It didn’t happen overnight. Maybe if it had it would have been easier, like a band-aid being ripped off.
He used to lighten up when I would walk in the room. His tight hugs assured me that he was thinking about me when we were apart.
When we were together at home, he would follow me around, give me sweet compliments, and cuddle close any chance he got.
Overtime, he stopped looking at me like I was a gift to this world. That makes sense. He is busy with sports and friends.
Then, like a knife to the heart when I went in to kiss his forehead, he pulled away.
No, this is not a break-up. It’s much worse: My son is growing up and pulling away from me.
Rekindle the Mother and Son Bond
When your son grows up, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he has to grow apart from you. Sometimes, like any relationship, you just have to make some changes and work at it.
Of course my son and I still loved each other, but that deep connection we had was fading away. The things I did in the past to connect with him stopped working, and seemed to annoy him.
Honest, Simple Parenting Advice
I realized that if I wanted to strengthen our relationship, I would have to make some adjustments and listen to his heart.
I made these five changes to rekindle our mother-son bond.
Step One: Show interest in something he loves
To connect with your son, join in on a hobby that he loves.
Does he enjoy video games, hiking, or playing a sport?
Pick at least one activity that your son participates in, and show interest in it regularly. Don’t just ask him about it – actively join in.
Ask him to teach you how to play the video game, watch a show he loves, throw a baseball with him outside, or start riding bikes together.
Step Two: Give him freedom
It sounds contradicting to bond with your son by giving him space, but it is an important step.
Trust is an important factor to a healthy relationship with your son. He wants to feel independent and free.
Show him that you have faith in him as a human by giving him some age-appropriate freedoms.
- Allow him to walk to a friend’s house alone (if it is safe)
- Give him tasks around the house (take out garbage, vacuum, or mow the lawn)
- Ask him to help out with younger siblings, cousins, or friends
Step Three: Talk to him like a grown-up
When I would say to my son “How’s my baby boy!?”, I could see him cringe.
I had to fight the urge to talk to him like the baby that I still picture him as.
He responded so much better when I would talk to him like an adult, and ask him open-ended questions about his life, such as:
- What was your favorite part of your day?
- What would you like to do this weekend?
Also, open up about your own life. Talk to him about your own feelings and things going on in your life.
Step Four: Schedule a Mom and Son date night
Spend intentional quality time together by scheduling a Mom and Son “date night”.
Try one of these simple ideas:
- Make a pizza together
- Movie night
- Go on a hike
- Do a puzzle
- Go bowling
- Go to a sports game together
It doesn’t have to be anything complicated! The goal is to simply build closeness, foster trust, and make your son feel valued.
Step Five: Don’t forget to show affection
Your son may not let you cuddle him for hours, but that doesn’t mean you should stop showing him affection.
Offer your hand while you walk by him. Give him a huge when he leaves. Even a gentle squeeze on his shoulder will help him feel love.
Win back your son’s heart with these simple steps.
Build a dynamic relationship that will adjust as your son grows older and will stand the test of time.