Your Son's Number-One Woman—Guess Who?
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No, I'm not talking about "getting in touch with his feminine side." For the past several decades, society has been working hard to redefine men's roles and to emphasize the "sensitive" man who is supposed to enjoy cuddling and talk fests, and basically act like a girlfriend would. But is that really who you want your son to be? A girlfriend? Or do you want him to be a real man—one who is determined, honorable, and goal-oriented, but also loving and thoughtful toward the women in his life?
Frankly, I'm sick of getting in touch with my "feminine self." I like the masculine part just fine, thank you very much. I like channel surfing. I won't apologize for thinking that sex and football are two of the Almighty's and man's greatest inventions (respectively). I don't go to Tupperware parties. I won't eat quiche. I'm comfortable with my testosterone. I like eating with plastic forks—or no forks at all. I don't need a napkin to complete my meal. Yet anyone who knows me would tell you that this tough guy has a very tender heart toward all his children and his wife, and he is very thankful for all the strong women in his life who are more capable in certain areas than he is.
Are you comfortable with your son? Do you affirm his maleness? More than anything, your son needs for you to appreciate him as a boy and to encourage the masculine qualities you want him to have.
In today's world, some moms are more concerned with increasing a male's sensitivity toward the female population than with affirming male qualities. But such tactics don't really produce the results moms want. Instead, they create confusion—and confused sons tend to make terrible, traumatic choices.
Is it okay to do "girly" things? If a boy has an older sister, like I did, it's only natural for him to sometimes have pretend tea or play with dolls. But there's a huge difference between being comfortable with girls and always wanting to act like a girl. No woman wants a sissy for a son. She wants a tough, resilient man who will stand up for others with firm resolve and gentle compassion, and who will have a fierce, protective love and understanding heart for those close to him. Helping your son develop clearly defined gender roles will produce such a mature adult.
But it all starts with you, Mom. In all my years of counseling families and speaking to literally millions of people through radio, television, and seminars, one fact has impressed me as much as anything else: it's the child's relationship with the parent of the opposite sex that is most important in families. That means the mother-to-son relationship and the father-to-daughter relationship (for more on this one, see my book What a Difference a Daddy Makes).
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