Moms can take a few simple steps to strengthen the relationship with her son.
When my oldest son was little-bitty guy, he liked to climb.
He particularly liked to climb on and off my bed. The appeal was that it was tall and high off the ground. My son would get almost all the way up and look back and say, “mommy, wook, dis so danj-wis!” I told him that he was a great climber and I was so happy he was able to do that all by himself.
Fast forward 9 years and he still finds satisfaction in things that I now see as “so danj-wis!”
Only now, it is much harder for me to smile and say, good for you! Why… well because he could actually hurt himself of course. go here to protect his heart
Boundaries are even more important now than they were then.
Let the testosterone do its thing.
In his pre-teens now, my son, more than ever, is craving manhood.
He loves to build and so he wants to use his dads drill. He wants to cook (something else his dad does) and therefore wants to use the stove. Longing for big responsibilities on our little farm. Driving the four-wheeler, or operating the lawn mower.
I wrote another article about holding your kids back from their abilities and that is exactly what I have to be careful not to do with my son. Each and every thing he can do that leads him closer to his manhood, I want to encourage him to do and praise him for a job well done.
My boy is not me and he doesn’t see things the way I do, nor will he ever.
He will grow to be a man. What he lacks in logic and reasoning during his youth, I compensate for with clear boundaries. I do my part by creating an environment balanced between risk and reward. Let him practice being a man and watch him flourish. want to make him a modern day knight? go here
Take a chill.
Young men don’t want to be nagged any more than grown men do.
If we think of our boys as mini-hubbies it’s easier to understand how to act around them. Delivering expectations, clear and concisely, one time proves more effective. Let consequences fall where they may when expectations are not met. Don’t nag.
Let go of what you can.
My precious husband has learned to love me despite all (or at least most) of my hang-ups.
One of which being my need to correct grammar. He works with people. A lot of people. People he needs to impress and “win over.” I try to tell him that he would much rather I correct him, than for him to keep mispronouncing or misusing a word with a customer.
I don’t know if he agrees or if he’s just really gracious to me. Your son also, doesn’t want to hear your constant correction. But aren’t we suppose to correct our children? Yes, when it matters. Too much criticism, is good for no one.
Practice silence instead of speeches.
Bare with me while I get technical for just one brief moment. I’ll try not to make a habit of it. At 6-7 weeks after conception, boy babies experience a spiking of testosterone in the whom. Many changes take place in the baby at this time, one of which is a significant “hit” on language and communication. (like the technical stuff? go here) I see this in my son, after I’ve slipped into a lecture.
After about 60 seconds, he has stopped receiving what I’m saying. He has gone into defense mode. I can not impart anything to him at this point. His shield is up and deflecting everything that comes his way. Boys are cause and effect. When they’ve messed up, deliver a consequence along with a very brief explanation and be done with it.
Save your words for affirmation. The same way you can make your husband soar with your encouragement, you can do so for your son.
Give him what he needs.
I use to love hugs. I still do to a degree, but as my life and needs have changed, the way I receive love has as well.
To be blunt, if you want me to feel loved… do something for me. I have loads of responsibility and taking on a piece of that, to help me out, speaks volumes of love to me.
learn more about how your son feels love here best seller
Affection is however, important. Marriage and babies is what people do. Those spouses and babies will need affection, so I worked with my less affectionate children to teach them how to give and receive love in this way.
Men thrive on words of affirmation.
So does your little man.
Boys are seeking approval from day one and on into old age. You could be hugging your boy, cleaning his room for him, or showering him with gifts and he still not be getting what he needs, if there is a lack of affirmation.
Some moms declare that sons are more challenging to train up and some say daughters.
The advantage for moms with girls is that moms ARE girls! Mom has walked a mile in the emotions, feelings, sensitivity and all the other “estrogen-y” issues.
go here for more about raising girls
I’m reminded of a story I read in a James Dobson book, about two boys who borrowed an older brothers motor cycle, drove it down a few blocks to the high school and went joy-riding for a few hours on the schools football field until they were caught. Scary, right? What takes this story to a whole other level? The boys were blind! Boys are wild. go here for more about raising boys
Whether parenting your son makes you want to pull your hair out, or seems like a walk in the park, we can work to build a strong relationship with them when we try to understand them and give them what they need.
Want to be greatly encouraged about being a mom to boys? Head over to Raising Real Men and read this article written to Mommas Of Boys! by Hal and Melanie Young