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About Magnificence in the Mundane

Bringing humor to the many challenges of parenting, driving a gigantic SUV full of smelly boys and their friends, letting go of the idea of perfection and tackling middle age all serve as my inspiration. We all have common experiences, I just share my take on the absurdity of every... Read more

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Mother Nagging SonAn article about mothers nagging their children was all over social media recently. This piece caught my eye because well, I mean, I’m an expert over here.

And guess what I found out? There is no research on the effect of mothers nagging boys, only girls. Apparently, girls who are harassed by their mothers turn into rock stars. Teen pregnancies go down and college graduation rates go up.



Go ahead, Google boys + nagging + moms and see what comes up.

I’ll wait.

See, there’s nothing. Well unless you count the bizarre tale of the son who beheaded his mother because she nagged him.

I miss flipping through the Encyclopedia Britannica for information like we used to when I was a kid. No freaky tales from suburbia in there anywhere.

Anyhoo, this leaves boy moms floundering.

And how exactly do you research nagging? There are so many ways to nag without saying a word. There’s the look. You know the raised eye brow, head tilt combo that is threatening enough to put you on the ‘no fly list.’ Or the sigh. The deep, long exhale that signals the end of the parenting rope and utter disappointment in a child. The warning bell that we are nearing Def Con1. And I have all but perfected the rear view stare of death. The glare that says you are saving all your words until the car is empty and then, duck for cover.


This lack of statistics leads me to believe that society regards boys as self-motivated.  If someone  really wants to expose the underbelly of this issue, a few researchers better stop by my house and conduct a study in the kid’s bathroom.

They should bring along some chemists while they’re at it.

What they would find is a definite lack of motivation and a few rockin’ science experiments to boot.  Tween and teen boys are about as motivated as a big, fat slug. Unless it has to do with their phone, in which case they are over-achievers.

So, knowing my audience, I have resorted to nagging via text.  But when you have three kids that each have phones, most text exchanges go something like this.

Me: Clean ur room. It looks like a bob went off 

Me: ugh bomb not bob

Son: What? My room’s clean

Me: Sorry that was for ur brut her

Me: ugh brother damn auto correct!

Son: u need 2 read ur texts b4 u send

Me: Shut up

So, yeah, we’re not getting much done here on the Ponderosa.  Which is a problem for my soon-to-be-out-in-the-world men.

If I don’t persist and push and prod there is no hope for them. Instinctively I know this, even without a fancy study.

But, what’s up with society creating the perception that boys can go it alone?  Do they have some inner reserve that girls don’t have?

Um, no.

Boys and girls may be motivated by different things, but suggesting that only teenage girls benefit from involved parents is ludicrous.  The study did not state this specifically, but without including males in research, it smells of gender bias.

This boy mom is going to keep conducting her own research with my completely uncooperative subjects. Boy moms of the world unite! In the name of science. In the name of sanity. In the name of survival…nag on.

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Maureen Stiles

About Maureen Stiles

Maureen is the author of the blog Magnificence in the Mundane. You can read her monthly column at The Town Courier.


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