A son needs many things from his mom that are pretty obvious — unconditional love, time spent together, to be taught various life skills, and the grace to make mistakes. But there are other things they need that we often fail to see. Here are five needs of your precious little boy, and how you can raise him to be a respectful, confident, and humble man.

moms and son on a boat smiling at the camera

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What a Boy Needs From His Mom

Have you ever walked into your sons room and wondered if it was you? If it was you who somehow missed the mark in teaching him how not to live his life like an Orc?

You walk further in, attempting not to swear as you step on the broken LEGO’s and razor sharp rocks. You grimace as you notice the boogers on the wall, candy wrappers carelessly hidden under his pillow, and dirty shirts hung upside down in his closet. How did he even do that?

You dare to look under the bed only to find shoeboxes stacked neatly until you open them and find the trash you had asked him weeks prior to throw away within their contents.

Deeper still you wander into the abyss where you find racing striped underwear, lying face up, piles of musty towels you couldn’t find the other day, and spilled milk that has now become his science experiment.

In your frustration, you wonder where you went wrong, or if he will ever learn.

I am describing to you my 8 yo son’s room on any given day, and I know many of you other mamas have the same experience upon walking into your son’s rooms.


woman smiling

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Hillary Gruener – owner/founder of Word From The Bird Blog

5 Things a Son Needs From His Mother

1. A boy needs his mom to let him go and let him fail.

Why did you have children? Was it to make you happy or fulfill some kind of purpose in your life?

While I believe that our children bring us joy and happiness, this is a mere byproduct of the many reasons one should have a child. It’s important to realize that our child’s sole purpose on this earth is not merely to bring us joy, fulfill our happiness, or even our purpose.

Their purpose is to become their own person and fulfill what God would have them do with their lives. Our children are God’s and not ours.

That being said, when we don’t “let go” at appropriate ages throughout their adolescence, as well as their adult life, we are using our children for our own selfish desires and, in the end, hindering the plans that God has for their lives.

When you hold on too tightly to your adult son who is married and want to dictate or have an opinion in the decisions he makes, you are going against the commandment that God set in place for the health of your son’s life and marriage—to leave you and cleave to his wife. In a recent Spiegel article—German weekly magazine—there was a story written about a teacher who believes that people who have children are only having them for selfish reasons; to satisfy their own selfish desires. In her conclusion—children are better off not being born.

Although her motives in advocating against people fruitfully multiplying are purely economical—which I don’t agree with—she makes a very good point.

People are having children to satisfy their own selfish desires. When we understand that having children is a blessing, not only because it brings us joy but because it’s fulfilling a commandment made by God, we can more clearly understand that letting go of control in our children’s lives is necessary, not only for their well being but for ours.

Why moms need to let go of their boys?

One of the hardest things about being a parent is knowing that you ultimately aren’t in control of your child’s well being, or life. Because of the strong love that we are equipped with to love our children how they need, we are also faced with a struggle alongside that beckons a very real fear that they could be taken away at any moment.

The very thought of my child being taken away or hurt burns a fire inside me so hot that if I let it linger, I might just explode in agony. If you are a mom, you know this feeling.

Many days, I struggle to say, ‘God, yes, you are in control, and that’s okay.’ I know that God could allow—not cause—my son to die or get sick. It’s terrifying. And to say that I succeed in this every day would be a lie.

In my selfishness, I want always and forever for my children to never suffer. But ultimately, that’s not up to me.

This also ties into a less heavy aspect, and that’s letting go of him when it comes to everyday things. A boy needs to experience adventure, and when we continually want to keep him safe, he won’t be able to.

Within reason, it’s important for our sons to fall down, get a scrape, venture out on his own, etc.

This also beckons another aspect that is hard to let go of as a mother, and that’s letting our boy’s fail.

Statistics say that children who are constantly told what to do, in other words, parented by helicopter moms, won’t be able to finish tasks or make responsible decisions.

Why letting your son fail is a good thing

When we allow our kids to fail, we will show them a few things, including…

  • Failure is OKAY—they don’t need to be perfect

  • The beauty of success when they aren’t urged to try again themselves

  • Knowing they are capable of seeing something through
  • Looking to God for help and wisdom That discomfort is sometimes a necessary tool God uses to grow us

If we surrender our children to the fact that we are not in control of everything that happens to them, we will experience a lot of freedom, as well as help them to make choices for themselves, and learn the consequences of those choices.

Looking for a creative way to connect with your kids on a deeper level? Check out this incredible dinner talk card game – OUR MOMENTS. Conversation starters that will resonate with your kids for emotional bonding and a great neutral way for them to open up to you. With questions like “If you were a superhero, who would you be?” and “Do you feel like you could tell me anything?” you will find yourself laughing and connecting as a family in a unique way.

mom apologizing to her son

2. A boy needs his mom to admit when she’s wrong

If there is one thing I have learned from parenting, it’s that I am not perfect. I screw up…probably on a daily basis. But if I want my son to recognize and realize he doesn’t always need to be perfect, then I need to show him that I am most definitely NOT.

I don’t remember at what age I started implementing this into our parenting, but I think it was around when he began to learn how to take responsibility for his own actions.

By modeling an apology and showing him what it means to be sorry, then he can for himself, learn this. Not only does an apology teach them to take responsibility, if we teach them correctly, but they also can, from this, learn that it’s okay to fail.


Struggling to find creative and fun things to do with your kids? Check out this new game/keepsake book that everyone is talking about — The Adventure Challenge Family Edition. Scratch off a new challenge whenever you decide to play and get the most innovative ideas of things to do with your kids. Document your memories in your book and keep it forever. They will LOVE IT. So will you.


Why does he need this from you?

If you can start thinking about your son’s future, think of how the things you teach him will someday benefit his life. In this instance, teaching him humility and acceptance in the fact that he won’t always be perfect, will enable him to have humility in his friendships, employment, marriage, and fatherhood. Why is humility good?

Simply put, if he has humility, many good characteristics will follow suit .

Selflessness, courage, kindness, respect, honesty, and many other qualities all stem from humility.

In 1 Peter, we are reminded…”All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because,

“God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. “

Your son will be able to accept that he isn’t perfect, as well as take responsibility for his actions, when you, as his mother, can admit when you’re wrong.

Humility isn’t hating yourself or feeling guilty for every mistake you make. Guilt should never be a motivation to get your child to do something you want.

Humility is learning that in this life, we will experience more joy when we put others before ourselves. It is freedom from pride or arrogance. It is accepting your circumstances, no-matter-what. It’s admitting that you don’t always have the answers, and that’s okay.

boy playing guitar

3. A boy needs his mom to affirm him in what he wants to do, not what she wants him to do

Whether your son loves sports and is more athletic, or they enjoy art and are creative, it’s very important that we nurture what they love to do, and not try and mold them into what we want them to be.

There is some weird stigma in certain cultures, that says boys shouldn’t be creative minded, or cook, or become a dancer because it’s too feminine.

If you try and control what your son likes or dislikes, it will only push him away. Accept him for who he is, and in everything, point him to the fact that he doesn’t need to live to please others or even you, but rather fulfill what God wants of him.

Encourage your son to work through his feelings and emotions in a healthy and creative way. Check out my latest printable MY LIFE – Journal for Boys – ON SALE NOW!

woman reading old book

4. A boy needs his mom to model her faith, not force it on him

I came up with a quote, and it goes like this.

Prepare your children for the world they WILL grow up in, not for the one YOU want them to grow up in.

Hillary Gruener

A lot of mothers are seeing the effects of our dark world and freaking out. I know, because I do it, too. But what will your son gain from your fear of what’s changing in the world?

Instead of reacting to society and culture heading in a downward spiral with becoming more protective, we need to rise above and take action tactfully.

This is where it’s important that your home becomes the safe place in your child’s life.

I don’t mean safe as in they never experience difficulties or are sheltered from anything and everything. I mean that they’re home ( meaning their parents) are the place they go to when things get rough. A non-judgmental space that welcomes them in, no matter what they’ve done.

If you have a tween or teen right now, you know how difficult this may be. But don’t lose heart.

They will most likely rebel at some point in their life. But the height to which they rebel, can depend entirely on your reaction to it.

Too many in my generation have fallen away from their faith for many reasons, one of them being legalism.

When we make faith about rules and must-do’s, instead of a very conscious choice for themselves, we are robbing them of the very beautiful gift of free will that Jesus himself died for.

The action of living out their faith is an adult event. The decision of salvation is a monumental decision in their life, and whether they do that when they are 5, or 10, they will not be able to comprehend the extent and depth of their faith until they are older.

This is why nurturing their faith at an appropriate age, with appropriate measures, will make all the difference for their future choice to follow Jesus.

Whatever this looks like for you, make sure that fostering their spiritual life is not forceful, but nurturing. One way we can do this is by modeling our faith. Our children watch us with open eyes.

Here are a few ways you can implement spiritual direction for their life, without forcing it.

  • family devotional where it’s an open table to share your heart, struggles, and gratitude
  • praying together – encouraging them to pray, yet not forcing.
  • bedtime prayer and storytime

One thing that we are trying to implement in our bedtime routine for our 8-year-old, is talking about the good and hard things that happened that day, as well as what we are thankful for.

This puts their mind towards positive thinking, and then prayer follows with gratitude towards God for the good, and acceptance for the hard.

mother and son riding bikes together

5. A boy needs his mom to model what a healthy woman looks like

Oh, brother, I have failed at this one miserably on many occasions. My depression has been an up and down battle for me, and unfortunately, my older son was aware of it when it happened.

There are certain things you can’t change or take back in motherhood, but you can always begin to implement the healthy back in, at any point.

Your son might marry someone who is similar to you. It’s just how things work, which is why for you to be healthy, makes it all the more important.

A healthy woman emotionally, physically, spiritually, and mentally. Whatever that means for you, do it. Being a healthy person is not only for your own good, but also your family.

You cannot pour from an empty cup, nor can you model what a healthy woman is to your son, if you aren’t one yourself.

If you don’t know me already, I struggle with severe PMS—depression, anxiety, low energy—and it definitely affects the way I treat my husband and kids. I recently had the opportunity to try something that helped. Check it out here.

Being a mother is a selfless act in and of itself. You will on most days, come last, and that’s okay—it comes with the job. And the sooner you realize that, the better you can experience joy in it and not frustration.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t nurture or take care of yourself, but rather, from you being healthy, you can better serve and protect your family the way they need.

Your son needs you and will need you until the day you die. He doesn’t need you to keep him from everything hard, or coddle his every step, but rather he needs you to be healthy for yourself, and also for him.

In conclusion

A mom and her son is a bond that no one can break. Be very careful with this privilege, as it is indeed a privilege. We have so much power in how our son will see himself, decide who his future bride is, and make his decision to follow Jesus.

Empower him, but don’t coddle him. Protect him, but don’t do everything for him. Point him in the direction he should go, but don’t take him there. That’s God’s job.


Positive parenting tools for every parent 

Screen Time Protection and Teaching Moderation

I’ve recently partnered with Bark, a software to supervise, manage, and protect your child’s device use on the go. Use the code WORDBIRD at checkout to get an additional 1-month free trial after your first initial 7-day trial!

Screen Time Checklist Printable for Kids – FREE if you sign up for our weekly newsletter. Just fill out your info below. 

Book List for Kids and Parents

Check out my recommended books for parenting

Book list to teach kids about racial diversity. 

Journaling for Kids

When a child is old enough to start drawing, coloring, or writing, journaling is an incredible way to help your kids better express themselves in a free and comfortable way. Check out our Kid’s Printable Journals — created specifically to help children better express their feelings, encourage gratitude, and spark the imagination. 

Chores for Kids

Magnetized Chalk Chart for Fridge

Implementing chores and structure in your child’s daily life is a VERY helpful tool to teach them follow through, discipline, and respect. We use this chore chart in our family to help our kids keep track of their own progress, and keep you from having to constantly remind them of their daily tasks. 

If you’re looking for something a bit more simple, this is also a good option. 

Chore Chart Printable – Get it NOW from the convenience of your own printer

If you’re looking for something you can print out immediately and start implementing chores in your home today, check out this CHORE CHART PRINTABLE. With a Mandalorian theme, it makes for a lighthearted and fun way to encourage kids to do their daily and weekly “missions.”

Emotional Connectivity with Your Kids

Connecting on a deeper level emotionally with your child is CRUCIAL, and sometimes more difficult. We play THIS GAME often in our family to create a safe space for our kids to feel free to share their questions and emotions, all without judgment. 

We even offer an “Exemption Time” for the duration of this game, where anything he tells us is off the table for consequences. 

Struggling to find creative and fun things to do with your kids? Check out this new game/keepsake book that everyone is talking about — The Adventure Challenge Family Edition. Scratch off a new challenge whenever you decide to play and get the most innovative ideas of things to do with your kids. Document your memories in your book and keep it forever. They will LOVE IT. So will you.

Check out these other posts on emotional connectivity on the blog!

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Author

Hillary Gruener is a wife, mother, writer, and musician. If she's not at her desk writing content on family life, she's adventuring the world with her husband and two boys.

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