A son needs many things from his mom that are pretty obvious — unconditional love, time spent together, being 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.
What a Boy Needs From His Mom
Have you ever walked into your son’s 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 LEGOs 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.
5 Things a Boy Needs From His Mom
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 and adult life, we are using our children for our selfish desires and, in the end, hindering God’s plans for their lives.
When you hold on too tightly to your married adult son 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 only have them for selfish reasons; to satisfy their 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 disagree with—she makes a very good point.
People have 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 do 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 that beckons a very real fear that they could be taken away at any moment.
The thought of my child being taken away or hurt burns a fire inside me so hot that if I let it linger, I might 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 desire for my children to never suffer. But ultimately, that’s not up to me.
This also ties into a less heavy aspect, which is letting go of him in 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 their own, etc.
This also beckons another aspect that is hard to let go of as a mother, and that’s letting our boys 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, help them 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.
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 learned how to take responsibility for his 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.
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 of 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.
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, 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!
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 by becoming more protective, we need to rise above and take action tactfully.
This is where it’s important that your home becomes a 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 their home (meaning their parent’s) is the place they go to when things get rough. It is 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 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 ourselves, 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 monumental 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.
Follow me on Instagram for daily parenting inspiration!
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.
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; unfortunately, my older son was aware of it.
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 for 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 more 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.
A mother and son bond is a strong and influential one for your child’s life. 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
Bark Premium (Parental Control App – use this link or code WFTBBLOG to try it for an EXTRA one-month FREE) – Read more about Bark Premium in my review here; perfect if your child already has a phone, but you need a parental control app to do the heavy lifting of content monitoring.
The Bark Phone – Perfect for parents looking to find their children an affordable phone that protects them from all angles – internet, unsafe apps, messaging, cyberbullying, emails, etc. Starting at $49/mo, all plans include a phone, Bark Premium, and wireless service, with no contract commitment. For younger kids, you, as the parent, can enable the phone for messaging and calls ONLY. And as they mature, you can allow more freedoms/apps (any app you wish). This phone grows WITH your child and eliminates the need to purchase multiple phones at various times in their maturity.
Computer use – When it comes to their computers, you can use Covenant Eyes.
TV’s, gaming consoles, and at-home protection – Bark Home (manage screen time and filter websites on all of the internet-connected devices in your house — including gaming consoles, TVs, and more. VidAngel (Skip or mute what you don’t want to see or hear on popular streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu.)
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.
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. 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 beneficial 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 progress and keep you from constantly reminding them of their daily tasks.
If you’re looking for something simpler, 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 share their questions and emotions 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.
Check out these other posts on emotional connectivity on the blog!
Don’t forget to follow us on social media!