My oldest will be 10 years-old in a week. 10!!! I’m freaking out just a bit. I can start to see small changes in him already. He’s going from that little boy that loved to be cuddled to more independent and not needing me as much. He’s starting to develop that little “know-it-all-attitude” and when he lashes out at me, I take a deep breath.
It’s only a phase, I tell myself.
I keep (or try to) my cool and talk to him in a calm voice. That usually brings him right back to reality and he apologizes for talking back.
I love watching my boys grow and I want to make sure that as they get older I grow with them.
It’s hard to know exactly what they need from me at each new stage. I’m learning as I go. I try to give them space but I’m not far behind them.
My biggest hope is when they grow up they can look back and say that I was always there for them.
Powerful Ways a Mom Can Show Her Son Love
Listen to him
My boys are completely different. My older son is creative, a big dreamer, and enjoys making things with his hands. My younger son is a big gamer, loves sports, and is the rougher of the two. They both have ideas and it’s important for me to listen to them even if at times they seem a bit out of reach. I let them explore their ideas. They need a sounding board and I try to provide that for them. I don’t judge or criticize. I encourage them to dream as big as they can.
Don’t forget to play
My boys want me to play with them all of the time. While I believe that independent play is great for them, I have to remind myself that playing with my boys (at all ages) is super important. We are big on family game nights in our house and usually reserve Sunday nights for this. When one of my sons is at baseball practice, I’ll have a catch with my other son. They love it and it keeps me young at heart!
Most nights are pretty crazy with homework and after school activities. My husband has to meet us at the field on some nights, but I always make sure that I sit down with my boys to eat. Even if it’s 20 minutes before we run out the door. I ask them about their day and try to switch up the conversation so it feels fresh and not like I’m nagging them. I really learn a lot about them from this. Here’s a free printable for family dinner conversation starters to help you think of new questions to ask your kids.
This is probably the one I struggle with the most because of our busy schedule. Sometimes this needs to be scheduled to ensure I get this time in with them. It really helps each child feel special and encourages them to open up. When my boys are together, they are always competing for attention, but when separated they are a bit more relaxed and get very chatty. I feel that I can learn so much from spending individual time with them.
Here’s some date ideas you can do with your son.
Cheer him on
I’m my boys’ biggest fan. I try not to miss their practices or games, unless for some reason something comes up. I want my boys to always be able to look over at the sidelines and see me. My youngest said to me the other day that he loves that I am always there for him. Of course that totally melted my mama heart! But whether it’s on or off the field, I cheer them on and give them positive reinforcement.
Take an interest
My oldest is super crafty and loves using his hands to create things. If you know me, you know I don’t have an artistic bone in my body. But this doesn’t stop me from trying. I let him lead the activity and he loves that he’s teaching me something new. Even though crafts aren’t my thing, I make it my interest for my son.
It’s really the simple things in life you remember. When my boys are sick, I’ll cuddle with them and watch a movie. On any random day, I’ll surprise them with their favorite ice-cream or a trip to the movies. I love doing small things for them that are not expected.
Part of parenthood is making sacrifices for our kids. They won’t realize it now, but one day they’ll understand. I make sure they have time to spend with their friends playing or I’ll rearrange my schedule so they can participate in an activity they enjoy. I love seeing my boys happy and stimulated. However, it’s just as important for them to see me making time for myself and do things I enjoy like going to my work-out classes or going out with friends.
Give him space
This is so hard but I try and give my boys space to try new things on their own. It’s the only way they’ll build confidence and learn how to be independent. I let them know I’m here if they have questions or need help.
I know my boys won’t always make the best decisions and will probably do stupid things from time to time, that’s part of life. Instead of getting discouraged with them, I try using these situations as teaching moments and we talk it out. I know as they get older, this will probably get more difficult and the situations will become more ‘serious’. But I have to remember, no one is perfect and I have to trust that the values I teach my boys will hopefully stick with them throughout their life.
Don’t forget the every day hugs and kisses! Every morning, I take a few minutes with both boys to just sit and hug them. It’s funny, they expect it now and will come over to me in the morning and jump on the couch next to me. I know this won’t last forever, so I’m soaking it up while I can!