Oprah's Lifeclass Daily Life Work: The Secret Pain of Single Mothers

This guided workbook will be your companion piece to Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant's discussion on Oprah's Lifeclass about single mothers raising fatherless sons and the challenges of being an only parent.


What is the role you play in keeping your child's father out of his life?


What lies have you told your son to protect him?


What is your fear about telling your son the truth about his father?


Iyanla says that the lie can hurt as much as the truth, so tell the truth. Roland Warren from the National Fatherhood Initiative suggests that a mother can "say the hard thing in a soft way." What is the soft way you can tell your son the truth?


Iyanla was so afraid her son would fail that she forgot to affirm his success. List in what ways you fear for your child. Now list what you want for him.


Your son's relationship with his father is his relationship. What lingering pain is your son's father causing you? How can you help your son not view his father through the prism of his mother's pain?


Have you created a story about what your child's father thinks? Have you decided he doesn't love his child? Can you write down another possible explanation? For example, is it that he doesn't know how to show up?


Iyanla says that your ex may be a terrible husband, but that doesn't mean he has to be a bad father. It's a matter of the heart. If a mother connects with her son's father heart-to-heart, he will connect with her to meet his son's needs.


Iyanla says mothers need to mind their own business, especially as their children get older. Assuming your child is safe with his father, what changes do you need to make to stay out of your child's relationship with his father?


The role of a father is to be proud of his son, provide for him, show him how to be a man. Who does that for your son?