As mothers across Australia wake up to breakfast in bed, a few special presents and lots of love and attention from their kids this Mothers’ Day we celebrate the unique bond between mums and their sons.
Psychologist and research guru Steve Biddulph says there is a lot to growing happy, healthy boys.
“Boys don’t just grow up in a smooth and even way. You can’t just shovel in cereal, provide clean t-shirts, and have them one day wake up as a man!” Biddulph writes.
“A certain sequence has to be followed. Anyone who spends time around boys will be amazed at how they change and the range of moods and energies which they show at different times,” he writes.
“The puzzle is to understand what is needed – and when.”
The mother and son relationship is thought to be one of the most difficult relationships there is.
When boys hit adolescence they are faced with rapid physical changes, emotional challenges and pressures from the world around them. Mums (and dads) provide boys with a secure base to live their lives from – somewhere where he feels loved, valued and accepted – despite the possible grunting and lack of enthusiasm.
Yet, adolescence is also a time boys start to drift from mum to other support networks – gaining independence and building relationships with peers and mentors as they engage in their “own” world. Some mums struggle with “letting go”, but need to understand the importance of this stage of their son’s development.
Growing Great Boys author Ian Grant says mums have the “great privilege” of influencing the next generation of men.
“Mothers can respect themselves enough to expect respect from their boys. They can surround them with optimism, faith and a sense that they are capable. They can teach them the practical skills they need to survive and, especially, they can look for the goodness in them and expect the best of them,” Grant writes.
Grant’s top tips to mums of boys include;
Boys need a mum who;
– is available to talk and sing and play
– expects the best of him, not the worst
– enables his sense of adventure and fun
– envisions a great future for him
– is consistent and persistent with discipline
– monitors the lines of good taste for him and teaches him to respect women
– allows him to take responsibility for himself
Happy Mothers’ Day everyone!