Mother-son relationship: Tips to build and maintain a great one
As a mom, you're always getting advice on how to raise your kids. If you have a son, you might be warned against coddling him and told to "cut the apron strings." But what does it really mean to have a good mother-son relationship? Sure, you don't want to be one of those moms who hovers and panics at the site of tears or a small cut, but you also want your little boy to know that you'll always be there for him. Here are some tips on how to build and maintain a healthy, strong relationship with your son.
How can you build a strong bond?
Here are five steps you can take to develop a healthy relationship with your little boy.
1. Teach your son important life skills
It's important for you to teach your child how to grow into an independent adult. Perhaps your son can cook and clean with you every once in a while, or maybe you can help him sew the eye back onto his favorite stuffed animal. Not only will this allow you to bond in a unique way, but it will also help your son gain confidence. He'll be sure to thank you when he has to teach his college roommate how to do laundry.
2. Spend quality time together doing the things he loves
Whether your son loves to play video games, build with Legos or go bike riding, make an effort to do his favorite things together. He'll appreciate the fact that you took an interest in his interests!
3. Help him build strong relationships with others
Your son's relationship with you will have a major impact on his relationships with all the other important people in his life. Nurture his relationship with his father, encourage friendships with boys and girls, schedule time for grandparents and older relatives and provide opportunities for mentors. Here are some tips on how to nurture the dad bond.
4. Respect and trust each other
Your relationship with your little boy will play a major role in his emotional development. By forming a bond built upon mutual trust and respect, you can teach your son to also respect himself, as well as others.
5. Be human
By being open about your mistakes and downfalls, you can reinforce the idea that no one's perfect. This will help your son feel more comfortable in his own skin.
How can you nurture this relationship over time?
Like all moms, you'll encounter lots of trials and tribulations during your parenting journey. But by continuing to build and nurture your relationship with your son, you can handle any obstacles that come your way together.
Here are four steps you should take to maintain a strong bond.
1. Continue to make time to talk one-on-one
Be honest with your son — as much as you can while staying age appropriate. And be sure to listen — and really listen — when he talks to you. It's important that he knows he can come to you with his problems and concerns.
2. Foster independence
As your child gets older, you need to learn when to let go and allow him to take on the world on his own. Every kid needs a chance to make his own mistakes and learn life lessons.
3. Know when to stay out of it
When it comes to certain topics, like relationships, be careful that you don't come off as overbearing. If you give too many opinions or unwanted advice, you risk the possibility that your son will feel the urge to rebel against you. But if he comes to you in this situation, be sure to be as tactful as possible. Try to remember that anyone your son cares for must have some redeeming qualities, and it's your job to try to see the good he sees in his significant other.
4. Avoid falling into a battle of wills (especially during the teenage years)
There's no one more hard-headed than a teenage boy who's determined to have his way. But that doesn't mean you should let your son walk all over you. Just do your best to avoid getting into arguments or yelling matches, as they are never the best solution. Instead, try to have levelheaded conversations in which each person listens to the other's point of view. Lay out why and how you came to a decision that may have upset him, but feel confident that you made the right call. With a balance of freedom and boundaries, rules and independence, you'll show your son that you care for his safety but respect his ability to make some decisions for himself.
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