Alain Braconnier

Mother and Son Publication date : February 22, 2007

“Today’s mothers,” writes Alain Braconnier, “often ask me the same, seemingly banal, question: ‘What is the appropriate distance that I should put between my son and myself so that when he grows up he will be a happy man, at peace with himself and at ease in his relations with women?’” How should a mother bring up her son to enable him to face the challenges of the contemporary world? Should she be loving, warm and strong or, on the contrary, should she remain aloof, so as to avoid creating overly strong ties? Drawing on his lengthy experience as a psychotherapist, Alain Braconnier argues against the received wisdom of the past thirty years and shows that mothers very rarely stifle their sons by showing them the love they feel for them. He shows mothers what to do to stop feeling guilty and he helps them understand boys’ emotions, desires and behaviour. Braconnier maintains that by showing their sons that they love them, mothers do not encourage the development of an overbearing Oedipus complex; instead, they help their sons to grow and succeed in their professional and love lives. Strong, loving mothers raise strong, loving sons who are mindful of others’ needs. This book will help mothers deal with everyday situations when their sons — as representatives of the opposite sex — display a psychology that is in diametrically opposed to their own. Alain Braconnier, a physician and psychoanalyst, is the director of the Centre Philippe Paumelle, in Paris. His previous works include Tout est dans la tête: Emotion, stress, action (with Eric Albert, 1992), Le sexe des émotions (1996), L’Adolescence aux mille visages (with Daniel Marcelli, 1998), Le Guide de l’adolescent (1999) and Petit ou grand anxieux? (2002).