Raising boys without fathers? This question came into my mind from the very day my husband died. Little girls are cute adorable darlings and so simple to care for but boys, with their ever changing unpredictable aggressive behaviors one can hardly guess what next they will surprise you with!
My little boys (10years old and 5years old) were very close with their father, enjoyed doing all the boys stuff together, he was their best friend and their playmate. The special love and bond shared between father and sons, even I as their mother can never understand. What happens when this very special person suddenly disappear forever from their lives?
Experiencing Death of a Parent as a Child
.......Experiencing the death of a parent is traumatic at any age, but it's particularly harrowing for young children. With the death of a parent, young children are deprived not only of the guidance and love that that parent would have provided as the children grew up but also the sense of security that the parent's ongoing presence in the home would have bestowed. More often than not, the child feels terribly vulnerable, especially when the death is accompanied by a relocation of the family..... Greg Harvey .
After his father’s death Khairul became depressed and withdrawn, firmly refused to attend Kindergarten. In Year One his behaviour became worse, horribly impossible, coaxing, pleading and screaming at him just to get him to go to school. He hated school, hated all the teachers and refused to make friends. After six months I decided to transfer him into a private school, a 30km drive from home, 4daily trips for me.
We later discovered that just a few days before he died my husband was planning with the boys about our family trip to Europe - which did not materialise due to his sudden death. Was Khairul angry with his father because of the unfulfilled promise? When he was 8years old, after consultation with family members we decided to send him to stay with his auntie in United Kingdom for 2months.
There he attended school in Reading as a guest student. Being the only Malay boy in that school he was very well received by his classmates and teachers – he was so fond of Miss Cheek, his class teacher. He enjoyed the new experience and the time spent with his uncle. His short stay there worked miracles; he came home a completely changed boy.
When my sons were young (between 7years old to 15years old) I sent them to as many holiday camps and educational workshops so they can interact and enjoy activities with new friends and their male instructors. It was good for them; the boys really enjoyed these experiences.
Whenever the boys were invited to join their best friend’s families for family trips - picnics, fishing or for weekend activities, I freely gave them permission. (Zainun, Ida, Johar, Fuziah, Harun, Izan, and Cecilia would call me up to “borrow” my sons – my blessings to all my very dear friends for making my sons life so blissful). What I wanted was for the boys to be given the opportunity to feel the atmosphere of being around, doing things and sharing daily activities with “fathers”.
They are lucky as we live in a closely knitted community where the Village Elders (JKKK Kampung) organized monthly programs and activities. They included my sons in many of these voluntary activities. The young boys became active members of the Rakan Muda Masjid, where they learnt how to communicate and mingle freely with people of all ages, especially men.
The strongest support came from close family members. My late mum in law was always there for the boys – a fantastic grandmother who kept the memories of their father fresh and alive for them. In good health or sickness, sharing the joys and sorrows with them are their exceptionally special uncles and aunties who loved and cared for them as their own children.
In "RaisingBoys Without Men," research psychologist Dr. Peggy Drexler says that boys raised in households headed by just mothers can grow up emotionally stronger, more empathetic and independent than boys raised in traditional two-parent households.... Happy reading....