Who Are You Calling a Mama's Boy?
A strong mother-son bond is crucial, but heaven help the mom who admits being emotionally close to her son
I have two kids, a son who is 2.5 and a 4 month old daughter. Lately, I've been thinking a lot about my son. I think about my daughter too, of course. But she is easy right now. My son, on the other hand is in full toddler bloom. He is a creative, intelligent, clever, and funny little fellow. He also is very strong-willed and independent, which can be dangerous in a two year old, but I'm hoping will serve him well when he is older. He's emotional and we have conversations about his favorite things, his fears, and his desires. My motherly instinct tells me he is still a baby in many ways-- I know, he's not really a baby, but he's not really a big boy either. My instinct tells me to hug him when he cries, to comfort him when he is scared, to reassure him when he is unsure, to encourage him when he is discouraged or tentative, and to respect his emotional life, to leave him alone when he wants to be left alone, but rush in when he needs a hug.
This article is reassuring. I am his mom, and regardless of how old he is, he will always be my son, my responsibility. I wouldn't want to stop hugging, encouraging, and comforting him just because he is a boy, and should man up. Now the research supports what most mothers have probably always known, but were sometimes pressured into acting against. But we need to move beyond our secret nurturing of our children. We need to dismantle the stereotypes of traditional views of masculinity as violent and emotionally detached. We need to challenge the status quo of arms- length parenting. We need to make it the norm for all children to be afforded a close bond with their parents and for both boys and girls to have a rich emotional life.