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Mothers and Teenage Boys, Part 3

Mothers and Teenage Boys, Part 3

His Future Relationships with Women

Some mums continue to care for their sons way past what is considered healthy. Sons will be happy to accommodate their mums cooking, cleaning, and ironing for them as long as possible. This is quite dangerous these days as fewer and fewer young women will tolerate a partner who needs mothering. Our young men really need to know how to look after themselves. Their quality of future partner is directly affected by this.

Perhaps you have heard women sometimes jokingly speak of their ‘4 kids, 3 of which they gave birth to and the other one they married?’ Mothers, if you want your son to find healthy relationships, it is here that you have tremendous influence. He needs to learn that freedom and responsibility go hand in hand.

Mothering a dependent child and mothering a young adult are 2 very different things. The love between a mother and her adult son is quite a special thing and this change in the relationship requires much awareness of the big picture and it needs to be taken gradually and with trust. It requires great love and it often requires setting aside your feelings of being disrespected or unimportant. He does love you but these feelings are often packed away for a while. Most are becoming interested in girls so it can be very confusing for them to be cuddling you and telling you their every secret like they used to. This pulling away is necessary and normal.

Unfortunately if he tells you that you’re a bad mum, or such and such’s mother does this or that… then this shows you are doing a fine job!

Don’t be afraid to talk about it

Setting aside feelings and keeping busy can only work for so long. Hopefully you will know the parents of your son’s friends. A good idea is to make sure you have reasonable relations with them. It can come in very handy especially when it comes to issues like schoolies week. You might find a kindred spirit and a friendly ear. Sometimes it is tough and just talking about it is enough. You don’t actually need to change anything, just have a safe harbour or two to defrag or download the latest challenges and concerns. It is good way to unburden yourself, will help you feel a bit lighter AND maybe take the pressure off your relationship if you have other avenues for support. Boys and men can only handle so many words so if you have a good outlet then it can mean you don’t use so many words at home and can ‘cut to the chase’…. and boys love this!

Fathers

Busy Dad’s need to know that this window of opportunity definitely includes him. But they must beware! Our work with Dad’s is to stop him charging in like a knight in shining armour… this will not work. Your son is no longer a boy and Dad needs to change his relationship with him too. Speaking with him needs to come from genuine concern and interest in understanding what is happening… and knowing when to back off too.

Other older men in your son’s life – Important for Mothers without Partners

Women seem to instinctively know that older males need to step up here. Many men and boys in our programs are there because of women encouraging them. Active older men are really important. Uncles, grandfathers, family friends, teachers and sports coaches come into play here. Making a firm and spoken commitment to the boy is important and need not be too intense. A simple acknowledgement of seeing that the boy has reached this stage and a willingness to share what that age was like for him goes a long way. It must be kept real and not all bravado. What was tough about it? What were the challenges? How did you feel? There are many ways to do this so men need be creative with this and be ready when the opportunities present themselves. There are lots of ideas for this in our new book.

If uncles or grandfathers are distant then a letter can be written with a small symbolic gift, just to say ‘I see you and I’m here.’

The ‘What Makes Men Tick’ Video and Audio Library

For single mums we are building a video and audio library of men’s stories that can be shared with your son. These stories are not your average stories; they are an insight into the inner world of a wide variety of men. Many boys today don’t relate to men, they see them racing around in their busyness and importance, they have money and power and for some this is all they think there is to being a man. For some boys they simply don’t want to grow up and be like that, so why grow up? Stories help boys see themselves as men and realise that men are indeed human with feelings and needs, challenges and struggles. It connects them to their masculinity and potential. Stay tuned! We are excited by this and not just for boys without dads.

A Rite of Passage

Our Raising Teenage Boys book is a resource jam-packed with strategies and information to support his and your healthy transition. It maps out in detail one thing we highly recommend – A Rite of Passage. Whilst we do run these events it is not accessible to everyone so we are excited to offer this resource. A Rite of Passage is the one thing you really must do for your son (and his parents!).

Previous two Mothers and Teenage Boys blog posts are accessible here – Post #1 and Post #2.

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RAISING TEENAGE BOYS will reveal to you a proven man-making code for raising happy and healthy young men. Many parents butt their heads against the wall using tired old methods....methods that might have worked for our parents, or for when our kids were young......methods that consistently make things worse when our boys reach their teenage years.
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