Mothers are so important to our society. Women are natural born nurturers and can provide so much to the stability of a family and to their children. Some have the help of a husband or good co-parent. While others may be doing what they can on their own. Either way their impact can be very great on the direction a young boy takes into becoming a man. That is why I feel it is important to be mindful of some things that some mothers may overlook while raising their boys.
When missing on these principles, it can set the stage for that young boy to not become a man who will function well in life and in his relationships. Some may see the importance of these principles differently, but I say with confidence that placing a focus on them can have a very positive impact on the boy’s growth and ability to succeed in many areas.
1. He Needs to Learn How to Be Self Sufficient
I will never forget being at a friend’s house and seeing her son come home from school. He proceeded to drop his bags, sit on the couch, watch TV, and ask his mother for some snacks. My friend happily did just that, and let this able bodied boy become accustomed to this behavior. Well some may not see anything wrong with that, but I had to let her have it. Don’t get me wrong, I understand a mother’s love and wanting to take care of her baby. It’s just that this kind of behavior, when done consistently, creates a man who does not learn to do for himself. He wasn’t too young to get his own snacks, but he will become too old to think that he can’t do things himself. Many women deal with this kind of man, and it isn’t good for most (if not all) relationships. Teaching a young boy to do chores and take initiative is a good thing. Cutting him too much slack can create too much dependency on others. So by instilling in a young boy the ability and willingness to do things for himself a mother can help ensure he does not become a burden to others, or herself when he does get older.
2. He Needs to Be Encouraged to Speak
A lot of young boys grow into men who struggle greatly with expressing themselves. As men, many of us are raised to “suck it up” “man up” and to view the expression of emotions as weak/soft. Then you have some who were allowed to whine all day as young boys, and as they get older they may speak, but in a way that is not at all effective in a relationship. So I believe it is important to place some focus on helping young men express themselves fully but in a confident and effective manner.
Sitting down with them and helping them improve their ability to open up can go a long way to improving communication in the household, and in his future relationships (whether it be business, romantic, or friends). On average women tend to be more willing communicators which is why I feel mothers are in a great position to help their sons in this way. This can have a great impact on the mother-son relationship and on young men in general.
3. He Needs to Learn Respect For Women
Some people believe if you pay attention to how a man treats his mother that this is a great indication of how he will treat women. Well that is true to some extent, but there are many instances where even the man who respects/loves his mother does not have a great respect for women in general. Sometimes a contributing factor to that issue is how the mother herself views women. You see children can pick up on a lot, and if a mother constantly speaks about other women in a very negative manner, then that can easily pour over into her son’s perception of women.
I believe we have to be mindful of setting an example of how to treat others if we want children to do the same. A young boy should not just learn to respect his mother, but all women. Some may say all women do not deserve it, but then I would argue that we teach young men that if you can’t show respect then do not bother with that person at all. In addition to this, I think a great way to help this issue is by instilling more chivalry into young men. Teach your son to open your door and the door of any woman around. By learning this type of courtesy at a young age it can set the stage for a very respectful and positive man when he gets older.
Nobody is perfect but we should always strive to be better. For all the mothers out there and even the women who have yet to have kids; these principles should be embraced to create a better relationship with the young men in your life. Some say it takes a man to raise a man, but I believe that by embracing and implementing some great principles that raising a great man can still be achieved no matter the circumstances. We have to start early and it is a process that will benefit all.