“I love you, too!”

A previous post pointed out the way in which some mothers display “over the top” affection upon separation from their child(ren), even for brief periods of time.  I would add to that description the way in which they also seem to require reciprocation of those declarations from thier children. 

I have witnessed phone conversations between my twelve-year-old stepson and his mother (stepson’s side of the conversation) and his part of the call seems to consist of the following:

 “Good, yea, good.  How are you?  Yea.  Yea.  No.  Well, I don’t know.  Yea.  Yea. Right.  Right.  I love you, too.  No.  I’ll try.  Yes, I’ve looked it over.  Yea.  Yea.  Right.  Right.  Right.  No.  Umm, I’m not sure.  Yea.  Yea.  Right.  No.  I love you, too.  Okay. Okay.  Okay.  Okay then.  Yea.  See you tommorow.  Love you, too.”

This conversation will have taken place when he and his mother have been apart for less than 48 hours.  I take no offense in his telling her that he loves her.  I do take offense that she seems to require it repeatedly and inappropriately given their short separation.  It sounds desperate to me and indicates her deeply held insecurity in having her son away from her for any period of time, even if it is beneficial to my stepson to be with his father and our family.  It seems to imply that only she loves him best and that he ought to return the favor.  It places her emotional needs ahead of his own, which is a tremendous disservice to a growing child.  

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