Slowing Maturity in Boys

Annelise Lords
MushroomsImage by Annelise Lords

"Boys grow only on Sundays, while girls grow every day," were words repeated a lot where I grew up.

Science says:

Girls, she explained, mature faster than boys, and girls' brains are as much as two years ahead during puberty. In fact, neuro-imaging shows that, early on, the typical teen girl has a stronger connection between the areas of the brain that control impulse -- the amygdala -- and judgment -- the prefrontal cortex. Oct 5, 2006

According to:

Scientists at Newcastle University in the U.K. have discovered that girls tend to optimize brain connections earlier than boys. The researchers conclude that this may explain why females generally mature faster in certain cognitive and emotional areas than males during childhood and adolescence.

I grew up with one brother who didn't have to do anything for himself. His four older sisters washed his clothes, cooked his food, made the bed, and did everything else for him. When I met my husband, he was twenty-four years old and lived alone. I was shocked to learn that he washed, cooked, shopped, and cleaned for himself. In my culture, the thinking is that men like him only need women for one thing.

I knew women who were turned off by men who could help themselves.

Which forced me to realize that some women are attracted to men who need them, instead of the ones who love them.

I find this amazing. To me, a male who can do everything for himself is a great catch. That is good quality and is an incentive in their relationship. It tells me he is responsible, intelligent, and already made. I don't have to be his mother.

So, men who could do all of that were ridiculed and mocked. Ninety-five percent of the men and boys I know are inept in that area.

I found out why my husband was so equipped and able. He had a delinquent mother and a father who did the minimum. So, he must learn to rely upon himself at an early age. He raised himself. No one was there to make sure he ate three meals per day, or that he went to school, or if he went to bed on time. No one was there to wipe away his tears if he was in pain. To hug him if he was sad or protect him from life and our cruel world. No parents were there to teach him values, ethics, or morals. He must set boundaries for himself. Understand how to live and survive. Life was his parents and teacher. Without females doing everything for him, he matures early and becomes independent and reliable. And boy is he. The only thing he couldn't do for his daughters was to comb their hair.

I did everything for my twin sons for the first sixteen years of their life.

When they were eight years old, I stopped making their beds, but I cooked, cleaned, and washed their clothes. I was a nurse, doctor, teacher, maid, cook, lawyer, psychologist, psychiatrist, judge, jury, executioner, friend, mother, etc.

I wasn't aware that my actions were aiding and abetting to stifle their ability to grow and learn vital life and survival lessons. They enjoyed my services and expected it to continue into adulthood.

It stopped when they reached eighteen years old and must return to their country of birth.

They couldn't survive in the world on their own. Many mistakes were made, forcing them to pick up two bad habits—alcohol and weed as a survival mechanism.

As asthmatics, marijuana helped ease some of the symptoms of their asthma attacks, which were often brought on because they didn't know how to take care of themselves and their illness.

Many attacks later, my absence, pain, and frustration demand that they take better care of themselves. They started listening to their bodies, adopting a healthy lifestyle, exercising, and doing yoga daily. They learned to cook healthy food because their limited finance refused to accommodate regular take-out, which allowed them to save money.

They started to think economically and learn how to stretch a dollar until the dead hero begs for mercy.

Because of limited resources and less time, they discover the value of planning. Planning saves time and money.

They called me often asking me how to cook certain foods I used to make for them. They also gain new experience and knowledge about what’s the best fruits and vegetables to buy. I bought them a bread machine and they learn how to make many different kinds of bread.

Laundry became a man's job. They catch on how not to mix specific colors and the best detergent to use. They uncovered many life lessons my presence would deny them.

When I visit them, my maternal instincts take control, and they step back, allowing me to be their mother.

They are still learning new things daily, and I am learning from them.

I became their advisor for various things, e.g., finance, food, household planning and running, health issues, life issues, etc.

I still wear my many hats, but only for advice.

Me not being in their life forced them to grow up, to be mature and responsible. Without the presence of a mother, they learned to rely upon themselves. Meanwhile, if I were still around them, these vital lessons would have to wait. One day, they will make a female happy with what life has taught them.

Mothers, sisters, grandmothers, Godmothers, Aunt's, wives, girlfriends, side-chicks, and females are helping these men not to grow up and learn important lessons necessary for their survival and could save lives.

Let your sons grow up, be a guide, not an enabler.

Thank you for reading this piece. I hoped you enjoyed it.

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I don't limit myself, because I learn from the actions, choices, decisions, and life of everyone I know. I study and learn from all of my life's circumstances and situations, and also yours. My power of words is about life, awareness, the value, and the simplicity of commonsense, especially when it's not used. Life lessons are in everything we do. I will show them to you.

Poughkeepsie, NY

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