I am a mother of sons.
I have three smiley active sons who have brought to our family much joy, sound and energy. I have one brother but this by no means prepared me for the growing wave of boyness that slowly became my home.
As a girl, adjusting to having a house full of boys has been and continues to be an interesting and curious discovery.
We need to be connecting with our sons.
Boys are different
Not in the bad way but just different to me and that makes a difference in how I respond.
Now over time I hope my responses are better. Some mothers come with more knowledge to being a boy mother.
Well, we can learn it. Learn from other mothers, learn from your boys and learn about boys.
As the boys have grown there is a struggle within mothers of boys to keep connecting with our sons as they pull towards being a boy and not a girl like their mother.
Keep the connection going and know that struggle isn’t a sign of failure but of something else emerging.
Connecting with our children is something we all want to do. Closeness is something we all desire.
We want that respectful distance and space- teenagers are always craving but we don’t want to be too distant that we can’t connect.
Look for side by side moments
- Food Prep
- Washing dishes/ loading the dishwasher
- Sweeping/mopping the floor
- Setting the table
- folding/sorting laundry
- Shoveling snow
- Clearing the yard
- Picking up the family room
- hand washing the car
These are moments when you’re doing something that doesn’t require you to concentrate too much on your action. It allows your son to work with you and alongside. They also don’t need to concentrate on the actions.
Here’s where the magic happens.
They speak into the silence and comfort of the situation. In that pause and lull in the conversation. It’s an easy silence between you as you diligently do your action. You can concentrate and allow your thoughts to wander knowing that you don’t have fill the air with conversation and sound. There’s also the closeness and ease of being in each others company that means questions and statements can bubble up.
A trusted, special and sacred space.
Conversation won’t always happen. Here we’re giving space and opportunity for conversation to happen, now and in the future. Cultivate and nurture these side by side opportunities. Ring fence those moments through inclusion and not doing these activities alone.
Ask your son to join you. Just being close to them as you work together is a bonding experience. It takes time to muster up the courage to have some conversations. To really process what’s going on just knowing we are near will help our sons. Doing a contribution together gives us chance to share and show. Gives them chance to practice and be.
Side by side time seems less threatening to our sons. My husband loves it too. Seems to energize them than the face to face time I love.
There are no direct questions and looking in the eye. Just closeness.
Sometimes that’s enough.