To some people, the love between and mother and her son is a special, precious thing. But when you are Norman and Norma Bates, that love is a creepy, terrifying thing. Everyone knows about Norman Bates and his twisted obsession with his mother that lasts beyond the grave. But Bates Motel attempts to go beyond that and show mother and son’s relationship before all of that. What you end up with is a veritable checklist on how to raise a psychopath.
In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, we have pulled some of Norma’s “best” parenting tips. And by “best,” I of course mean the scariest.
Be Careful When Naming Your Child
“Boys take their fathers’s names all the time” is Norma’s response when questioned about mother and son having virtually the same name. Sure, and daughters take their mother’s name. Very rarely does it ever cross gender lines.
Make Sure to Lay on the Guilt
When your son gives you attitude about not calling the police because you are trying to start a new business and don’t want it to be known as the “murder hotel,” be sure to apologize as many times as possible for being raped.
Treat Your Son Like Your Best Friend
When Norma is dressing for her first “date” with Zach Shelby, she asks Norman for his opinion on her outfit. She then changes her mind and takes it off, revealing a lacy bodysuit underneath. Norman is nervous and looks away, something which Norma ridicules him about. “This shouldn’t embarrass you; I’m your mother.” That is exactly why he is embarrassed!
Go on a Date With Your Son
Especially when the “date” is a body dump. After Norma kills Keith, she and Norman dump his body in the ocean. Naturally they do it under the cover of night, and of course they have to take a boat out. And a rowboat makes sense because there is no motor to draw attention. Then you can look lovingly into each others eyes. And if you taught him well, your son will recite this little portion of Jane Eyre: “Mom, you're everything. Everything to me. And I don't ever want to live in a world without you. You're my family... my whole family, my whole... my whole life, my own self. You always have been. It's like there's a cord between our hearts.”
Treat Your Son Like Your Husband
Norma is briefly imprisoned for Keith Summers’ death. When she is released on bail, Norman is waiting for her with a taxi and a bouquet of flowers. Norma doesn’t want his cheap apologies; she knows he was “getting laid” while she was getting arrested. That sounds like a wife with an accusation and a husband with a weak apology; not a mother talking to her son. Like a husband, don’t be accusatory - it helps no one in the situation.
Have Sexual Fantasies About Your Son
This is the kind of thing that really shouldn’t require an explanation. And yet, here we are. When Norma sees Bradley doing yoga, she can’t help but have visions of Bradley seducing Norman. I am no parent, but I have to imagine that for most parents, that would be the last thing they want to imagine. Less explicit, but just as creepy, when Norma and Norman first move into their house, Norma has saved the room right next to hers so he can be close to her. Norman thought/hoped his room was on the third floor, in the attic - but what teenager can be trusted to be a whole 20 feet away from his mother?