Posted on: May 6, 2020 at 9:00 am
Last updated: October 14, 2020 at 5:54 pm

“A mother is her son’s home base. You are home to him,” Tabitha of Team Studer wrote in 2011. Rachal Boley, a writer at Three Boys and a Mom, reposted her message onto her Instagram and brought these words back into the public eye. 

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This beautiful post describes the deep connection between a mother and her son. Although boys tend to separate from their moms as they develop, they still need to feel emotionally connected with their mothers. Sons want their efforts and successes to be acknowledged and praised, even through their rebellious phases when they fear the stigma of being too clingy and fond of their mothers, aka a ‘mama’s boy.’ That’s why teenage boys’ behaviors can seem so fickle; they want mama’s approval but are very embarrassed to show that. 

No matter the age, they still want their mothers to be impressed with them, and that’s why they turn to mom when they are going through a hard time. [1] 

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“When he learns to walk, he will wobble a few feet away from you and then come back, then wobble a little farther and then come back,” wrote Tabitha. “When he tries something new, he will look for your proud smile. When he learns to read, he will repeat the same book to you 20 times in a row, because you’re the only one who will listen that many times. When he plays a sport, he will search for your face in the stands. When he is sick, he will call you. When he really messes up, he will call you.  

“When he is grown and strong and tough and big and he feels like crying, he will come to you; because a man can cry in front of his mother without feeling self-conscious.” 

“There’s Nothing Like the Bond Between Mother and Son” 

There’s something very different raising a boy compared to raising a girl. Little boys may be rambunctious, but they put just as much fierceness and energy into their love for their mothers. This bond of adoration and affection never quite goes away, even when the boys grow up. 

Annie Reneau described her experiences raising a son after two daughters on Scary Mommy. As a sort of “girl mom,” she was worried about how she would raise her first boy  

“I really didn’t expect there to be this much of a difference,” she wrote. “I’m not generally one to assign specific behaviors or qualities to gender, and always thought it sounded a little sexist for moms to say that their relationships with their sons are different from what they have with their daughters. But in my experience, it’s true. Boys simply adore their mamas. And the feeling is mutual.” [2] 

Read: Dad, What I’d give if I could say, “Hello Dad” in the same old way.

The Effects of the Mother-Son Bond 

There have been many studies researching this relationship. An analysis by Dr. Pascso Fearson from the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences examined 69 such studies featuring about 6,000 children 12 years old or younger.  

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According to Bowlby and Ainsworth’s attachment theory, children with secure attachments are able to expect support and comfort from their caretakers who will deliver them consistently. However, kids with insecure attachments have these requests rejected, discouraged, or receive inconsistent responses. This is believed to make these kids susceptible to behavioral problems.  

Researchers set out to see how the relationship between sons and mothers, in particular, affect the boys’ later development of behavioral problems. This analysis used a wide range of methods including, assessing the children’s behavior, parent and teacher questionnaires, and observations. 

“The central question we posed was whether attachment insecurity was associated with behavior problems across all the studies conducted to date. The results showed quite clearly that the answer to this question is a firm yes,” said Dr. Fearson. 

“More specifically, our analysis showed that children with insecure attachments to their mothers, particularly boys, had significantly more behavioral problems, even when the behavioral problems were measured years later.” [3]  

This just shows the importance of the mother and son connection for the child’s development and behavior later in life. Mothers are the foundation in a growing boy’s life, even if he wouldn’t like to admit it. Deep down, it seems that every son is secretly — or not so secretly — a mama’s boy. 

“Even when he grows up and has a new woman in his life and gets a new home you are still his mother,” concludes Tabitha’s heart-warming post, “home base, the ever constant, like the sun. Know that in your heart and everything else will fall into place.” 

Keep Reading: Strong Mothers Raise Strong Daughters

[1] Nick Luxmoore. Sons and Mothers. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/young-people-close/201510/sons-and-mothers October 17, 2015 

[2] Annie Reneau. The Special Bond Between Boys And Their Mamas. Scary Mommy. https://www.scarymommy.com/son-mother-bond/ Updated January 31, 2020 

[3] University of Reading. Mother-son relationship key to emotional development. Science Daily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100325093124.htm March 29, 2010 

[4] Rachael Boley. Three Boys and a Mom.https://www.instagram.com/p/BVuOEiWgNXL/ 

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Sarah Schafer
Founder of The Creative Palate
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender. Her blog The Creative Palate shares the nutrition and imagination of her recipes for others embarking on their journey to wellbeing.

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