Moms and sons share a special relationship. I treasure the one I have with my son. But when middle school begins, it is surprising to both how much their relationship is tested. If your son is eleven to fourteen years old, you understand what I am talking about.
During middle school, your son’s brain is rapidly developing, and he is feeling a great need to become an independent person. Sadly, to feel independent, he must push away from mom. Of course, this is painful for mom, but it is also confusing for him. This explains why one moment he wants to sit with you and get a hug, and then suddenly he is angry about something and thinks you are the worst mom ever!
The transition to independence from mom is complicated by your son’s friends. They will be merciless in their comments about his dependence on you. I am sure you have heard the endless jokes and sarcastic comments these kids say to each other.
In his heart, your son knows how much he still needs you. How can you bridge the growing separation gap between you and your son?
I have three suggestions:
- Boys in middle school love to eat. Use this desire to get a few minutes alone with him. Either make his favorite treat or take him to his favorite place to eat. Have one positive change you see in him ready to offer during your brief time together. The combination of food and hearing something good from mom will be a winner every time.
- Frequently, you will be driving him to different places to meet friends. You might only have a few minutes alone with him but let him know you love him and how special he is to you. He will probably not acknowledge what you say or even look at you, but he hears it and will be reassured that everything is okay between the two of you.
- When the opportunity arises, let him know that you understand that he is getting older now and that your relationship needs to mature too. Let him know it is okay and that you will always treasure the friendship you have with each other.
Continue to be Patient
Be patient during these years and become more of a guide than a director in his life. He still needs you, but now he needs you to support his ideas and be part of his team. Out of this time of chaos will emerge a young adult who will always need the special relationship that he shares with you because you are mom.