Question for men about their mothers


Hi guys,

I am asking mainly out of curiositiy, but I was wondering if some of you guys would feel comfortable sharing

1-) If you love and respect your mom and have a close relationship, what she did right

2-) If you and your mom barely talk, what she did wrong

As a women, I totally want to live in a society where we are all equal. However, when I see the behaviour of some women, I want to bang my head against the wall. How can women demand respect when we have some of those idiots on our team.

I also think that since mom’s usually are the primary care taker of young boys, mother’s have lots of power to raise boys to be men who respect women.

I have seen some things that women do that I think could make a boy very akward. I go to the gym and I have seen a mom bring her 5 year old boy into the women’s change room where women are walking around naked. I think that would embarras a little boy. I have seen women take their son’s out to coffee with the girls and talk about their dates and details I would not be comfortable saying out loud in a public place.

I have also seen the flip side where adult men are TOTALLY controled by their mother’s guilt trips. I doubt that is a healthy respect for women.

I have also heard of adult men who mock their mother for doing house work in their underwear when the child was old enough to remember.

All that to say, guys, please tell me exaclty what you think mom’s should do to earn a son’s healthy respect and what to avoid. And how adult women should behave around little boys (eg not insist on hugging and kissing them etc)

For the record, I have no kids this is purely a curiosity question



My own mother passed away many years ago, so I can't really contribute too much to this thread as far as examples from her, but I would say that if the behavior that you have described bothers you, you've probably got a pretty good idea of what a woman should not expose her children to. Good for you, because you obviously know not everyone has that sense (just as many men surely don't have much of an idea what is appropriate for children, either).

For myself, I guess I am rather "old school": Parents are to model the sort of behavior they would like their children to engage in, and the sort of the values that they would like their children to absorb. If you want your child to grow up to be crude, thoughtless, shameless, etc. (or resent/be ashamed by you for being that way), then feel free to expose them to any old thing that you want to do or say. But that's a way to produce psychopaths, or at least neurotic people. Nobody's ever going to get it 100% right (parents are also humans, no matter what their teenagers might think), but if you try to instill in your children the kinds of values and morals you think are healthy, then when they are confronted by things that conflict with those values and morals (which they will be, almost immediately and practically incessantly), they will at least be able to weigh whatever other value system they are confronted by against what they were raised with. If they reject your value system, you can at least say you honestly tried. And, above all things, love them and keep your love for them and your role in shaping them as people at the front of your mind when you make decisions about what to expose them to and how to behave around them and toward them.



1)I love and respect my mother, but only to a point, I wish our relationship was better, always have, will point out what she did right. She encouraged me with my art and music, even tossed me a couple of books to read. It’s not the what she did element though, I guess it’s a chemistry element that is in the lead on the reason why.

2)Yes, I fit into both answers here. I barely talk to her these days, has been that way for most of my life. The many reasons why, detailed out onto the internet in it’s raw form, are not appropriate, but I guess the bottom line being, it doesn’t seem like I’m much of a priority to her, in her world, and we differ greatly along our spiritual beliefs as well. When we visit each other, there are zero harsh words and it’s all very nice, but when I leave, it seems all of that no longer existed for some reason, it has me perplexed.

I do think though, in my case, it’s because I have to be the one to re-establish the family structure dynamic, with the help of God of course, and lead the rest of them to realize, family is a higher priority then mammon…bottom line, with a fully functioning, as God intended it, family structure, nothing but good things come out of it for all, and I mean for all… Anyway, enough with the rant, the nutshell in my case, both parents were very distant, emotionally, so now, have salvaged what I can out of it, making the best of what I have, and moving forward, in my very clear “Catholic” way…

3)The golden rule to doing it right, spend time with them, one on one, quality time, group time as well within the family, just make them a priority as an individual, if you do, and do always, every day, you will be considered an awesome parent by your children.


I have a good relationship with my mother on many levels even though it could also be said that we barely talk, although not in a sense that we won't talk, basically, it somehow ends up like that.

As for the other issue you mention, I believe it shouldn't be done to boys. Or girls, for that matter. Every young person's sexuality should be respected. Thus, telling kids to run around naked when they don't want to is violative in my opinion (though it's hardly just a subjective opinion), as is telling them to go in with naked members of the opposite sex if they don't want to. Then, I think behaviours that have the potential to go wrong should be avoided (e.g. just because they're young doesn't mean they don't have private matters or private areas of the body). As for the rest, well, treating them at their level and a bit beyond (both in demands and in example) allows them to grow up and be normal people.


I don’t mean to detract from your interesting question but as a woman I can and will demand respect because I am solely responsible for me - the behaviour of idiots is neither my fault nor responsibility and therefore has no relevance to whether I am worthy of respect or not.

Same question for men - they have the odd idiot on the team too. Does that mean none of us are entitled to respect?

However … the point you are really making is well and truly valid!


I have a very good relationship with my mother (and father for that matter). I talk to them both regularly (1-2 times a week) although I only really see them a handful of times a year.

What I will list here as good things my mom did isn’t even the tip of the iceberg, but here it goes:

  1. Unconditional love/support
  2. Gave me opportunities
  3. Lead by good examples/values
  4. Didn’t spoil me
  5. Fair with discipline
  6. Gave me more and more freedom as I got older (since I showed I deserved it)
  7. Taught me good life skills (cooking, etc)
  8. Importance of good communication
  9. Respect towards women (but I think I learned more of this from my father through watching how he always acted respectfully)

I agree, but I think the actions of the father have more of an impact here than anything else.

I find the three examples of negative behavior that you listed to be things I knew people were exposed to at some point in their childhood. Granted it would definitely be awkward and inappropriate, I am not sure of the lasting affects it would have (if any).

The same applies to phone conversations that are not for the ears of little kids. Or movies. Or magazines. I remember going to a friend’s house as a little kid and seeing a pile of Cosmo magazines on the coffee table near the tv where we were going to be playing video games.

Definitely avoid inappropriate clothing I recall in high school or middle school many of the boys would always talk about 2-3 of the mothers who basically wore extremely revealing outfits to sports games or to pick their kids up from school. That had to be pretty awful for their kids…it will only cause unnecessary stress and embarassment.


Is there a something in between option? I love my mother and she loves me, and I truly commend her for not getting overly involved in my life when I became an adult. I had freedom to make my own decisions and raise my kids as I see fit without her interference. That’s tough for a person with her personality (I would know, as I have a lot of the same qualities) and I think it’s great.

And I think she did the best she could under the circumstances when I was a kid. There were some rough patches when she struggled with depression, but I can’t blame her for that. It doesn’t take away from some of the damage done, but it was not intentional. And she was a model for women in inter-religious marriages. I say was because my dad converted a few years ago! Huzzah!

At the same time, as I’ve gotten older my opinion of how she is today has soured some. I think it’s great that she’s at Mass almost daily and is using the resources they’ve earned to help pro-life causes. I wish I could do as much, and some day if I become as wealthy as my parents, I will. But some of the other things that have changed over the years has made me lose some respect for her. She’s excessively scrupulous and over the top on innocuous stuff like Harry Potter. She’s certain that all of that stuff is basically the devil’s work… and that’s an opinion she’s only acquired in the last 5 years or so. That sort of stuff was just neutral to her when I was still at home. And she’s trying to force my brother to go to a specific Catholic college when he has no desire to do so because she fears that he’ll fall prey to sin; meanwhile the three older than he were all allowed to go to whatever school we chose.

So basically, I still love and respect her and she’s done little wrong to me, but her choosing to get caught up in over scrupulosity and eschew her previous love of intellectual matters has made me sad.


Thanks for all your answers


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