On two occasions, mums on my courses have noted down, typed up and sent me every tip given and each point that resonated in my Strong Mothers, Strong Sons presentation. With thanks to them, I share these with you.
- Recognise your son’s ownership of his growth into maturity.
- Notice that your need for control hampers his self-growth.
- Stop laundering his emotions, let him begin to regulate his own – be the role model and learn to see the difference between venting and communicating.
- A boy’s strong life impulse needs to be witnessed and acknowledged; if we do this we become more aware of his own soul journey.
- Move from the “fixer” mum to the “coach”.
- Notice how we have built extrinsic values; bring more attention to promoting intrinsic values. Not about things, but about meaning and good relationships with living beings.
- If you keep your eye on the problem you will continue to bump into it; broaden your perspective.
- But notice when you are handing your boys over to popular culture and sometimes challenge yourself or him about simply following the pack.
- A good relationship with his family inoculates a boy against harmful behaviour.
- Stop nagging, be aware of your need to be needed and rather simply be present.
- Say, “I feel….”, not “You make me …”
- Accept that there is a place for alone time and friend time in your son’s life.
- Create times that are free of pressure and conversations that are free of judgment.
- Your son’s natural passion and creativity has to come from within him, not from within you.
- Don’t let your ego and need to be needed or liked interfere with your parenting.
- Question whether a man’s role is ONLY to provide, protect, perform.
- Boys need privacy and like loyalty.
- Reconsider your values. Individualism and money-focus increases disconnection. Cooperation, collaboration and contribution become most important for generation Z boys. Write up family values and talk them through.
- Children have become increasingly disconnected from their senses and from direct experience. Nature contact is one way to help boys reconnect to all their senses and experience things as they happen.
- Consider how your personal experiences around masculinity impact on your parenting. Eg, do negative aspects of masculinity can cause you to overreact?
- There are gender differences that need to be considered, especially our need to talk and their need for action.
- Trust more and know he loves you and hears you.
- Remind him to access “sober second thought” and not only animal instincts.
- Begin to re-focus attention on your own life – stop telescope parenting!
- Give your son clear but reasonable limits. He needs to know where the boundaries are. Allow him as much freedom as you can within these limits.
Find tips on how to be more assertive in “Strong moms, strong teens”
Read more on impulse control in “Helping an aggressive adolescent apply the brakes”
Learn about my Strong Mothers, Strong Sons course