You may have seen the most recent viral parenting photo.
A fellow mom caught this mother teaching her son a lesson in the Hobby Lobby restroom. He was back-talking her, and every time he did, he had to do another push-up. As the woman who captured the moment said, “As your son gave you the back talk of the century, you stayed calm and collected while adding 10 more push-ups to his already growing number. We need more parents like you, who aren’t afraid to parent their own children because of what someone else might think."
This photo is the perfect window into the special relationship between mothers and sons. I have often said a strong mother will raise a strong son, and that is exactly who this mother is in this photo.
Sons learn so much from their mothers, but perhaps the biggest lessons are these: wisdom and responsibility. As women, we have an intuition that tells us what is right for our kids. It’s built into us. That’s wisdom. As the stabilizing force in our families—the ones who have given birth to and fed our children from birth—we also have an innate sense of responsibility. Because of this, our sons often learn these two important qualities from us.
In a culture where being successful trumps being wise and improving one’s status matters more than being responsible, we mothers know that we have our work cut out for us when teaching the lessons of wisdom and responsibility to our sons. But we are the perfect ones to do this.
We accomplish this first by modeling good wisdom and responsibility ourselves. We trust our gut and intuition, and we stand firm in doing what we believe is best for our kids as they are growing up, even if that means doing push-ups on a public restroom floor. Then when they are older, we can challenge them to follow us in our behavior. We do this by implementing strong boundaries and speaking up.