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

Overview

“Remarkable … this extraordinary book helps mothers explore the challenges, frustration, pain and joy that are unique to raising sons.”
Washington Post Book World

A son’s physical, emotional, and psychological development differs vastly from that of a daughter’s — and raising a son can pose unique challenges for a mother. With great clarity and sensitivity, this groundbreaking book from Dr. Evelyn Bassoff, acclaimed psychologist and author of Mothers and Daughters, explains how...

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Overview

“Remarkable … this extraordinary book helps mothers explore the challenges, frustration, pain and joy that are unique to raising sons.”
Washington Post Book World

A son’s physical, emotional, and psychological development differs vastly from that of a daughter’s — and raising a son can pose unique challenges for a mother. With great clarity and sensitivity, this groundbreaking book from Dr. Evelyn Bassoff, acclaimed psychologist and author of Mothers and Daughters, explains how mothers can remain nurturing presences in their sons’ lives throughout their many transitions. She details the important role a father plays in a son’s growth, 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, as well as myths, legends, her experience raising her own son, and the personal stories of clients and friends, Dr. Bassoff offers an invaluable perspective on what mothers can do to insure that their sons become vital, loving men.

This groundbreaking book confronts the many issues facing mothers today, including single mothering, stepmothering, and raising a gay son. With remarkable insight, Dr. Bassoff uses the latest research, personal experience, myth, legend and fiction to provide a thoughtful and compassionate look at one of the most important relationships in women's and men's lives.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Despite the current fashion for raising boys and girls as free as possible from sexual stereotypes, recent research, argues this book, shows that boys and girls are just not the same. In her pioneering new work, Bassoff Mothers and Daughters uses a combination of psychological studies, myths and legends, personal ancecdotes, popular culture and common sense to examine the profound influence of mothers in shaping their sons' identities. It is important, she urges, that a mother aid in her son's inevitable separation from her. She discusses the differences between the sexes, the importance of a positive male role model in a boy's life and how a mother's response to her son's sexuality influences his ability to relate to the opposite sex in adulthood. Also included is advice for single mothers, as well as for mothers of stepsons and gay sons. This book is an important addition to the fields of parenting and psychology. Sept.
Library Journal
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, focuses here on the less studied but equally complex relationships that exist between mothers and sons. Bassoff blends anecdotes and literary examples with the latest theoretical research. She presents a clear and accessible discussion of various mother/son situations, including those involving two-parent families, single mothers, stepmothers, and mothers of gay sons. Throughout, the author encourages mothers to accept and enjoy the differences of gender that they will inevitably encounter and stresses the importance of providing sons with strong male figures. Despite her slight tendency to generalize about what is characteristically "male" or "female," Bassoff has written a book that mothers of boys, young and old, will want to read: for insights, for affirmation, and for joy. Recommended for public library parenting collections.-Linda Cullum, Lake Superior State Univ. Lib., Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452274624
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.35 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Evelyn Bassoff, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice, and author of Mothers and Daughters, Mothering Ourselves, and Between Mothers and Sons (all Plume). She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

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Table of Contents

Between Mothers and Sons Acknowledgments
Introduction: Between Mothers and Sons

Part One: The Pleasures and Challenges of Difference
1. Bulls and Baseball Bats: Male Energy
2. Superman, Bruce Springsteen, and Dad: Male Role Models
3. Growing Pains: Male Separation
4. Love and Sex

Part Two: Family Portraits
5. Between Husbands and Wives: Toward Shared Parenting
6. Single Mothers
7. Single Mothers and Their Significant Others
8. Stepmothers
9. Mothers of Gay Sons

Part Three: Mother Love
10. The Language of Mother Love
11. The Transformation of Mother Love
Afterword: A Letter to Jonathan

Notes
Bibliography
Index

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