Mom and Boys: How to Nurture a Special and Delicate Bond!
A mama and her boy have a delicate and unique relationship dynamic. Some of the most powerful ups and downs of life are shared between a mom and boys.
Being a boy mom comes with a pretty significant burden. Moms can help shape and mold their boys into men in a distinct way that no one else can.
There is an expectation placed on moms to raise young men who make the world a better place.
She needs to guide and steer them towards a life of responsibility and servanthood, though, she can’t push them too hard or too fast, lest they miss out on the joys of childhood, or she miss out on the joy of their boyhood.
It’s a delicate balance.
But it is possible and more straightforward than you may think.
Many of the lessons necessary for raising boys to be great men happen in the same moments that mom and boys treasure during his childhood.
What a Boy Needs From His Mom
There are a few universally true aspects of parenting sons that boys need to thrive. Each boy is different and unique, but across the board, following these points will help us boy moms develop strong attachments to our boys, cultivate and nurture a mutually respectful relationship, and establish healthy standards and boundaries that a boy needs for life.
#1. Physical Affection
To help soften a boy’s heart, and train him how to be gentle, provide a lot of hugs and kisses. It’s great for your boy’s development to wrestle with dad, but the soft and gentle physical affection he gets from you is how he’ll learn to use the same tenderness with others.
From day one, hugs are mandatory for mom and boys at our home. Physical affection, such as hugging, is something we approach with a proactive training frame of thought.
Because while physical affection may come easy for a toddler boy, it can be more difficult or awkward as a boy slips into his teen years. But it doesn’t HAVE to be!
Though we require one hug a day, my 13-year-old gives me more than I can count, because we’ve cultivated an atmosphere of liberal physical affection.
#2. Take Interest in His Interests
Mom and boys can sometimes have dramatically different interests. When that happens, it’s important to make a significant effort to take interest in his interests, whether they interest you or not.
Children attach so deeply to their toys, hobbies, and interest that they feel them as an extension of themselves. As a result, if you don’t like something that he loves, he experiences that as you not liking him.
Now, that doesn’t mean you must fall in love with Pokemon, nor do you have to allow things that you have prohibited at your home.
Instead, make every solid effort to talk to him about the things he likes. Ask him questions. Let him dialogue about those things he holds dear.
Give a bit of feedback, but mostly, simply let him know that it matters to you, because HE matters to you!
#3. Let Him Be Rough (just enough)
Boys need a certain amount of roughhousing for development. Unfortunately, with increased video gameplay and sedentary activities, boys are engaging in this sort of play less and less.
This kind of play can be nerve-racking for a mom. While I do think it’s important to establish boundaries surrounding rough-play, we have to be careful not to overdo it.
Our rules for roughhousing are 1) no wrestling mom or girls, and 2) you must stop the moment a wrestling/roughhousing participant says it’s enough.
For the sake of clarification, our no wrestling mom or girls rule is in place more to protect my sons than my daughters. I have two VERY capable daughters who, at this point in life, can hold their own. But… in a day and age where women are popping up all over the place with claims of abuse, I want my sons to be without reproach. Our rules are primarily to keep them far enough away from any accusations that they never find themselves in a compromising situation they’re having to explain.
#4. Clear and Consistent Boundaries
Mom and boys should be mindful of the way they speak to each other, the way they handle one another’s emotions and develop mutual respect.
That happens over time when clear and consistent boundaries are in place.
For instance, my boys are not allowed to speak harshly to me. If it happens (by accident), they’d be given a significant consequence.
Likewise, they are not allowed to roll eyes, slam doors, stomp away, etc. Again, if it happened, a consequence that left a lasting impression would be delivered.
Another less thought of, yet hugely important boundary that must be set is that of privacy.
It’s easy when our boys are little to brush off, leaving a bathroom door open, so he can get to mom if necessary. The problem is, those habits roll on into the rest of his life in different and more problematic ways.
If you don’t make it clear from the beginning that privacy is a priority, mom’s needs are equally important, and that walls and closed doors are to be respected (meaning he cannot shout at you from outside the bathroom door when you’re trying to take care of business) then privacy and spacial boundaries with women will be blurry to him later in life.
In other words, be clear.
Tell him exactly what is expected, how you feel, and what you want to communicate in clear and concise language.
Actually, every man you ever know will be grateful if you’ll operate in this way!
5 Connections Mom and Boys Enjoy
#1. Serving each other.
My teenage boy won’t let me carry the groceries, in, alone.
The other day my oldest son wasn’t feeling all that well.
I had been out grabbing a few groceries to stock our monthly supply, and it was down pouring. When I pulled into the driveway, I saw the garage door open.
My 13-year-old met me outside in the rain. When I told him to go back inside, he said, “No way I’m letting you carry all this in alone in the rain.”
I can’t even begin to describe what it does to my mama’s heart to see all the time, energy, effort, and training I’ve put in over the last 13 years manifested into moments like that.
#2. Shared physical affection.
Boys come to mom when their love tanks need filling.
When my boy needs affection, he comes to me. His sisters will play cards, board games, basketball, and adventure in the woods with him, but they are stingy with the physical affection toward him.
Developmentally, it makes sense, and, is normal that the girls feel this way. So I tell him, when you need a hug, son, come to me!
#3. Openly communicate love.
My youngest son communicates his feelings in the best way.
When I’m tucking him in at night, he’ll say, “Mommy, I just love you so very much badly! I wish we could wake up, rock and snuggle all day, then sleep together all night!”
I mean, seriously…
Each of my sons has his own way of communicating and expressing himself.
One thing is the same. I know how they feel because they know how to tell me. Mom and boys share this loving dialogue when the effort of connecting has been put forth.
#4. Low maintenance quality time.
Most boys are pretty easy to please when it comes to spending time together.
A cost-free window shopping trip to browse the toy aisle, check out the latest video games, or play tag at the park are simple ways to plant seeds in your boy’s heart that will reap a great harvest.
Children, in general, don’t require elaborate effort to connect with their parents, but boys in particular, I have found, easy to please.
#5. Practicing life.
Your boy will be a man someday. You have monumental amounts of influence over the man he becomes.
The mother-son relationship is your boy’s first practice at marriage.
This is such a blessing. And should be so basic. By simply asking yourself, “how do I want to be treated?” Or “how do I want my son to treat women later in life?” You can intentionally practice life with your boys and provide them with the habits they need to thrive in future relationships.
Boys play hard, love hard, adventure hard, snuggle hard, and laugh hard. They have fun. So have fun with them.
Who is the Best Boy Mom?
Boys need their mamas in a mighty way. So much of the life your son will live and the human he’ll become is shaped by the relationship and bond you have with him now.
Furthermore, he needs you in the moment right now. His heart is hungry for hugs, play, and an exciting adventure. You can give all that to him.
He needs you to help him see the dangers in the world, and firmly and lovingly steer him away from them.
No one is better suited for the job than you. You are the best boy mom, for your boy. You were made for him and he for you!