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Being a part of your boy’s world

Like mother, like son

We all know the cliche "like father, like son." However, what about "like mother, like son?" While mothers can bond with their daughters over shopping and mani-pedis, where are a mom and son's common links?

As your son gets older, he may become even more distant unless you bond early on.

In my experience, mothers and daughters seem to have a less difficult time connecting than mothers and sons. These days, with most boys glued to the latest video game during the majority of their waking hours, how does a mother get her son's attention for five minutes? How can they spend quality time together? Sure, his father can bring him to a game or have a catch outside, but where does a mother stand on sharing some meaningful moments of entertainment with her boy? Here are seven ways to create some excitement between you and your son.

Take an interest

It's important to show interest in something that your son likes, even if you're not familiar with it. For example, if there is a particular sports team that he's a fan of, then follow them too! If you're not a sports fan, that's okay -- just look at the sports page in the newspaper or online and see what place his favorite team is in, who their star player is, etc. The more interest and knowledge you have at your fingertips, the more your son will be attracted to talking with you about it. Maybe even surprise him with tickets to a game and go together.

Play a game

Most moms hate video games. While you may not want to partake in the latest war game that is your son's new obsession, you can find something that may suit the both of you to play together. For instance, Wii offers lots of fun sports games that you can play and have some laughs. Or, if you don't have a video game system, then play a board game. The main point of these games is togetherness.

It's the little things

Make it a point to spend some quality time with your son doing next to nothing. Not everything has to cost money. A local museum is inexpensive and stimulating. A walk along a local river in the fall is peaceful. A trip to the beach in the summer is refreshing. Just enjoy some moments alone and show him how important the little things are.

Communicate

Basic chit-chat and conversation are what make the world go 'round. So I recommend talking to your son as much as possible. Ask him how his day was every day. Talk together over some ice cream, not video games, so you have his attention. While this may seem mundane to other people, small talk that's positive can have a big effect on a child's life.

Get involved

It's important to get involved and show an interest in what interests your son. If he likes playing sports, make sure to attend his sporting events. If he enjoys playing music and is in a band, go see him perform. Whatever you do, though, don't embarrass him. If the ref makes a bad call, hold back your frustration and don't charge the field. Nobody likes an overprotective and annoying mom, especially your son.

Tune in

Doing something at home once a week is a great way to set traditions and have mutual interests. For example, choose a television show that you both like and get into it, watching the whole season together. Whether it's a reality show or a weekly series, it's about tuning into each other more than the program itself. Have some laughs, talk about the episode and then get ready for next week!

Reading list

If your son is reading a book for school, I suggest reading the same book. Take a moment at night to read some and then the next day you and he can talk about it. This will show him how much you support his work and you can also answer any questions your son may have. Also, create a reading list for him of some books you loved when you were his age. If they created good memories for you, they will for your son too.

More on bonding

4 Ways for kids to bond with grandparents
Family bonding tips for the teen years
The importance of the father-child bond

Learn about the nanny to the stars

Marva Soogrim, world-renowned nanny to the stars, has more than two decades of experience with her unique whole family approach to caring for newborns and integrating this new experience into the family.

Born in Trinidad, Marva came to the U.S. at the age of 21. As a mother of four, she has continued to work hard to offer the best for her children as well as her clients. With medical assistant training and impeccable references, Marva began her calling as a baby nurse/nanny to some of New York's most prestigious families.

News of her novel and calm approach to caring for babies spread and she quickly became the nanny of choice for celebrity A-listers including Reese Witherspoon, Julia Roberts, Courtney Cox, Sheryl Crow and Chris O'Donnell to name a few.

She is currently at work on her first book, Marvalous Babies. You can follow Marva on Twitter.

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