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Posted by on Aug 3, 2015 in From Boy to Man | 0 comments

Mom – What Happens When Your Son Transitions from Boy To Man

Mom - What Happens When Your Son Transitions From Boy to Man - Clayton Lessor

Let me start by saying this….

Mom, I know you’re doing the best you can.  If you’re a single Mom you don’t need me to tell you how hard it is raising kids alone.  Most of the Moms I talk to feel they are filling the role of Dad too.  Most likely you are working a full-time job, taking care of the kids and let’s face it, there aren’t enough hours in the day!

Now suddenly in the midst of everything else your son acts like he can’t stand to be around you and he acts like he hates your guts.  I’d like to explain why this is happening.

The Transition From Boy to Man

A boy transitions from boyhood to manhood and that means he must break away from his mother and learn to stand on his own two feet.  He begins to look for answers to the question, “Who is the man I’m going to become?”  And, he wants (needs) a male role model around to help him figure this out.

Here’s where the “rub” begins.  Your adolescent son, who is terrified to leave your side is 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 didn’t want it.  Down deep he doesn’t want to let you go either, but he’s transitioning.

Why Can’t I Help My Son

So right about now you’re thinking “why can’t I help him become a man?”  I would venture to say you’re trying your best and he is pushing you away.  What he really needs is a healthy male role model to mentor him.  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 him started…

  • First and foremost he needs about 3-5 hours a week minimum – one on one. 
  • Ask him what he wants/likes to do.
  • 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.”

I know this is hard to hear.  I can tell you that you’re not alone and I know your heart is broken for your son.  It’s not about you.  If you can accept that and take this in, you’ll be on the right track to get your adolescent son the help he needs.

There’s good news, we can fix this, it just takes getting back to the basics!

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

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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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