If you are a nostalgic person, you would probably enjoy the TV sitcom The Goldbergs. It is the story of a family set in the 1980s and is based on the family of the show’s creator, Adam Goldberg. One of the prominent story lines is about the mom’s diminishing influence on the kids. Her teenage kids are growing up and she feels like they are slipping through her fingers.No one is better positioned to bridge the gap between a mother and her son than the father.
Mothers and sons can have a difficult time relating to one another, particularly as sons enter the teen years. Boys go through changes and have personalities that can be difficult for moms to understand. No one is better positioned to bridge the gap between a mother and her son than the father. Here are 5 ways dads can help the mother-son relationship flourish.
- Encourage them to invest the time together. We’re all busy; that’s a given. But too often we let relationships take a back seat to the less important. We lose our children by inches, by minutes, and then by years. Sometimes, the best thing we can do for our home environment is to stop everything else and play. Encourage your wife to do that, even if it means you do a little more heavy lifting. If your son is standoffish, encourage him as well.
- Make it easy for them to spend time together. Hold down the fort while she and your son go out. It doesn’t matter if they’re 6 or 16, boys need their moms. Help her come up with different ideas of things they could do together. Burgers and a movie, putt-putt and pizza, snacks and his favorite sport. One-on-one. Mom’s worth it, your son is worth it, the relationship is worth it too.
- Stay in “touch,” literally. One mom grew weary of her 14-year-old son’s aversion to the hug. She wanted to respect his personal space, but she still craved physical contact. So she reached out, playfully smacked him across the back of the head, then put him in a headlock. Turns out her son loved it. They both needed the sense of touch; he just didn’t know how anymore.
- Have mom and son write one another. Here’s an idea. Start early, around first grade, and establish the pattern of the once a week journal entry. The entries go both ways, mom to son, then son to mom. It is a message board with just them as the audience. It keeps the lines of communication open, personal, and confidential.
- Suggest a road-trip (and help make it happen). Maybe there’s a rift. Maybe there’s ground to make up. Maybe the relationship is in a rut. Help mom organize a scavenger hunt road trip where they have to work out the clues together. Plan a sporting event destination, maybe even make it an overnight trip. Have them go away together.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your wife tonight and say, “I want to better support your relationship with our son(s) by ____.”