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He’s Not Your Little Man or Man of The House

He’s Not Your Little Man or Man of The House

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the 10 dangers of calling and giving your son the title and role of man of the house or little man.

First a quick update:

The Breakup Test
Are you heartbroken, angry, lost, lonely, confused, depressed, hung up, or pining over your ex? Do you know how your ex is truly affecting you and do you want to benefit from personalize advice, action steps and revelations? Take my free breakup test and get your own personalized report. 

5 Reasons You’re Not Over Your Ex!
Are you over your ex or are you still craving your ex? What do you feel or believe that pushes you to want to be with or hang onto your ex? Watch the video and learn 5 reasons you’re not yet over your ex. 

Now, let’s talk about the 10 dangers of calling and giving your son the title and role of man of the house or little man.

Phil has his talk with Little Vito, urging him to stop his rebel ways and be a man for his mother, but it doesn’t seem to take as the kid continues to act out. Tony pays his own visit, ordering the kid: “Your dad’s gone, OK? You’re the man of the house now. Start f**kin’ acting like it.”
The Sopranos – synopsis excerpt Season 6 Episode 81 “Chasing It” 

“’It’s hard and it’s not fair,’ she had told him. ‘But, Johnny your dad is gone, so you’re the man of the house. That’s just the way it is.’
Johnny had kept his head under the covers to muffle the sound of his crying. ‘Your mom and Mojo are going to need your support. That’s your job now. And, well, today’s the day that job starts.’
His aunt gently put her hand on his leg. ‘You can do it, Johnny I know you can. Now climb into your suit and get yourself downstairs.’
So he put on the stiff new clothes and pretended he was OK.”
Swan Boy by Nikki Sheehan P. 167 

It’s not new and it is practiced by men and women: when a father is gone, the people around the family instantly and without any thought of the real meaning, tell the remaining son, usually the oldest if there is more than one, that he is now responsible for taking care of the mother and family; he is now the man of the house.

On the surface it seems logical and plausible that the only male in the house must now take up the role of the other male who is now gone. And yet, what everyone seems to fail to realize is that this boy is not a man. And granting him the title of a man does not make him a man. Granting him the title of little man does still not make him a man in a small body.

Here are the 10 reasons why this little boy is not a man and cannot be a man and should never be referred to as the man of the house or even my little man:

1. This little boy does not have the mental capacity or the psychological development or maturity to play the role of adult, consultant, advisor or emotional support to his mother. He cannot replace the husband and cannot take physical or emotional care of the adult woman – his mother.

2. He is in pain and struggling to deal with the loss of his father and/or the separation/divorce (separation anxiety) and therefore needs help, support and guidance. (Children will also subconsciously blame themselves for the separation/divorce believing that it is their fault and that the parent betrayed them.)

3. Whether he is in his puberty or adolescence, he is still struggling to come to terms with the physical changes that are now occurring in his body as well as adjusting and building relationships with peers.

4. He’s struggling to find himself and to establish his own identity and very soon his own independence.

5. This boy lacks the experience, knowledge and wisdom to be able to make the decisions that should be made by adults with appropriate life experience.

6. Granting him the title and the responsibilities of an adult or the male companion to his mother create anxiety, stress, and pressure for him. He does not know how to perform this role; he does not know how to placate and ease his mother’s pain, suffering or loneliness.

7. Granting him this role & title creates unhealthy attachments to the mother.

8. A child’s role is to receive; to receive everything’s that is necessary for his growth and development. A parent’s role is to give the child everything that he or she needs to realize his or her full potential. The roles cannot be reversed because the child cannot fulfill the reversed role.

9. When the little boy is expected to be a man, and expected to comfort his mother and to take care of her and be responsible for her and be responsible for her emotional well-being as well as physical well-being, then the identities of the mother and the little boy become enmeshed. In other words, he does not know where his identity ends and where his mother’s identity begins.

10. That little boy eventually grows up with extreme anxiety and struggles to have a relationship with another woman because he subconsciously is still trying to be the man of the house and to take care of his mother. He struggles to relinquish that role. He is still tied to his mother with a psychological umbilical cord that is extremely hard for him to cut, even though he is not consciously aware of that umbilical cord or the control that she has over him.

The advice I give to mothers in this situation is to remind her little boy that:

  • He is not a man but he is a little boy
  • You are the adult and you will take care of yourself and that you will take care of him
  • He is not responsible for you, nor for your happiness or emotional well-being
  • His role is to be a child
  • It is not his fault for the reasons that the father is no longer in the relationship or marriage and that it is not his job to make his mother happy
  • It is his job to behave properly, be respectful and fulfill whatever minor duties and household responsibilities/chores are given to him.

Finally, do you remember when you were a little child going through puberty or adolescence? What did you know about life? What life experience did you possess? Could you handle the emotions of your parents? Can you easily handle your own emotions now or even the emotions of your ex? How much more difficult is it then for a little child when you expect him to be an adult or companion to you, or when you expect him to meet your adult emotional needs?

If you need personal help and guidance to overcome a breakup or divorce or need guidance about how to help your child be a child, and accept that his parents have separated or divorced – book a one-on-one session with me.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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