18 Tips From Men That’ll Help All Moms Who Are Raising a Boy
It is easy for parents to get lost in their relationship with their children. From when they’re babies that only need warmth and care, children quickly grow into teenagers that require freedom and private space. It is especially hard for mothers of sons, because they don’t have the experience of being a growing man.
Reddit users decided to share their experience about what they think is important when raising sons. We at Bright Side found which pieces of advice were the most popular and chose the most moving stories behind them.
- Keep your promises. Especially the small ones that are easy to let slip. And when you break or slip up on one, directly acknowledge it with them, and apologize while trying to make amends. Even (especially, really), if they don’t remember. Raising a child that keeps their word is 100% modeling, not lecturing. You have to show them how to build those skills by demonstrating them daily, while reinforcing that with a direct explanation of what you’re doing or thinking in the relevant contexts. © ZedekiahCromwell
- Be strict: boys need boundaries. My mom never followed through with punishments for anything. She would threaten, but never follow through and eventually, she just stopped threatening. I basically had free reign in my teenage years and did whatever I wanted. I skipped school, snuck out, took the car, drank... I never got punished. She’d get angry at me and then the next day she’d act like nothing happened. At the time, I thought it was awesome and that I just had one of those “cool moms.” Now, I just don’t think she had it in her to be a real parent when it came to the hard stuff. © lessilina394
- Don’t scream at your son if you are angry: this won’t make a child change. Be strict, but explain why, and do so compassionately. Yelling at your kid constantly when you’re angry about something they’ve done won’t make them change that behavior. A kid’s first instinct when they get in trouble is to fully shut down. The cool-off time and subsequent calmer talk will do much more for getting a lesson across than a shouting match ever will. © Baelzabub
- “Mother knows best” is not a phrase you should use with your son. It’s infuriating when trying to defend yourself or what you want, while knowing the entire time you’ll get dismissed entirely. © RustySeagull
It’s good to be involved, but don’t be overbearing. The most stressed out and repressed guys I knew growing up were always the ones whose mothers controlled every aspect of their lives. © lotsoflukey
Teach him to work. At first, my mom wouldn’t let me do anything because I was too small and I could break something. Later, when I was a teenager, she wouldn’t let me work because I was too young and I would have enough time to work in the future. And then she was like, “Hey, you’re a big boy now. Why don’t you want to work and help me?” © KinaZy
If you want something done, ask him to do it. Most men are task-orientated and this isn’t really any different while they are growing up. Don’t drop hints, don’t get angry at your son for not taking hints, instead just give him actual instructions. “Once you’ve finished what you’re doing, can you take the trash out for me?” will get a much better response than “Take the trash out, now,” and a MUCH better response than, “Nobody ever helps out around the house, the trash is getting full — I guess I’ll do it myself.” © bothamliam
Teach him to cook. My post-college roommate had his mom cook all of his meals. It was embarrassing to watch him try to operate a kitchen when he decided he wanted to make something on his own. © Remahlehs
- Don’t tease your sons about their female friends. This usually leads to issues with them being unable to talk to you about things when they actually do like someone. © Mattsterical
- Don’t tell other people what your son shared exclusively with you. My mom would tell her siblings, cousins, and close friends everything and then say things like, “Well, they’re the ones I trust and talk with things about.” I learned my lesson the hard way when I told her something deeply personal and embarrassing during high school and then everyone starting asking me questions about it. Ever since then I’ve told her nothing personal whatsoever. She regularly complains now and even argues with me 6 or 7 years later that I never share anything with her. There’s a reason for that mom. © forgottt3n
- If you are divorced, don’t complain to your son about his father. Remember they love both of you and if there’s anything that’ll cut a kid up, it’s feeling like they have to choose between parents. Also, chances are when he’s older he’s likely to just choose neither of you and you’ll wonder why he’s so distant. © thebobbrom
- Give your son some private space. They broke the locks on all of my doors (including the bathroom), and would force me to keep the door open almost all the time. They would barge in without any notice, to the point that I got used to changing clothes while hiding in the closet.
I used to turn the shower on and close the door to the bathroom just to have any semblance of privacy. Even that didn't work every time. © pinkytoze
Show him that there are many ways to be a man. He should know that being a man not only means being strong, but also means being kind and forgiving. Get him a cat or a dog and show him how to take care of someone. © Battlespike1066
Don't forget that boys are full of energy. They need to channel this energy into physical activity, sports, and games. Don't buy breakable stuff for your apartment. Get them a bike or a climbing wall. © BonsaiDiver
We actually thought that most of these recommendations were not only useful for mothers of sons but for all parents, no matter the gender of their children. Do you have any advice that is good only for women that are raising sons?