Posted by: Lisa | December 1, 2010

Mother & Son – An Unbreakable Bond

Ever since the ultrasound revealed that I was having a baby boy, I have been fascinated by the relationship between mothers & their sons.  I don’t have any brothers, so I didn’t get to see my mother form that type of bond, but I’ve loved watching my husband & his mother.  They aren’t so close it’s creepy or anything like that, but it’s obvious that he has the utmost respect for her & trusts her.  I’ve seen him open his heart up to her in ways he wouldn’t with his father.  I loved hearing (from her, of course – he would never admit it!) about the day he sat with her & told her how much he loved me, why I was so perfect for him, & why he wanted to marry me.  Despite Jon’s teasing of his mother, she & everyone else recognizes that he would protect her no matter what.  It’s sweet.  I knew he’d make a good husband because of the way he treated his mother.

Now I am thrilled to be a part of that unique bond with my own flesh & blood.  Breastfeeding was an incredible way to begin that bond & I love it when Jacob wants no one but his mama.  I look forward to the day when he wants to tell me all about a girl he likes & then later doing the mother-son dance with him at his wedding.  What a precious gift boys are!

I treasure the book Mother to Son: Shared Wisdom from the Heart by Melissa Harrison & Harry H. Harrison, Jr.  It’s filled with short quotes about this special bond & I’d recommend it to any mother with a son.  My favorite quote in the book is, “Right around the age of three, he will heroically start to think he is your protector.  This never goes away.”  I love that!  (Buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Mother-Son-Shared-Wisdom-Heart/dp/076114210X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291235138&sr=1-1).

For Mother’s Day this year I asked Jacob my husband for the book, Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons by Meg Meeker, M.D. (buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Boys-Should-Be-Secrets-Raising/dp/034551369X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1291231788&sr=1-1).

I’ll end with an excerpt from the book.  I’d love to hear your thoughts or personal stories about this topic, so please leave a comment!

Mothers encourage their sons in very different ways than do fathers.  Typically, a mother offers emotional warmth & security; she offers compassion, patience, & kindness.  Because she is not male & therefore feels no competition with her son, she can embrace his individuality more easily than his father can.

Boys usually form stronger emotional bonds with their mothers during the early boyhood years, and it is important not to sever those bonds unnaturally or too soon.  Mothers can encourage sons in areas where fathers typically don’t.  Being more emotionally attuned than fathers, they can see their sons’ feelings & motivations more readily, & try to understand & direct them.  Because many boys feel emotionally safer with their mothers, they feel less inhibited in front of them.  That also means boys will “act out” more in front of their mothers – yelling, having temper tantrums,  & crying – than they do with their fathers.  Boys feel less anxious about pleasing their mothers because they feel they already have their mother’s approval & undying love; things they feel they have to earn from their father.

Because of these differences, mothers are in a wonderful position to help their sons sift their feelings & learn what to do with them.  When mothers do this repeatedly – month after month – it works not only to help a boy deal with feelings, but it builds his self-esteem.  He feels less intimidated by his emotions & learns that, to at least some degree, he can control them.  By helping her son deal with these emotions, a mother lends great encouragement to her son’s masculinity.

Because of this bond between mother & son, mothers are very well placed to openly admire their sons when they exhibit good character, or achieve physical or intellectual goals.  And most of all, mothers can make their sons feel that they are loved just for being themselves.

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Responses

  1. Oh this is so true. I value my relationship with my son so very much. Who knew!

  2. I must admit at first I wanted a girl. But I am oh so lucky to have my son. I too treasure those times he only wants mommy. I love the cuddles, the hugs, and the kisses. I make a point to enjoy the time I have now getting to rock him before bedtime because I know that time will end soon. I am a daddy’s girl and my brother was definitely a momma’s boy (still is). It’s amazing how my normally somewhat self-centered brother can be so loving and helpful to my mom. We’re so lucky to have little boys!

  3. Something special about a mother/son relationship. It’s something you don’t have with your husband/partner, no matter how close you are. Sons give you an innocent glimpse into the male world, with all its rough edges and stereotypes, and with your son, you have the opportunity to experience the softness, the inner thoughts, and all the lioness instincts that their birth ignites. Years ago, my son married a wonderful woman and partner but during our Mother/Son dance, he whispered to me, “You’ll always be my girl, Mom!”


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