I’ve read in a variety of places about the relationship of a mom and her son. Often it goes something like this —
Traditionally/in the past/ commonly, mothers begin withdrawing from their sons in an attempt to make them strong. In fact, research has shown that this doesn’t always work.
What??!!! I am always amazed at my reaction to these things. I’m aghast, amazed, and wonder at what any one was thinking. Why does isolation suggest strength? Why does emotional distance suggest manliness?
I know in my head that the origins come from sin and sin’s effect on a man. Nonetheless, it makes me a tiny bit angry to hear of women who encourage this behavior, even if it is in a round about way.
I, for one, am standing up to say that I will always give my son a warm and secure place in my home and heart. I will not distance myself from him, nor will I ever withdraw from him. I will give him the tools of independence and the freedom to exercise it in appropriate ways. But I will not force isolation on him.
That said, I know that he will distance himself from me and he will withdraw from me. But I am confident that true and confident independence is found in having a secure and safe foundation. He will seek after independence and freedom (he already is!), and sometimes he will get it and sometimes he won’t. And eventually he will leave us to become his own man, find a wife, and cleave to her. And when that times comes, I want him to be the kind of man that can show affection to his wife and children, be loving, and be strong.
With the future in mind, I aim to give lots of kisses and hugs. We talk about being kind and gentle and practice with the kitties and stuffed animals. And he’s learning to put away his clothes, clean ones in the drawers and dirty ones in the hamper. These are all key skills!
So, Moms, have you thought this way? Have you tried to parent in light of the future teenager and adult you have under your authority right now? What have you done, particularly for your sons, to prepare them to be men?