– According to parenting expert and former teacher Noël Janis-Norton, author of the new book “Calmer, Easier, Happier Boys”, mothers too possessive of their boys and who are reluctant to let men be strong father figures have a detrimental effect on their children’s upbringing. As role-models, fathers have a more effective influence than mothers in shaping boys into well-balanced young men.

– “Mothers need to allow dads to be dads and to have their own relationship with their children – and in particular with their boys – without trying to micromanage,” says Janis-Norton. “A boy will lose respect for the mother who appears to bossing the father around – or criticizing him.” Among other methods, the specialist encourages boys’ play-fighting, especially with their father. She also recommends to use a strategy called “Descriptive Praise”, whereby it’s preferable to emphasize what the boys are doing right instead of what they are doing wrong.