The mother–son relationship is special, as this bond plays a vital role in helping the son develop into a well-rounded individual. Mokhtar Malekpour published his study, ‘Effects of Attachment on Early and Later Development’, in The British Journal of Developmental Disabilities (2007). In it, he concluded that, “Evidence has suggested that the first two or three years of life is the most dominant period of the child’s life. This period may be associated with positive or negative experiences. If it is coupled with positive experiences, that is, from a healthy relationship with the mother (or caregiver), the child’s developmental trajectory is expected to be good. Conversely, if the mother-child relationship is negative, it might be a disaster for the child’s developmental pathway.”
However, while most mother–son relationships remain strong upto the preschooler stage, the focus shifts more towards the father–son bond as the child grows up. This happens because, it is expected that a son should learn the ways of the world from his father and emulate him in thoughts and actions once he grows up.
However, even mothers can find ways to bond with their sons beyond the preschooler stage. Here are some ways for bonding:
Spend a day together: While your growing-up child may seem to be busy doing a lot of things, he would always love the idea of spending a day with his mom. So, once in a while, set aside a day where you and your son do a few things together at home. For example, preparing his favourite dish or rearranging his room.
Go cycling: Young boys love going around on their bicycles. So, call your son over and hop on to your bicycles to take a ride around the neighbourhood.
Take a trek: Exploring outdoors always seems exciting to children, especially boys. Along with your son, put on the hiking boots and go trekking. You will be amazed to see how well both of you bond together in the lap of nature.
Watch a movie: All boys have their favourite superheroes. If the theatre in town is playing a movie starring your child’s favourite superhero, don’t miss the opportunity to watch the show with him.
Get your hands dirty: Boys love getting their hands dirty doing things like cleaning the bicycle or washing the car or clearing the weeds from the backyard. Lend your son a hand while he is engaged in such activities.
Play together: A badminton match in your backyard or a round of carrom or a game of darts don’t require much space to organise but can be exciting and fun. It will also tell your son how good and tough a sportswoman you are, and that he should never underestimate you.
Engage in a conversation: Most sons are reluctant to talk to their parents. Try to engage your son in a conversation by asking him about his interests or showing curiosity in what he does. Ask him about his favourite sports icon. Tell him to show you some new tricks he may have learnt recently. Not only will this help you learn more about your child but will also establish a deeper connection.
Take him to the kitchen: Boys love the idea of helping their moms. So, allow him into the kitchen and let him help you. Along with bonding together, this will help you break gender stereotypes, teach him basic cooking skills, and help him learn how to eat healthy.
Give him a responsibility: Take your son along while you go shopping for groceries or household needs. Give him the responsibility of handling cash and teach him about the various things you need to run the house. Not only will this help him learn financial responsibility but also make him work closely with you in handling household responsibilities.
It is not necessary to plan elaborate activities to spend time with your son. Doing the above-mentioned simple things can help you and your son bond together. Always remember that while sons look up to their fathers to learn, they are as much willing to listen to their mothers.
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