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Does it feel like your son has forgotten all about you? Are you worried that your relationship with your son will falter?
Take a deep breath and relax.
There are good explanations about why you feel this way and somewhat easy ways to solve this big problem you are facing.
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Why Do Sons Forget Their Mothers?
Most of them don’t. It only feels as though your son has forgotten you, but that is usually a one-sided emotion. Your son may be pulling away from you as part of a healthy, independent relationship. Give him the space he needs while also reminding him that you will always be there for him.
The Mother/Son Dynamic
Children and mothers have an automatic bond. The nurturing, caring environment that the mother brings is cherished by their children.
When they are young, sons need their mothers to provide love, shelter, food, and other basic necessities.
As these sons get older, they need their mother less and less.
Around the time your son hits his teenage years is when you will first feel a divide in your relationship. It will grow stronger as he ages.
When Sons Pull Away
Sons don’t pull away from their mothers out of spite. They do so because the mother has served her purpose.
The goal of raising children is to give them the tools they need to be successful, independent people.
A teenager will find that he can be largely self-sufficient. An adult no longer needs a mother to cut food into bite-size pieces or hold hands to cross the street.
The child pulling away from you is not something to fear but something to celebrate. It means you have done your job well.
The Changing Role of the Mother
It is natural to feel pain as your son pulls away from you.
You have been an integral part of his life for so long that taking a much smaller role can feel dismissive.
You can continue to be a regular part of his life but you will need to take a backseat role.
Let him live the way he chooses but also provide unconditional love and support. He will turn to you when he needs you, but that might not be as often as you like.
Being Proactive With the Divide
A great way to manage your emotions and your son’s conflicting feelings about pulling away from you is to facilitate these changes yourself.
This is beneficial to both you and your son.
For instance, recently,I told my son that I would no longer be checking up on his grades and homework. As a junior in high school, he needs to learn the responsibility of managing his schoolwork himself.
I said that I would look at interim progress reports and report cards, but I would no longer be checking daily to insure all assignments are handed in and grades are in a good place.
He looked terrified.
While the idea of independence was appealing to him, he also wanted the safety net of knowing his mom would make sure his homework was handed in on time.
After a few days, he realized that he could manage his homework fine on his own. While he no longer needs me for this, he is still successful and he appreciates the freedom.
For me, it’s a win-win.
How to Manage Growing Pains
Your child’s growth cannot and should not be stopped.
Give him all of the skills he needs for his future, and then congratulate yourself for making it through potty training, driver’s ed, talks about his changing body and that awful smell coming out of his bedroom.
Next, give yourself something new to focus on.
Start a new hobby. Rebuild relationships with old friends. Take evening classes. Do yoga. Refocusing your attention to a skill or activity that will benefit you will help you through the changes in your relationship.
Your goal isn’t to replace your son but to give him space while focusing on you.
The mother/son relationship is a beautiful thing. Feeling forgotten is not.
Remind yourself that your son may not stay in touch with you as much as you wish, but he will never forget you.
Do you have any experience with this? Leave your story in the comments!