindness about self.

    A lot of people jump from one thing to another way to quick before healing from something that broke there spirit. Again it's easy to say that men are very wrong for leaving their kids, I agree with this. But I grew up seeing the opposite it was the women who ran great men away because of her on ways of not understanding how to create peace in the household. The cussing, the gossiping to her girlfriends, that bad attitude in general.
    I mean it;s like a domino effect. However where do we catch "it" or "this" I say it all starts in courtship and how much importance that the two put into it way before touching eachother in any kind of way.

    How about touching each others heart in a real way with the gift of friendship and keep this gift with you throughout the course of you relationship if and when it get to that point.

    Aiyana thanks and please I hope that my words do not take away from your letter to sisters. I feel you there but there will always be the other side that most will never hear about just because.

    I was not going to write on this because I felt that it would down play your letter. However it was not my intent. I felt that I should share with you guys from where I stood when growing up in a situation like in your letter.

    If I have in any way offended one side or any of you please, my apology.


  8. Rochelle
    Rochelle says:

    Aiyana, on the road you and your husband are traveling there are many wonderful and positive experiences I'm sure but that road is also populated with evil spirits and people that will try to snare your positive intentions and core concern for our people. It is an engulfing darkness involved with confronting the enemy which is not "the man" as we jokingly call him but it is the evil one himself that will attempt to come against you as you try to fix something that he wants to stay broken. Be strong my sister! Everyone that read that post from whatever position they hold single mother, single father knew that your intentions were to say -come on yall let's start to get this thing right. But that evil energy that orchestrated this terrible event came back to twist your message and concern to come against his plan. We have lost a young black mother and likely a another young black boy as he is no doubt about to experience a pain that most of us will thankfully never experience or comprehend. Don't let it get you down. Just sending you some good energy and saying thanks for loving all of us like you do! Protect your spirit!

  9. Cynthia
    Cynthia says:

    And….each person that I know personally who had healthy relationships with their fathers are well-adjusted people. They can't even comprehend the hell that I have been through. And it is not a negative against single mothers. Single mothers are doing an awesome job given the situation. Single mothers are playing roles that weren't natually designed for them; but God gives us grace to do things that are not natural for us sometimes. I don't think anyone should take offense here. It is an opportunity to gain deeper understanding on how we can provide the best for our children despite how we feel about the fathers. I hope that fathers, uncles, grandfathers and the like will step into position and help raise the children.

  10. Cynthia
    Cynthia says:

    I agree with you wholeheartedly as well. I know men personally that the world call "successful", but are a mess emotionally and each of them had absent fathers. The mothers were hard working women with their own issues trying to hold things down on their own. No matter how much we pat ourselves on the back about how well adjusted our children are, no one can fill the void of a father. It is important for girls and boys to have their fathers in their lives. Too many woman, I was one of them, spend a lot of their adult life clinging on to unhealthy men trying to fill that emotional void. Let alone what studies say, every woman or man with some issues that I have been able to talk with had absent birth fathers. When you are able to get behind the social mask, you will find no matter how accomplished a person may appear to be, if there are issues, the father was not present or emotional unavailable to develop a healthy parent child relationship. For this reason, I strongly believe that we need to pray for our brothers to become who God created them to be. The energy that we used to tear them down can be placed in prayer so that God can be invited into these situations.

  11. Katrina M.
    Katrina M. says:

    I applaud you Aiyana. I applaud your courage, compassion, and honesty. We need more truth teller trailblazers like yourself. I agree with your sentiments wholeheartedly!

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