Mommas Don't Let Your Sons Grow Up to be...Men?!

As I read this article, I could feel my blood starting to boil. Parents at Wright State University have created a "mentoring" program for black male students that is essentially a hand-holding program for parents who can't let go or can't trust their sons enough to be men and handle their business. If you have done your job right, parents, you shouldn't have to follow them through the academic process to make sure their assignments get done and their grades are kept up. They should be able to do that on their own.

College is the time when these boys should be preparing to be men and setting the standard for how they will act once they are employed. Moms, what are you going to do when junior gets a job? Go to his employer and set up a "mentoring" program with their employer to ensure that your son gets to work on time and accomplishes his weekly tasks? If your son is not doing his job in college, you don't hold his hand and do the work for him, you stop paying for his schooling until he can demonstrate that he is ready to handle the responsibility that goes along with furthering his education.

And don't get me started on the fact that this is a program aimed at black men. Way to prove to society at large that black men have the ability to handle responsibility. Maybe that's why there is so much failure on the part of black men to be "real" men, they expect Momma to do everything for them. So where does that leave us women who want to marry a good black man? It leaves us with the choice of being single or raising someone's son because their momma hasn't learned to let go. Mom, do yourselves and especially your sons a big favor--CUT THE CHORD! Let that boy be a man. If he fails, be there to help him get back on his feet, but, dang it, don't be his crutch.

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Comment by Daenel on September 24, 2008 at 4:45pm
Thank you, Renee. I think a lot of my problem with this program stems from working at different colleges and universities where I would see moms (almost never dads) doing the homework for their sons (almost never their daughters). I'm a reference librarian and I used to get a lot of calls from mothers asking if I could pull X,Y, and Z books off the shelves for their sons and they will pick them up. My response was always "No, but if your son comes in here I'll be more than happy to help him get started on his research and show him how to locate any relevant material."

So I have to admit I'm a little biased on the topic...but thank you for your post. It helps to see someone else's point of view.
Comment by Renee on September 21, 2008 at 1:37am
I appreciate your candor regarding your opinion on this article but I beg to disagree. From the article I didn't read that the parents were helicopter parents but rather concerned and willing to assist their son's matriculation in college. I think that the program is a good one, especially when you look at the attrition rate of black college students. I can especially see the promise of this program for freshman year.

It is not as clear cut for me after freshman year. On this I agree with you - at some point parents do have to cut the apron strings. Hopefully after freshman year the students will have adjusted to college life and will be able to go it alone.

They are enrolling by choice so I suppose they want this type of support.

Good post!

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