Male Mind vs Female Mind - What's Your Son Thinking, Anyway?

Male Mind vs Female Mind: What’s Your Son Thinking, Anyway?

Overview: Men and women think differently! Find out how to know if you’re dealing with a heart issue or a male mind vs female mind issue. What’s he thinking, anyway?

Have you ever wondered what in the world your husband or son was thinking when they did something? People often laugh and joke about how complicated women are and how hard it is for men to understand us. Thing is, it’s equally hard for us women to understand the men in our lives. And when we don’t understand our husbands and our sons, we can often think that they have a heart problem when the problem is actually just our lack of understanding and appreciation for the opposite sex.

Male Mind vs Female Mind: What's Your Son Thinking, Anyway?

I have a secret for you. Men aren’t women!

That’s right. Your husband and sons aren’t going to think or act the way that you or I would. The problem isn’t that they don’t love us enough – or that they don’t care. The issue is that the male mind works very differently than does the female mind.

I recently discovered some helpful (and super funny) information about the differences between male minds and female minds. Pastor Mark Gungor goes around the country leading marriage seminars called Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage. In these seminars, Mark has a wonderful way of getting people to laugh as they discover how to better understand and relate to their spouses.

This information can also be applied to our sons and helping us to understand how they think!

How Your Son’s Brain Works

According to Mark, male brains are made up of separate boxes which never touch. When a man discusses a subject, he goes to the box, pulls it out, discusses ONLY what’s in that box, and then puts it away being careful not to touch any other boxes.

The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Boys

Men also have a nothing box, which is their very favorite. Whenever they get a chance, they will go to their nothing box. This is how they deal with stress. This is also their preferred method of relaxation. This is how men can do fairly mindless activities such as fishing, video games, and watching TV for hours!

When you ask a man what he’s thinking about and he says “nothing” it really means he’s thinking about NOTHING.

Implications for our Sons

  • When your son is stressed, leave him alone.
  • Don’t try to make him talk to you. He’ll come to you if and when he’s ever ready to discuss it.

For even more info about how our sons think compartmentally, check out this great post called “Boy Brains, What Moms Need to Know” by my friend, Amy Dingmann at The Hmmmschooling Mom.

How Female Brains Work

Female brains, on the other hand, are made up of a big ball of wire where everything is connected to everything. Our thoughts are driven by emotion which is why we remember everything. When we’re stressed out we want to talk about it. If we don’t talk about it, we feel like we’ll explode.

It is impossible for women to think about nothing. In fact, we are usually thinking about multiple things at once. A mom might think about how she needs to make some tea, which will lead to her thinking about how the tea is getting low so she needs to add it to her grocery list, which will get her thinking about needing to get some more lunch items for her sons, which will make her wonder if they’d like to try eating some new dish that she read about on Pinterest a few days ago, which will lead her to think about another recipe that she tried at a church potluck, which will cause her to think about the pastor’s wife and how she just volunteered to help in the nursery, and on and on and on. And all of these thoughts cross her mind in the span of about 30 seconds.

When you ask a woman what she’s thinking about and she says “nothing” it really means that she’s thinking about too many things to tell you about, but nothing SPECIFIC.


When women are stressed, we need to talk about it. Find someone who will listen to you without trying to come up with a solution. It’s usually best to find a sister or a sympathetic female friend for these times.

Men, don’t tell women to quit thinking about it or talking about it. Either she’ll go crazy or you’ll lose a limb. LOL

Male Mind vs Female Mind - What's Your Son Thinking, Anyway?

→ Related Content: 8 Things Moms Should Know About Their Sons

Men are Single Taskers

Men have amazing powers of focus. They usually focus on one thing very well to the exclusion of all others. This makes it harder for them to multitask. On the plus side, they usually rise to the top of any field because they are able to block out things which would be distracting to women like feeding kids or cleaning the house. This can also be seen as a negative by the women in their lives who would like them to see the clutter around them and help to pick it up.

Implications for our Sons

  • If your son is doing something while you’re talking to him he generally can’t hear you. Get him to stop what he’s doing before you speak to him.
  • Our sons don’t like to stop what they’re doing to listen so they will act like they’re listening by saying “Uh-huh.” Don’t be fooled! They can’t hear you!
  • You may need to gently place your hand on your son’s shoulder to get his attention. Wait for him to stop what he’s doing and look at you so that you know he’s really listening.

One caveat here is that there are always exceptions to every rule. You may have a son whose mind doesn’t work this way. Or, you may have a daughter whose mind does work this way. If this isn’t true for your child, then you will want to study them to find out exactly how his or her mind works. We’re all unique individuals, after all.

Your Path to Feeling Less Stressed Video Course

Mark gives lots of other AMAZING advice in his seminars such as how to motivate your son to do ANYTHING, which I wrote about in a previous post! I highly recommend you check out his marriage seminar on DVD, Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage. I’m sure you’ll love it as much as my husband and I did. By the way, it’s a great thing to watch together during a stay-at-home date night!

Question: Have you noticed that your son thinks differently than you do? Do you have any other tips which have helped you to better communicate with your son? Please leave a comment below.

Male Mind vs Female Mind: What's Your Son Thinking, Anyway?

12 thoughts on “Male Mind vs Female Mind: What’s Your Son Thinking, Anyway?”

    1. Michelle Caskey

      Doesn’t it, though?!?! It’s always a good thing when we can understand and appreciate each other better… rather than wondering what’s wrong them because they aren’t like us! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  1. I do not agree. He is taking actions that we do and translating that into our thought process. The output may be the same, but that is not necessarily what is going on in our minds.

    Saying we are doing/thinking about nothing does not mean that we are literally doing/thinking about nothing. It means that we do not view our thoughts or activities at that moment as significant or important to share. It is only important to us, or we are just having fun.

    More boys are diagnosed with ADD than girls. We do sometimes have a “laser” focus on activities, but many of us feed on multiple input and actions at once. My son can listen to an audiobook, read a book, and also spend some brainpower playing a video game at the same time. I sometimes watch TV while playing games on a handheld system or phone, and I multitask at work.

    1. Michelle Caskey

      Mark talks about this and I should have clarified. Not all men/boys think exactly the same way. We’re all complex and unique individuals. This article generalizes the way that most men think… but we aren’t all the same. If you’re familiar with my site, you’ll know that I try to write things that will help to encourage people and give them some tips that may help them to be able to connect with and enjoy their sons more. One of the points that I make over and over is that you need to be a student of your child… to find out what will actually work for them. Hopefully this post will help some moms to understand their boys – but you’re right. It won’t help everyone. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment!

  2. Hi Michelle! Just finished reading this article, as a Dad I can totally confirm the existence of the ‘nothing box’ equally I have never seen it demonstrated by my wife or daughters (how funny), Noel:o)

    1. Michelle Caskey

      Thanks, Noel. Believe me, there are times when I wish I had a nothing box. Perhaps the reason women struggle so much with worry is that they can’t turn off their thoughts?!? Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! 🙂

  3. Unless husband and son completely do not fit this mold, ha ha! And you like to think about stuff, and not talk until you’re ready…. I guess the exception proves the rule.

    1. Yeah, this is definitely a generalization… and there are always people who don’t fit the mold. Maybe you should have your husband read this post so that he will know how to communicate with you?!?!? 😉 LOL

  4. I will rattle off a list of things to do like, take your laundry upstairs, make your bed, get dressed, clean up your room, we have to mow the lawn today and go to the library…and my boys will say, “mom, one at a time.” And I’m thinking, I was just getting warmed up! Lol. So, I put it on paper instead. Then we’re all happy! I’ll be checking out the DVD you suggested. It’s sounds funny and practical.

    1. So true. Checklists are our friends! They seem to bridge the gap between the female mind and the male mind. That’s probably how honey-do lists came about. LOL Yes, that DVD is super funny. Well worth your time!

  5. Haha, I have heard this analogy before – it’s so incredible isn’t it? As a woman, I find it hard to believe that the boxes never touch – but I’m taking his word for it. Also, I see it first hand. #The Homeschool Nook

    1. Yes. It’s virtually impossible for us women to understand how it’s possible for the male mind to work this way. I’m sure they also wonder how in the world we could possibly attempt to think about so many different things at once. LOL

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