More than a century ago, Sigmund Freud put into words something that has since become one of the most deeply ingrained tenets of parenting boys. “[A boy's] relationship [with] the mother,” he wrote, “is the first and most intense. Therefore, it must be destroyed.” Was Freud right? Does it really make a boy “soft” if he is close to his mother? Loving moms must find the balance between nurturing their sons and encouraging independence and confidence.

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