10 Ways to Improve a Mother-Son Relationship

Jan 18, 2019

Recent research has uncovered that a healthy early bond between mothers and sons makes a close relationship likely for them later in life. Such a mother-son bond also makes for a better-adjusted child who grows up to cope well with life in adulthood.

It only takes a little planning and effort to make such a bond come about. Here are ten tips that can help moms improve their mother-son relationship.  

1. Remember that boys have different preferences

Compared to girls, boys prefer communication methods that are practical, nonverbal, and action oriented. For instance, where a tired six-year-old girl might actually tell her mother that she needed to go to bed, a boy might become hyperactive and uncontrollable. Mothers can connect better with their sons by learning to interpret these nonverbal clues.

2. Remember that boys need special lessons in verbal communication

While mothers do need to make sense of their boys’ nonverbal communication, they should also remember that the world outside does not take well to such methods. For success everywhere from school to work and in relationships, boys need to learn to be verbally communicative.

Mothers should train their sons to use their words. Better communication skills will help mothers and their sons bond better as well.

3. If your boy is not good at listening

The instinct for nonverbal communication that young boys have extends to their willingness to pay attention to spoken language. You can encourage your son to listen to things that people say to him rather than just look for clues in what they do.

It is simple to do this – you only need to spend as much time as possible talking to your son. The more you engage him in conversation, the closer he will get to you. He will also learn the give-and-take of conversation.

4. Teach your son to respect girls

To a five-year-old boy, the suggestion that he may like girls can be a serious insult (it is a running theme in Dennis the Menace). While the desire to prove one’s boyhood masculinity by staying away from girls is natural and harmless in young boys, it can gradually turn into apathy and inability to connect with women later in life.

The greater the effort you put into teaching your son that it is good to love and respect girls and women, the more sensitive a child you will raise. You will also bond better with him as he grows.

5. Raise your son to be the way you believe a man should be

Even today, in half of all households, women do most of the household work. One of the easiest ways to raise a son who does not grow up expecting women to serve him is to ignore the division of labor that society imposes.

You should make your son a part of every household chore that you have. Not only will you a raise more competent child who sees women as his equals, you will form a closer bond as you teach your son the skills he needs. Research finds that families that do their chores together stay closer.

6. Do not compromise on family mealtimes

A great deal of research finds that children who eat most of their meals at home gain in self-esteem and confidence and do better in life. While it can take some organizing and discipline to make sure that the whole family comes together to eat at least once a day, it can pay off.

7. Share your hobbies

While it may be too much to expect that your son will share your interest in your favorite hobby, you should try to find a new hobby that both you and your son can share together. Having shared interests with your son can bring you closer.

8. Encourage your son to spend time alone with his father

There is some research that shows that fathers tends to be more nurturing when they are alone with their children. When the mother is around, though, they tend to withdraw.

The more you allow your son to spend time alone with his father, the more he may get his love and attention, and and learn about bonding as a man. The lessons he learns will help him in his relationship with you, too. 

9. Make sure that you recognize where to stop

For single mothers or mothers who have strained relationships with their husbands, it can be tempting to depend more than they should on the emotional rewards of their relationships with their sons.

It is important, though, to not put too much pressure on one relationship. Parent-child relationships tend to be much smoother when they are only used for what they were meant for.

10. Be ready for our son’s teen years

Every mother needs to prepare for her children’s rebellious teens. At that age, sons, in an attempt to test their independence, push their mothers away and try to be self-reliant in many ways.

It is important to not take these developments personally. Boys will usually get over their rebellion by the time they are 21 or so. Then, your relationship will get back right where it was.

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