In her groundbreaking new book, “The Mama’s Boy Myth,” Kate Stone Lombardi blasts away the myth that has been keeping moms and sons at an arm’s distance for centuries. Learn why keeping our sons close makes them stronger.
Daddy’s little girl vs. mama’s boy
Nobody would be ashamed to admit they are “daddy’s little girl.” It’s a phrase that conjures warm fuzzies and visions of loving dads bonding with their daughters. Now consider the phrase, “mama’s boy.” See the difference? The connotations are completely negative. Instead of warm fuzzies, we are already forming a negative impression of this child, who is most likely weak-willed, lazy, maladjusted and will no doubt have trouble forming healthy relationships in the adult world. Why?
Questioning traditional gender stereotypes
Traditional gender stereotypes teach us that, from babyhood on up, boys are expected to hold back tears, face fears on their own and “man up” in the face of difficult situations. Moms, for their part, are expected to help their sons develop a healthy masculine identity, not by holding them close, but by pushing their sons away.
Impressive benefits from close mother-son relationship
Award-winning journalist Lombardi‘s provocative new book, The Mama’s Boy Myth: Why Keeping Our Sons Close Makes Them Stronger, reveals surprising research that doesn’t just contradict this theory — it blows it out of the water. Far from damaging their sons, mothers who have a nurturing, close relationship with their male children are imparting innumerable benefits at every stage of development. Here are just a few.
Boys who are closer to their moms:
Do better in school
Are less susceptible to peer pressure
Boys who are close to their moms are less likely to engage in risky behaviors, wait longer to have sexual intercourse and have more protected sex.
Are more successful in the workplace
Emotionally intelligent men work far better in teams and become more effective leaders.
Make better spouses
Good communication skills, sensitivity and empathy add up to an excellent husband.
Are healthier, both physically and mentally
Studies show guys who are close to their moms have less anxiety and depression, and suffer from less stress-related ailments.
Trust your instincts
The good news? You can trust your instincts. While she interviewed moms for her book, Lombardi was amazed by the number of women who were forging close relationships with their sons, despite negative social pressures to the contrary.
Says Lombardi, “In my online survey of more than 1,100 mothers, nearly nine in 10 describe themselves as either ‘extremely close’ or ‘very close’ to their sons. Not only do today’s mothers dismiss the notion that we are damaging our sons by nurturing this relationship, we also believe we have an important and positive role to play in developing their emotional lives and influencing them in other ways. Far from creating wimpy guys who will forever cling to their mothers, we believe we are raising boys who will one day make strong empathic spouses and partners. What’s more, our sons will have the sensitivity, communications skills and emotional intelligence they need to better navigate a fast-changing world.”