Mama's Boys Should Love Their Daddies Too

Is there anything worse than a "mama's boy" in our popular culture? We are fine with "daddy's girls," in fact we even celebrate them. But a boy who is close to his mother? Heaven forbid! It's a mess. We moms of boys are told our sons will have attachment issues, won't be able to leave the nest, and will be gay.

Writer Kate Stone Lombardi has a few things to say about this myth and she has written a book on the subject called The Mama's Boy Myth. And while I generally agree with the excerpt that appeared in the Wall Street Journal this past weekend, I also think both "daddy's girls" and "mama's boys" are a bit creepy.

Oh yes, I went there. The fact is, parents SHOULD be close to their children of both genders. But it doesn't need a name. And there is such a thing as "too much."

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My son is wonderful and precious and I cuddle him every single chance I get. I do the same with my daughter. Though she probably does prefer her dad, it makes me ill when people refer to her as a "daddy's girl." Sure, she loves her dad, but she isn't ONLY his any more than my son is ONLY mine.

In fact, when people say my daughter is a daddy's girl, it hurts us all. It hurts our family. It makes me feel left out and like I have to claim my son to have a child who is MINE. It makes my daughter feel like she has one parent and her brother has the other. And finally, it hurts my son and robs him of his close relationship with his dad. Is there a "daddy's boy"? I have never heard of it if there is.

The truth is, my husband also cuddles, kisses, and babies our son. Both of us find the notion that we would parent differently based on gender more than a little ooky. The fact is, we should be able to be close with our children without it having a creepy name. When we give it a name like "mama's boy," then it does become a problem.

There is such a thing as a man who won't grow up and face life and responsibilities. And there is such a thing as a woman who is spoiled and won't become a grown-up, too. But that has nothing to do with whether they are "close" with their parents. It just has to do with how they were raised.

Lombardi points out that no research supports some of the larger "mama's boy" myths (do you really think men who are closer with their moms will be gay? Ridiculous), but it's also important to note that both boys and girls need a healthy relationship with BOTH parents.

The fact is, there is no one gender that should be closer to the other. A tight father-son bond is as sweet as a tight mother-son one and the same is true for daughters.

So, yes, I do take issue with mama's boys, but only because it seems crazy to limit ourselves that way. A girl or a boy who is close to his or her parents is going to do better in life, either way. People need to get over it and stop parenting boys and girls differently.

Do you look down on "mama's boys"?

 

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