Between Mothers and Sons: The Making of Vital and Loving Men

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Dutton, 1994 - Family & Relationships - 275 pages
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Raising a son can pose unique challenges for a mother. There is frequently a sense of unity and familiarity between mother and daughter due to shared sexual identity. But a son's physical, emotional, and psychological development differs vastly from that of a daughter's, and even though the mother-son bond is the foundation of all female-male relationships, there have been surprisingly few books available to equip mothers to understand their sons fully. Between Mothers and Sons will break the long silence surrounding mother-son relationships to help mothers successfully negotiate this complex and important tie.
This groundbreaking book from acclaimed psychologist Dr. Evelyn Bassoff shows that mothers can - indeed, must - raise sons in a way that acknowledges and validates their maleness to help them become strong, loving men. At the heart of a boy's path to manhood lies his need to separate psychologically from his mother. With great clarity and sensitivity, Dr. Bassoff explains why this difficult separation is necessary, and how mothers can remain nurturing presences in their sons' lives during this transition. She explains the differences between raising sons and daughters, the important role a father (or, in the absence of a father, a strong male surrogate) plays in a son's life, and how mothers can support and celebrate their sons' masculine energy, whether it manifests itself in a love of playing football or playing piano. Dr. Bassoff also illuminates the varied demands of raising sons for married and single mothers, stepmothers, and mothers of gay sons.
Drawing upon the best available research and theory in psychology, as well as myths, legends, her experience raising her own son, and the personal stories of clients and friends, Dr. Bassoff offers an articulate, flexible, humanistic approach to the process of raising sons. She speaks with wisdom, insight, and compassion about the joys and frustrations of their relationships, and provides an invaluable perspective on what mothers can do to insure that their sons become vital, loving men.

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Between mothers and sons: the making of vital and loving men

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Clinical psychologist Bassoff, a Parents' Magazine columnist and author of two books on mother/daughter relations (most recently, Mothers Ourselves: Help and Healing for Adult Daughters, Dutton, 1992 ... Read full review


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About the author (1994)

Evelyn S. Bassoff, Ph.D. is adjunct associate professor of counseling psychology at the University of Colorado.

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