I always knew I would have a son. I’m not sure why because I hail from a family of girls. But something inside of me knew I would someday be the mother of a little boy. Despite all that, once I was blessed with my baby boy, I was a bit confused, realizing that I didn’t know how to relate to a little boy. Being a girl and already raising a girl, I felt relatively confident I knew how to connect with my daughter after a while. But learning how to connect with my son seemed a bit foreign. After my husband unexpectedly passed away, and I was left being a single mom, my lack of knowledge about connecting to boys felt even more distinct.
As my son grows from a baby into a boy, I have been delving more into the world of boys to learn the best ways to connect with my sweet son as he gets older. Since I am his only living parent, I feel that need on an even deeper level now. He deserves to know that his mama loves him and is deeply interested in who he is and what makes him tick.
7 Ways to Connect with Your Son
1. Work on a project together.
Boys and men often find having meaningful or intimate conversations easier while standing side-by-side. Face-to-face conversations tend to intimidate or threaten boys.1 If you want to connect with your son, try working side-by-side with him on a project like building a birdhouse or planting a garden.
2. Watch a movie of his choice together.
Watching a movie with your son is a great way to learn about what he’s interested in. You can also use it to discuss any concepts or conflicts brought up in the movie. Boys love being asked what their opinion is on matters, and by doing so, you make them feel as though their ideas matter.
3. Play a game together to connect with your son.
Whether chess or Scrabble, playing a game with your boy encourages him to use strategy and smarts to beat his mama at something fun. This is also a great way to connect with your son by getting him to open up and talk without feeling threatened or interrogated.
4. Do physical activities together.
Being active with your family is healthy, and boys also LOVE it! If you hadn’t noticed, boys move all the time. By engaging with him in one of his favorite activities, whether a hike, a game of basketball, an outdoor game, or going bowling, he will appreciate you participating with him. Try asking him to give you some pointers or help you get better. What boy doesn’t love to teach his mom a thing or two?
5. Play video games with him.
Boys love video games! If you’re like me, you don’t know anything about them. Asking your son to teach you how to play will probably make his day. Boys also love to compete, and playing a video game with him permits him to try to beat his mom at something without getting in trouble! Playing video games together will also give you a unique opportunity to collaborate on strategic ideas and problem-solve together.
6. Join him in something he loves.
Show your interest in learning about your son’s interests. If he’s obsessed with LEGOs, spend a few minutes building with him. If he loves to learn about dinosaurs, connect with your son by asking him to tell you everything he knows about the stegosaurus. Showing you care about his passions will go a long way as he grows.
7. Connect with your son by roughhousing.
Moms, in general, are not very good at roughhousing. Personally, I am not a fan of getting on the floor and rolling around, getting kneed in the ribs. But my son loves to pretend to wrestle and get a little rough and tumble. If you think about it, roughhousing is essentially aggressive, interactive, high-trust play where nobody gets hurt. It may seem silly to moms, but rough play is important in teaching our sons confidence and self-control and allows for emotional release in a playful way.2,3 If you can handle a little knee in the ribs, don’t be afraid to get on the floor and roll around with your boy!
You can connect with your son in many ways, but these are a great start to creating a more meaningful bond with the boy who will soon become a man. We, moms, don’t have many years to enjoy our sons before they are off creating their own families, so connect with them as often as you can while you have the chance. He will grow up feeling more confident and comfortable coming to you as he gets older. And that is worth every knee to the rib.