Yesterday I was interviewed on the Ted Robbins show on BBC Radio Lancashire, about my research on boys’ relationships with their mothers. At the time of writing, you can still listen to the programme at the station’s website.
The programme’s focus on the issue was prompted by new research, reported in the press this week, which purports to show that boys who have a close relationship with their mothers make better husbands.
In my contribution, I tried to make clear my own dislike of the pejorative term ‘mummy’s boys’ and to widen the discussion beyond the familiar stereotype of the suffocating mother and emotionally dependent son. The newly-published research provided a helpful pretext for talking about my own interest in the possible connection between maternal relationships and attitudes to parenting.
I hope I managed to get across some useful points about the often-overlooked importance of mothers for boys’ emotional development, and to provide a balance to some of the emphasis on fathers’ role in boys’ lives and pathologising of the contribution of mothers, especially lone mothers.
I even succeeded in squeezing in a passing reference to the recent outbreak of social order in London and elsewhere, and to challenge the emerging consensus that it’s all down to absent fathers, single mothers, and a lack of strong male role models.