The ability to look away

Saturday March 20 2021

Min Atek

By Min Atek

‘Mommy, may I please borrow your phone for an alarm clock?” I looked at the child and my eyes said it all. He knew I was deeply upset with him so he looked down and walked away quietly.

Early the next morning, while he was still sleeping, I wondered whether or not I should wake him up. I let wisdom and common sense rule over my emotions and I let him sleep on. Not too long afterwards, he woke up, quickly took a bath and preparing himself for his day.

Recently, I was reading something that hit at me hard. The writer said if a mother cannot tame and groom her son, nothing in the world will do that. He will grow up to be deeply challenged regardless of how talented or skilled he might be.

What an incredible responsibility the mother has over her son. There is something special between the bond of every mother and their son or sons. The boys hold and regard their mother in very high esteem and it is upon the mother to ably use this goodwill in nurturing, chastising, grooming and raising these boys into responsible gentlemen.

Every boy looks up to his mother and that sets the mother apart and allows her to use this influence for the greater good and well-being of her son.

We are tasked to speak into these boys lives. Be firm and unwavering in setting them upon a course of life that nudges them into responsibility, accountability and self-drive.


The challenge, however, is that because the mother and son carry a special bond, the mother can be tempted to be the all smothering parent. There is a temptation to do everything for the son. To be too present, never allowing the young man to develop his own muscles, his own creativity and independence.

Weeks ago, I confiscated my son’s shoes because he doesn’t keep them tidy. I have taken away some of his most favourite clothes and there are times he has missed his favourite activities because he did not wake up early to prepare.

It is natural for the mother to want to reach out and help their sons all the time. Yet we are raising men who must navigate and innovate for the world.

We are not meant to raise dependants. A real man needs to think independently. He finds solutions, exudes a sense of purpose, vision and clarity because men are designed to be leaders. Dear mother, what kind of son are you raising?