Good mothering makes boys strong
- Posted by:
- Michael Grose
My wife text-messaged my twentysomething son this morning reminding him that he needed to attend to a mundane, personal issue. You could say she was nagging, but that’s making light of it.
You see, she was doing what mothers (and some dads) are really good at. That is, really caring for their boys. She’s not spoon feeding or spoiling him; she’s just mindful that he not only still needs TLC but he needs a motherly eye over his personal affairs every now and then.
The benefits of this type of watchfulness for boys are manyfold. First, it makes sure they don’t end up in a personal muddle because they aren’t doing boring things like paying bills and cleaning bedrooms. Second, it sends a message that someone still cares enough about them and their well-being that they will keep monitoring them (but in a friendly way).
Good mothering makes boys strong. There’s something quite reassuring for a boy to have a caring, loving mother in his life. It helps him take risks, as he know if he messes up his mother will always forgive him, accept him and love him.
I was lucky to experience this type of love and I know how reassuring it was. No matter how bad things were, or you were, there’s always someone who says, “It’s okay. You’re okay!” That’s mighty reassuring. That’s why grown boys still melt and comply when they are around their mums.
We talk a lot about parenting, but really it’s about mothering and fathering. They are separate but complementary activities.
Often dads are quick to judge their boys, while mums are quick to forgive and forget. Dads sometimes have trouble seeing past their son’s weaknesses, while mums see the gem the lay beneath the surface.
Dads sometimes can’t see through the mask (of toughness, coolness or invincibility) that many boys wear. Mothers are more likely to see behind the mask and see the vulnerable boy beneath.
Mums sometimes have trouble letting go of their sons. That’s your challenge. But in a way as mother you never let go of your son’s hand, you just loosen your grip. And he only really leaves when he is assured of the fact that your hand is always there to hold and to steady him along the way.
Enjoy Mother’s Day. You deserve the recognition.
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