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Posted by on May 8, 2018 in Boys at School, From Boy to Man, Parenting Tips, Saving Our Sons, The Quest Project, Tips for Moms | 0 comments

A Special Message For Mom

This is dedicated to all the Mom’s out there who are raising son(s)! 

Thanks To Mom

If you’re a single Mom, you don’t need me to tell you how hard it is raising kids alone.  Most mom’s I talk to feel they are filling the role of dad too.  You are most likely working a full-time job, taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning and running a million errands; there aren’t enough hours in the day!

Suddenly amid everything else your son (at approximately age 11+) acts like he can’t stand to be around you. At times you feel like he hates your guts. 

There’s a biological reason why this is happening.

Transition from Boy to Man

A boy transitions from boyhood to manhood around age eleven; the beginning of adolescence. He begins to feel he must break away from his mother and learn to stand on his own two feet.  He starts to look for answers to this question, “Who is the man I’m going to become?”  He instinctively wants (needs) dad or a healthy male role model around to help him figure it out.

For mom, here’s where the “rub” begins.  Your adolescent son is terrified to leave your side but he’s being drawn to the new world of men.  It’s the biggest challenge a boy faces: separating from mom.  You’ve taken care of him and made darn sure he felt loved, even when he tried pushing you away.  Down deep he doesn’t want to let you go, but he’s transitioning, and those innate feelings take over.

How Can You Help Him?

By now you’re thinking “why can’t I help him become a man?”  You’re probably trying your best and he is pushing you away.  I know this can be hard to hear but the most powerful role model in a child’s life is the same-sex parent. 

If dad is active in his life that’s great, if not, a good friend or relative can help teach him the things he needs to know.  This can get them started…

  • First and most important, he needs 3-5 hours a week minimum one- on-one with dad. 
  • Ask him what he wants/likes to do (this gets his “buy in”).
  • Tell him what you want/like to do (compromise leaning toward what your son wants!). 
  • Tell stories about lessons you’ve learned – paint the picture – be vulnerable.
  • DON’T talk at him (sitting face to face); instead talk while doing things “side by side.”

He Simply Needs This Time

Accept it, and take it in, you’ll soon be on the right track to get your adolescent son the help he needs. I know from years of experience; you’re not alone and it is breaking your heart. It’s not about you! Keep in mind “the bond between Mother and Son lasts a lifetime.

Please take a minute and share your experiences about your son and the effects it’s had on him having – or not having a male role model in his life.


Clayton Lessor
Clayton Lessor, PhD in education and counseling, is a Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice. He is author of "Generation of Men: How to raise your son to be a healthy man among men" and “Saving Our Sons: A Parent's Guide to Preparing Boys for Success." Dr. Clay has seen over 2000 boys since 2000 and facilitated over 300 The Quest Project groups. Boys attend a 10-week "boys to men program" where they and their parents will learn the tools needed to get through these turbulent teen years. Dr. Clay is a member of the Steering Committee for The Coalition to Create a White House Council for Boys and Men.
Clayton Lessor
Clayton Lessor

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