As much as boys are different from girls in their characters, states of development, and emotional and physical needs, in my experience parenting sons is more like parenting daughters than it is different.
Mothers are the love-givers.
Whether a son or a daughter is the recipient, giving love well is still very difficult. Showing respect, offering protection, holding one's temper, and being fastidious in the perseverance of all aspects of good parenting is equally hard regardless of the sex of the child. Being a mother is tough work.
Mothers offer sons many of the same things that fathers do but mothers offer them differently and—very importantly—sons receive them very differently from a mother than a father. And the reverse is true. That is why both mother and father are needed to parent a son well. Advice that is palatable from a mother’s voice may be offensive from a father.
Much of what a mother gives her son is more a reflection of her personality and her character than it is of her son’s character. Mothers need to love. And mothers love to be needed.
This truth isn’t tough to mothers. They live it because they as human beings are egocentric. Mothers intuit that life is better when they are loved, needed, and nurtured, so they expend these important traits to sons in hopes of receiving them back. And a child is the safest place to begin this process.
But there are needs which every boy has that any mother can satisfy. Again this is not to disqualify a father as a provider of these needs. Certainly, there are fathers who can meet some of these needs better than mothers I have met. In general, however, maternal instincts act sometimes quite peculiarly on behalf of sons, which can leave some fathers a bit confounded. Let’s look at the best of what mothers give to their sons. Stay tuned.