Parenting is a journey filled with lessons, challenges and adventure at every turn. Sometimes we think we have it figured out, only to realise how far off the mark we are. Other times we get it right and don’t even realise it. In my eldest son’s formative years, I made some parenting goofs which would have messed him up later on.
Thankfully and with daddy’s help, I have been able to correct them with time. If you are raising a son, here are some red flags to watch out for.
Strong Mom Syndrome
This is not a myth. Strong moms, if not careful can cripple their sons for life. I used to be an extremely overprotective and overly-cautious mom, who would fire a nanny over really petty issues. Not to mention, I showered our son with gifts (some I could not even afford) and doing almost everything for him. I also denied him opportunities to make decisions he could have made at his age. I have since learnt to let him explore and develop a sense of independence and initiative as this prepares him for the real world.
Boys to Men
From a young age, a boy’s natural instinct is to fix things for mom just like dad. However, I allowed fear to encumber this process, afraid that our son would get hurt. Thankfully my husband helped me deal with my fears and let him take up manly roles. He has since caught up and takes on various challenges. With a DIY toolkit at hand, I do not have to keep calling the plumber over every small leak!
Mommy – Son Time
Apart from football, our son enjoys video games and board games; this is how he and the dad bond (apart from wrestling). My disinterest in most games caused me precious time with him. Whenever he invited me to a round of chess, I made some silly excuse. The good news is that we both found things to do together. I enjoy flight simulation and City Racing and he also likes writing poetry. Here we bond and enjoy each other’s company.
Boys Need Hugs Too
Contrary to what has been passed on in society, young boys need to be shown affection just like their sisters. With changes taking place in them, life questions and a bad day at school, sons need to know and feel our love and warmth. Now, I do not hesitate to give my son a warm hug and an encouraging word whenever I get an opportunity.
The Wild Side
Mothers are said to appeal to the soft side of their sons teaching them compassion and tenderness. Dads naturally teach boys to be courageous, strong and independent. I wanted our son all safe and nicely tucked in! Thankfully daddy noticed the problem and begun taunting me literally, as he threw him into the deep end of things.
My heart dropped to my tummy countless times as I watched them ‘bond’. Boys, they say will always be boys, comparing their muscle and their knack for‘taking a ride on the wild side’. Soon enough, I realised I was the one giving him a raw deal. He needed the adventure, the competition and strategy. He needed to build capacity for pain, disappointments and challenges.
What are some of the crippling habits you have as a parent? Share in comments below.
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Carolyne Destiny is a writer, life coach, creative entrepreneur, wife, mother and educator. Though her days are taken up by lesson plans and meal plans, she winds up gracefully over good comedy or rich chocolate…both are very understanding. Look out for her upcoming blogs at enrichedlifeafrica.wordpress.