I have a 15-year-old son and he’s hurting. Every since he was a small child, I’ve always told him that it was okay to cry, and that he could talk to me about any and everything. Maybe once, has he taken me up on that offer. As much as I talk to him, he’s very reluctant when it comes to getting things off of his chest. It’s as if he’d rather just keep everything bottled up inside and to himself– safe from any snooping and prying eyes.
Admittedly, my mouth has always assured him that I was available and that it was okay to express himself -“cry if you have to. It’s alright for guys to cry, too!”- yet, my actions of being non-affectionate were in direct contrast to what I was actually saying with my mouth. Looking back over these last eleven years, never once did I or have I gone up to my son and hugged him, just “because”. I’ve never once went over and kissed him on the top of his head, to signify my undying love for him. I haven’t told him verbally how much I love him. I’ll show him that I love him, all day. I have no problem with that, but I never say the words.
If ever I had a fault as a mother, it is my lack of affection towards my son. Once he surpassed the baby stage of his life all of the kissing, hugging and tickling came to a halt, when in all actuality it should’ve escalated. My lack of affection has likely impacted my son’s life in a not-so-positive-way. My shortcoming has likely shaped him into the man he will become. My advice to any mother would be: don’t leave your child, particularly our boys, to assume that we love them. They’re suppose to know without a doubt, that you love them, and the best way to do that is by saying it……and offering up a hug every once in a while.
For mothers similar to me, where your child is older and closer to being grown than they are to beong a baby? Good news!It’s not too late! If ever there was a time that these teens need to hear the words, “I love you” and receive an embrace……it is now!
My progress of becoming more affectionate will be shared in future posts. Wish me luck!