Situation: A mother has trouble with her 16-year old son. She can’t go back in time and try again. Recovery is everything; she should forget her guilt and regret, because they interfere with recovery.
Recovery lies with a mother’s natural ability to charm her offspring. Not with nurturing, love, or affection as it doesn’t work on teenage sons. Boys seek confirmation of their significance. Everything cited by mom as equal to or beyond a son’s image of his manliness charms him.
A mother’s harmonizing charm warms a boy’s heart, but only one’s own mom has it. Her charm first and her cooking second make grown men frequently return home.
Mom’s charm emanates from her acting as if he’s a grown man, an adult that just happens to be still growing. She gives him more credit than due for his sense of responsibility, accomplishments, and mature judgments. She may sometimes choke on it, but she convinces him that he is fulfilling her image of a man, just slightly less than fully grown.
Slightly beyond his actual maturity, she displays her respect by trusting him to handle his affairs and mistakes. She doesn’t take up his offenses or mistakes as if she’s somehow responsible. Over time, he learns that mom is more coach than disciplinarian. She encourages and allows him to recover from mistakes; she trusts both his judgment and self-discipline. His conscience matures from her diligent coaching.
She never gets in his face; a real man has to show he can overpower females who show such audacity. She never embarrasses him by confronting or correcting him in front of others. Just as wives take husbands behind closed doors before confronting or correcting them, mom does the same with troublesome teenager sons when she hopes to offer cautious advice. Sons don’t see such treatment as respectful, but it has a harmonizing effect and inclines boys not to disappoint their mothers.
Dealing with sons, few things are more unconsciously and indirectly influential than a mother’s charm. The inspiring dominance of the ‘hand that rocks the cradle’ continues throughout life. When it seems to fail during adolescence, moms need to focus on coaching more than nurturing, trust more than advice, respect more than affection, and encouragement more than discipline.