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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Guest Post: Loving our Boys

The following is a guest post by Allison Foster from Thank-you Allison for your time in putting together this great article.

I went in to say goodnight to my son last night, he is twenty now and going to college. He was asleep so I sat down and just looked at him. I was looking at him and wondering when he grew up. Where in the world did those big calloused hands come from? His hands were so soft and small and he needed me so much just a few minutes ago. Where had the time gone?

I have come to the conclusion that I am not a good mother. I always thought I was doing just fine until the day came when I realized I could no longer come to the rescue of my son as I have always done. As of late there have been things happening that I have no control over. Rather than help him to be prepared for them I see now that I have wounded my own son on his way to manhood. I have impeded his journey and have left him with a handicap.

This was not my intention; my heart was purely motivated by love but never being taught the right kind of love myself, love that is purely for the good of another, only brought weakness upon my son. It was so hard being a single mom, I only knew how to nurture, protect, and love with all my heart. That love being the kind that never, ever let anything in to hurt my children. The last thing I wanted to do was to hurt my son. Now he has to learn it the hard way but I am crying out to my heavenly Father to intervene and teach him where I failed. I am hoping in the one Father who will be able to step in and turn things around.

We are experiencing a lot of tension, my son and I, because I do not know how to love him the right way and he does not know how to pull away without hurting me. So, we hurt each other. I know that my Jesus sees and He will help us. I want to learn to love like He loves, for the good of my son and others. My son needs to learn to be a strong and godly man. I am just sorry I made it harder on him. Unintentional as it was on my part I did not love my son the way he needed to be loved. I needed to push him farther than he thought he could go, challenge him with greater goals, and let him experience some pain. The later is the hardest thing for me to even think about now but I can see where I failed him.

I know there are other mothers out there like me and I know there are women that are strong and know better than I how to teach a boy to be a man. It is a tricky thing, a woman teaching a boy to be a man. But in today’s society there are so many men who are falling down on the job of teaching our boys what they need to know and someone has to teach them. I hate it for my son and other boys like him. I see so many boys (and girls) wondering around aimlessly without direction because they were being “loved”. They were given too much, sheltered too much, and allowed too much in the name of love. What they really needed was more family time, more experience dealing with their own problems with guidance alone, and more structure. Life moves too fast and we all lose our perspective on what is really important.

It really does not matter if our child is into every activity, at the top of their class, or that we are the most popular, richest, or well known in the neighborhood. What matters is that our children grow up feeling they are really, truly loved and that our intentions are fully for their good and not our own. Are we just going through the motions of parenting andare we doing everything for the good of our kids or is it more for ourselves? Are we fitting them into our lives or are we directing them into a productive, full life of their own. They are not simply extensions of us; they are individuals that God gave us to mold and lead in their own bent to mature, loving, productive adults. This is something that you need to sit down and think about seriously. I thought that I was doing everything that was best for my son but when he started to become a man I realized I had failed him miserably.

I am writing this for those of you with young boys, hopefully your boy has a dad that cares and can teach the essential things boys need to know about being a man. If you are a single mom then I would just like to say that you must read about what boys need, ask other men you admire, seek help from great dads so that you will not make the same mistakes I have. They need to learn so many things that cannot be simply told them, they need to experience things. There is a kind of teaching that has to be experienced and I protected my son from that. The only thing I knew about boys was what I had learned through dating and marriage relationships I had experienced. You can not relate to your boy that way. I learned things from my father but he was not a good father and I was not a boy. I learned things from my brothers but that was also no good because it is simply just a different relationship plateau.

I spent many years of my life wondering why men could not communicate like we could, I thought they simply were just being unkind and did not want to put in the effort. I did not understand why most men could not talk on the phone and talk to me at the same time like I could. There were hundreds more things I did not understand about men and I was determined to make my son more “enlightened”. In some ways I gave him greater insight but in some ways I made him emotionally unable to “man up” as I have heard many men say. He has to get angry to feel like a man which is something he is dealing with now. He is a muscular guy and has all the characteristics of a man but he does not know when to be strong and when to let things go.

There are many things he is trying to overcome now that I see that I have caused in the name of love. After his dad and I split up and his dad was not able to function in his role as his father I did everything I could to make it easier on my son. But I see now that I coddled him so that he would not be hurt. I did everything I could so that he would not get into trouble or have trouble in school. His sister who is seven years older than my son helped him with his school work and she along with my mom (his grandma) did everything to make sure he was okay and happy. That was quite an undertaking and can I say that we working as a team made it happen. My daughter was the first to see that it was not working out well but she continued to help because she knew it was helping me. I was protecting him from any more pain because he was only ten when his daddy left us.

Now, I am not suggesting that you do nothing when things fall apart for your sons. There just has to be balance and strength combined with love. My daughter did get the same kind of love from me all her life but she was seventeen when everything started to fall apart and she was born being strong and independent. My daughter was always helping me out, encouraging me, and doing for others. The relationship between a mother and son is an intricate balance of love and letting go, of sensitivity and of strength. I believe because I was hurt after his dad left that I nurtured him to meet the need that I was feeling, thinking he was feeling the same feelings.

I am hoping that by writing this I can help at least one mother and one boy to do it right so that when you both reach the point where my son and I are you will not have to come to the realization that I have. That your boy will not have to reinvent himself to become the man he knows he should be. There is always hope if you have made the mistakes I have. There is always hope that comes from our heavenly Father who loves us and who loves our boys more than we do.

Author Bio:

Allison, after graduation allows her to combine her two passions: writing and children. She has enjoyed furthering her writing career with . She can be in touch through e-mail allisonDOTnannyclassifiedsATgmail rest you know.

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