My grandmother always used to say, "If you want to know how a man will treat his wife, look at the way he treats his mother." Turns out she was right. A new study shows that a guy's willingness to commit as an adult goes right back to how well he was treated by his mother as a kid.
Makes sense to me (and if you ever dated a man who secretly hated his mother, it probably makes sense to you, too). That's why I choose to spoil my 5-year-old son rotten.
Relax, relax ... I don't really spoil him rotten. But I am a bit of a softie. When he has a bad dream and climbs into my bed at 4 a.m., I don't send him back to his room. If it's been a long day and he's trailing behind me at the grocery store complaining about how tired he is, I'll hoist him on my hip and carry him for a few minutes (he's small for his age). We're a very cuddly pair. Before long he'll be too big and way too cool to sit on my lap and put his arms around my neck and tell me that I'm the best mommy in the whole world, but for now I'm gonna milk this affectionate phase for all it's worth.
If he's as sweet to his future wife as he is to me (well, not counting the times when he's having a tantrum about not wanting to brush his teeth or put his Star Wars guys away), she'll be a happy woman.
Even though the equation is reversed, this is a tactic I learned from my uncle, who has treated his daughter (my cousin) like a princess since the day she was born. I remember when she turned 5 or 6 and the family was all abuzz over his birthday gift, a locket with a tiny diamond. My uncle stood back and grinned. "It's not gonna be easy for her to find a guy who lives up to her dad," he said. That was his plan from the start: To set the bar so high that no losers would ever make the cut. My cousin just graduated college, and, sure enough, she has shockingly solid judgment in the romantic realm for a girl her age.
Perhaps Arnold Schwarzenegger would be better off if his mother had been more liberal with the hugs.
Do you think the way you treat your kid now will influence their relationships later in life?
Image via Sharon Pruitt/Flickr