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An Extract from How to Raise A Man by Megan de Beyer.


You are one of the most important figures, most important energies, in your son’s life. You will continue to have a powerful influence on his life whether you are in his presence or not. Make the decision right now that your influence is going to be one of beauty, grace, integrity, maturity and wisdom, because you have a powerful, wise woman within you. You are his mother!

For mothers of boys, it’s very easy for us to think that we are just a back-up and a passenger who goes along for the ride, that we are only the support or the fan on the sidelines. You are not – you are The Mother. Don’t get me wrong. Wise doesn’t mean you can’t lose it every now and then – that’s life, that’s real. Any boy that goes through life without hearing his mother shout and scream sometimes is going to quiver when his partner has a go at him! Your teen needs a mum who will sometimes throw down the gauntlet and speak up. But instead of leaving it for once a month when your oestrogen is a bit low, try to find within yourself the steady voice you can use to speak up about your own wants and needs, and the values that you believe in.

It’s the same for mums of daughters. Reflect on the power of your own mother, whether you had her for many years or lost her when you were young. Even when our mums are not here, they influence us – sometimes, they influence us because we didn’t like what they did, but they still influence us. The power of your mother over your life – whether it was good or bad – left an indelible mark. Mothers are powerful figures in our lives,
psychologically and emotionally.

So, let’s make a decision right now to come into our mothering and draw on all the shoulders we stand on – all the women who have gone before. Believe me, that energy is there – you just need to tap into it to find those
values, and the way you want to be available in your home. You have learnt all the lessons you need to learn by the time you are in your forties. You’ve probably laid down all the rules that needed to be laid down in the family by now, and now you need to reflect on them and decide which are still important. We need to become a clear example of the type of person we would like our sons to be. In other words: be the change you want to see!

Post-divorce, I felt guilty, full of self-doubt, and a failure as a woman and a mother. I isolated myself, hiding from judgement, and feared I could lose custody of my precious boys. The universal energies must have pitied me, as I literally stumbled across a fierce ‘earth’ mother in the form of a therapist. She looked at me with eyes of compassion, yet with a backbone of iron and a formidable presence, and said, ‘What are you doing? Dust yourself off, pick yourself up, and forget about what others think. You are a mother! You are the mother of those two boys. Have you any idea what that means? Being a mother comes with power. You just need to be open to it and welcome it!’

She then made me say out loud: ‘I am your mother!’ These words opened a cascade of energy. It was just waiting for me to invite myself in. I needed to consciously acknowledge the being within the mother role – the mother energy – which flows to any of us who has the precious grace to be a mum. This Great Mother energy also guides all women who open their hearts and choose to love and nurture themselves and others. It’s fierce as fire. It’s strong as rock. It’s as gentle as a breeze and as wise as the earth. The Great Mother energy knows no bounds and is pure love. When you open yourself to its ancestral force and feel it, nothing can stop you from being what you need to be for your children. We can love and we can parent wisely. ‘I am your mother!’

Your teen needs you to be a ‘Wise and Empowered’ Mum, one who is solidly within her own energy and comfortable with her own strength – a mum who is very clear about what she values, what she wants and what she doesn’t want (based on personality, the home you run, the child you’re dealing with, etc.). As my adult son tells me these days, ‘Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind!’, quoting a line from Brené Brown’s book Dare to Lead (2018).


Megan de Beyer, MA (Psychology), Msc (Holistic Ecology), lives between Cape Town and Sydney. She is an international specialist parent psychologist and the mother of two young men. She is a prolific international speaker at events and conferences, and on television, radio and podcasts. She facilitates the popular course 'Strong Mothers - Strong Sons' that runs at most independent boys' schools in South Africa and Australia, in the USA and the UK.

  • How to Raise a Man - Megan De Beyer

    Parenting expert Megan de Beyer is an international specialist parent psychologist and an expert in raising men, and in this essential book she shares her knowledge.

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