How to Strengthen the Bond between a Mother and Son
If you are finding it difficult to make a connection with your energiser-bunny son, you should read this.
Keep your daughters close, but keep your sons closer, right from birth.
According to Kate Stone Lombardi, author of The Mama’s Boy Myth: Why Keeping Our Sons Close Makes Them Stronger, if your son has a close relationship with you, he would most likely perform better in school. He would also enjoy better mental health and even be more successful in both his personal and work life.
Mums of boys might find it difficult to make a connection with their sons whose interests may stand in stark contrast to their feminine preferences. The good news is that there are simple ways that will let you get around this challenge, and forge a strong bond with your charming little boy.
Play Rough and Tough
If there is one thing that strikes you about boys, it has to be that they are often rough and are mischievous balls of energy! That is simply how most boys are wired. Yet, there is something loveable about them when they give you a cheeky smile on those grimy faces.
To easily connect with them, you have to rough it out with them – play the action games that they play, join them in kicking a football around or pretend-play a scene out of the Superman movie.
And do not be afraid to show a few of your karate moves, regardless of whether you have official training or not! When you hear your boy snicker (boys don’t giggle like us!) or see his eyes widen with admiration, you know that you have made an instant connection.
Speak your boy’s lingo
Like most mothers, you would probably find yourself nodding as your son rattles away about his favourite Ninjago character or about how Ben 10 fights the giant squid-like Vilgax . You may have little interest in the game or cartoon character he may be talking about. You may even dislike some of these "fighting" characters and their war-like worlds!
However, if you only continue nodding the next couple of times he talks about his favourites, your son would soon figure out that you are not his “type” and you may miss the opportunity to make that connection.
So what do you do? Put aside your preferences and judgements and show a little more enthusiasm in your son’s interests. If you have to Google to learn about it, do so. You can then speak your son’s language.
Give him time and space to talk
Children are loud, but boys can be real loud. Often, you may be tempted to talk over your son and hush him up. However, if you shut him up now, there may come a day when you yearn for him to break that silence.
Make time for your son to talk to you. Find a time when both of you would be alone, with no distractions. Remember that boys open up when you make them feel comfortable and unthreatened, so resist the urge to talk down to your son and instead listen to his thoughts and feelings.
You can have your personal chat when you are driving him home from school, or when you tuck him to bed at night. This conversation that you start from an early age could lead to a teenager (and adult) who does not avoid conversations with his mum, but welcomes them instead.
Share how you both feel
If mothers are from Venus, sons must be from Mars. Your son may give in to his masculine aggressive tendency, shouting at you and throwing things around if he is angry or upset. Coupled with your adverse reaction, this could eventually lead to a breakdown of the relationship between the two of you.
What you can do is to be a good role model to him. Show him how you react when you are placed in an unpleasant situation yourself. It would also be a good idea to share your emotions with him, to show him how he can express himself in a better way.
This would encourage him to share his feelings with you too. In this way, he would learn to identify his emotions and you can help validate his feelings, while at the same time gently guiding him to deal with his emotions in the right way.
Just Cuddle Him
Iron Man wanna-be he may be, but your young son would love a good, tight hug at times. Just because he is a boy does not mean he cannot have his warm bedtime cuddles from mummy.
Boys being physical beings, your son would love the physical contact. Physical touch, after all, is one of the five love languages according to Dr Gary Chapman.
The cuddles would assure your boy that he is loved and cared for and would build a strong base for you to build your bond. Indeed, love is the foundation of all good relationships.
Of course, you would not want to overdo the hugs and molly-coddle him, but give him enough to make him feel assured that he can count on you to always love him.
Boys need to connect with their mothers, and that does not make them feminine-like or “softy” mummy’s boys at all. Your close relationship with your son will help you know him well enough, to teach you how to stay connected while giving him the space to spread his wings to grow up to be a fine, young gentleman.
What do you do to forge a strong bond with your son? Share some tips with us in the comments.