Have you ever thought about the fact that in some ways it’s easier to parent a girl if you’re a mom and a son if you’re a dad? I mean, you at least kind of know what to expect. I can talk to my daughter about a lot of the same things I’ve experienced. But the same isn’t always true with my sons.
Looking back, I found it easier to be a great mom to my boys when they were little. I could handle the dirt, worms in the pocket (and one time even ants!) and the loudness—oh my goodness, how loud boys can be! Dirty, messy and sometimes smelly. But there’s something different about that when they’re two years old, compared to when they start to grow armpit hair, get taller than me and suddenly speak in this deep voice I’d never heard before.
Maybe you’re already there—or you are looking into those sweet angelic eyes of your little son and thinking, “Don’t ever grow up!” Well, I want to give some hope.
First, I want you to know that there is nothing to fear. Boys are actually less complicated than girls as tweens and teens (for the most part). That’s because there is usually less drama.
Second, prepare to lower your expectations when it comes to conversations. Or at least, don’t anticipate having these deep, heartrending discussions. During high school I got a lot of this from my son, “I don’t know,” “I guess,” “Yes” and “No.”
Third, don’t stop showing affection. Hugs might come fewer and farther between. And in some cases it might be that your son is outright embarrassed by it. This passes—so while it’s going on, avoid showing affection in public. But at home, pat his head or rub his back. He might not show it but he needs it and he appreciates it.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to connect to his masculine side. Show interest in the things that interest him. One of the things I always did with my oldest son, now stationed overseas, was watch war movies with him. And I would listen to him tell me interesting facts about the military or WWII.
Mothers and sons share a very special relationship…it usually starts off very close, grows distant for a period of time but then eventually comes back around. How you handle that middle part could make a significant difference in the future.
© 2013, Stephanie Romero