In more than a decade of research with thousands of men and boys over the years, one thing that has stood out is the power of a mom’s words to build her son up – or (accidentally) tear him down. Whether your son is five or fifteen, several phrases are a big, big deal. Here are three:
1. “I’m so proud of you.” All males are powerfully moved by hearing these words, but perhaps none more so than the young, testosterone-laden male humanoids who may at times act first, think later, and thus are more used to hearing (as they are stitched up in the Emergency Room) “What were you thinking?” If you make a point of finding and saying those things worth praising whenever they happen, it tells a young man that this is truly who he is — not that buffoon who occasionally gets dinged for doing something dumb.