This is dedicated to all the Mom’s out there who are raising son(s)!
Thank You Mom
If you’re a single Mom, you don’t need me to tell you how hard it is raising kids alone. Many mom’s today are filling the role of dad too. They’re likely working a full-time job, taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning and running a million errands; there aren’t enough hours in the day!
Suddenly amid everything else your son (at approximately age 11+) acts like he can’t stand to be around you (unless he wants something!). At times you feel like he hates your guts.
It’s not you, there’s a biological reason why this is happening.
Transition from Boy to Man
A boy begins an innate transition from boyhood to manhood around age eleven; it’s the beginning, the start of adolescence! This is when he begins to feel he must break away from his mother and learn to stand on his own two feet. He starts to look for answers to this question, “Who is the man I’m going to become?” He instinctively wants (needs) dad or a healthy male role model around to help him figure it out.
Down deep your adolescent son is terrified to leave your side, yet he’s drawn to the new world of men. When I say “drawn to” I mean below the conscious self, or unconsciously, he’s experiencing very powerful feelings.
One of the biggest challenges a boy must navigate is separating from mom.
You’ve taken care of him and made sure he felt loved, even when he tried pushing you away. You’ve fought sadness and walked away when he didn’t feel like talking; ignored the attitude when he grunts if you ask if he is doing okay! Where did your sweet little boy go?
I reassure mom’s whose heart is broken that this is the beginning of a boy learning to understand and resolve “up-down, love-hate and push-pull” in relationships! Think about it, sounds familiar and part of life right?
How Do You Help Him?
By now you’re thinking “why can’t I help him become a man?” I know this can be hard to hear but the most powerful role model in a child’s life is the same-sex parent; that is a researched, evidence-based fact. It is also a fact that when the same-sex parent is disconnected, missing or both, it wounds the child.
If dad is active in his life that’s great, if not, a good friend or relative can help teach him the things he needs to know. This can get them started…
- First and most important, he needs 3-5 hours a week minimum one- on-one with dad.
- Ask him what he wants/likes to do (this gets his “buy in”).
- Tell him what you want/like to do (compromise leaning toward what your son wants!).
- Tell stories about lessons you’ve learned – paint the picture – be vulnerable.
- DON’T talk at him (sitting face to face); instead talk while doing things “side by side.”
For more extensive information and help, I’ve written two books “Saving Our Sons” and “Generation of Men” that provide more detail and support.
He Simply Needs This Time
Accept it, and take it in, you’ll soon be on the right track to get your adolescent son what he needs. I know from years of experience; you’re not alone and I know it is breaking your heart. It’s not about you!
Keep this in mind “the bond between Mother and Son lasts a lifetime.”