Time magazine has a fascinating story about the phenomenon of mama’s boys in Italy. They call them mammone and they are hypercoddled boys whose mothers do everything for them well passed their childhood.
“… A disproportionate number of Italian men enter their 30s — and in some cases their 40s — still completely reliant on their mothers to do their cleaning, cook their meals, iron their clothes and keep a roof over their heads. According to a survey published last year in Psychology Today, a full 37% of men from the ages of 30 to 34 still live with their mothers in Italy.”
This story focuses on one extreme case where the mother and grandparents are being accused of child abuse because authorities say their boy was sheltered too much.
Here’s the gist of the case according to Time:
“The case centers on the overprotective mother and grandparents of a 12-year-old boy known only as Luca in the northern city of Ferrara. Prosecutors say the three built a wall of protection so high around the boy, it stunted his development. The boy’s mother and grandfather have already been convicted of child abuse and are appealing the verdict. The grandmother appeared before a criminal tribunal earlier this month to face a similar charge. All three defendants have denied any wrongdoing, and the child has remained in the mother’s custody while the case is being adjudicated.”
“According to the evidence presented by prosecutors, Luca was not allowed to play with other children, go to church, participate in sports or leave the house before or after school. The boy’s teachers said he was sent to school with his snacks already cut into bite-size portions for him. Investigators say the teachers noticed that he was both physically and psychologically stunted from such around-the-clock doting. ‘He didn’t know how to run. He had the motor skills of a 3-year-old child,’ Andrew Marzola, the lawyer representing the boy, told the Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera.”
So what do you think? Do you have a mammone living in your home? Can you coddle too much? Why would it be that boys are coddled more than girls? How do you know when it’s too much? When should boys move out of the house? Is 30 too late? Is creating a mama’s boy a chargeable offense? Is it child abuse?