Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
Help! How do you survive adolescence and the teen years? I have a 16-year-old son who was always my sweetheart. He has just completely shut me out of his life… I can barely get a hello! We were always so close; now he feels like I am trying to control his life. What can I do to bridge the gap that is growing between us?
Dear Rejected Mom:
I must applaud your son’s efforts to free himself from your apron strings and stand alone as a young man. I want you to seriously consider why you are so anxious about him moving away from you. Unless he is involved in drugs, criminal activity, cutting school or doing something else stupid, his behavior is normal and healthy.
Your son has needs as a young man that you as his mother cannot fulfill. Much of what he needs will come from bonding with his male peers; the rest will come from interactions with females in his peer group. He will be dating, investigating his sexuality, going away to college, finding employment, traveling, falling in love, and starting his own family and embarking on this journey we call life. There will be a place for you in it, but you will no longer be the central focus that you have thus far.
Of course, as long as he is under your roof there must be an understanding regarding certain groundrules (curfews, house rules, school obligations, and household chores and responsibilities). Just because he is growing and maturing doesn’t give him a pass on handling his business at home.
I would suggest that you write him a card and let him that you realize he is growing up and is not your baby boy any more. Assure him that you’re adjusting to the change, that you love him and will always be there for him if he needs you. Then let him go.
There is nothing worse than a clinging, suffocating mother that refuses to let her male child grow up. Mothers that try to hold onto their sons and keep them in a child role cripple their boys and make them useless punks. Your son is obviously not trying to be such a male. Please allow him move forward without guilt, and with your full support and encouragement to become the best man he can be.