I have just spent the evening at my boys’ school totally engaged in a talk by Celia Lashlie, author of “He’ll Be OK: Growing Gorgeous Boys into Good Men”.
The night was full of laughter, joy, insight, wisdom, truth and even some tears.
As a mother of 3 boys all I could think was “has she been spying on me?”. It was as if she was talking directly about our household, and, in particular, me. All the things she said mothers do but shouldn’t do, well that is me.
So as of tonight I’m rethinking how I mother my boys – what I can do better and how I can change. Celia was right when she said mothers go into crisis mode from a very early stage in parenting boys and panic about what will happen in the future. I know it is nuts but I do worry about what will happen when they start drinking, are tempted by drugs and get behind the wheel of a car. I know that in years to come I will lie there in the dark picturing them dead because they are late. I know I will do this because I know my mother did it and I already do it now!
I have come home, talked about it with my husband and have avoided the “how do you feel?” question, gave him time to think before his response (which he was quite suspicious of because I just don’t do that) and I’ve downloaded Celia’s book onto my kindle.
One thing that really resonated with me is her point about feminism. We have fought hard for our girls to have choices and to be whatever they want to be and achieve more, but by fighting for their right to be themselves we must also allow our boys the right to be themselves. Lets not change them. Instead of drumming into them that they must respect girls, teach them to respect themselves first.
Time to start reading and time to become a better parent; time to take a leaf out of my husband’s book.
A final thought though – thank you to the school for organising the night. I wonder how many schools recognise the need to provide these opportunities for parents?