Overview: Being a mom with boys is a blessing. But it can also be difficult. Here are 8 things moms should know about their sons which will help us to raise good men!
Contrary to popular opinion in our modern society, boys and girls are wired differently. God has created men for different purposes than women.
This isn’t to say that men are better than women or vice versa. Just different. And we would be wise to recognize these differences and to celebrate them rather than trying to pretend that they aren’t there or trying to make them go away.
I was fortunate to hear Dr. Gregory Jantz on a recent Focus on the Family episode talking about his book, Raising Boys by Design. Dr. Jantz is a licensed mental health counselor who advocates treating the whole person rather than just their symptoms.
It based his book on the latest brain science research as well as on timeless truths from the Bible.
During the program, Dr. Jantz said that if we want our boys to become all that God has created them to be, it’s important for us to understand how we can best connect with them and nurture their God-given talents and abilities.
Some points Dr. Jantz spoke about were new to me. Some of them corroborated points I’ve been trying to make on my blog for a long time. But all of his advice was extremely useful for understanding our sons and how best to relate to them.
There are always exceptions to every rule, however, these qualities are good starting points when we are trying to better connect with our sons.
Here are 8 Important Things to Understand About Our Sons:
1 – Their brains work differently
Sometimes, it’s difficult for a mom with boys to understand what is going on in our son’s mind, and that is because their brains don’t work the same way that ours does. F
irst, they benefit from lots of movement while they are learning. It’s important for us to try to make their lessons active. Give them plenty of brain breaks. And we should try to keep their lessons on the shorter side rather than droning on and on.
Another important point is that boys generally have fewer pathways connecting the left and right hemispheres of their brain than do girls. This makes them think sequentially and less able to multi-task.
If you find your son getting confused or forgetting what you’ve asked him to do, try giving him one thing to process at a time. Keep it simple.
2 – They need to move
It’s not unusual to see boys tapping their pencils, bouncing their foot, fiddling with objects, pacing the floor, or squirming in their seats. This is because boys use movement to keep themselves awake and alert.
Rather than having your son sit on a chair, consider getting him a ball chair. Allow him to have an object in his hands to mess with while he does his work.
If you want to have a conversation with your son, do something with him at the same time. Go for a walk, play catch, do something besides just sitting there and staring at him.
3 – They need us to believe in them
Males have fragile egos. They need us to remind them they are special and that God has a plan for their lives. They need us to believe in them.
Be sure to speak positive words over your son – not just for what he does but for who he is. When you tuck him into bed at night, remind him that God has designed him a specific way for a purpose. Our sons need our encouragement.
4 – They benefit from mentors
Boys learn so much from their parents, however, they also benefit greatly from non-family members who are willing to speak truth into their lives. This can come from a coach, a pastor, or a trusted friend.
When a boy has a mentor who can see value in how God made him, this can increase his confidence immeasurably.
It’s also extremely beneficial for parents to have someone else backing up what they are trying to tell their sons. You want the coolest people they know to agree with your values. Be intentional about helping your son to form these kinds of relationships.
→ Related Content: How Boys Learn Differently Than Girls
5 – They will talk if we know how to listen
Ever had the experience where you ask your son a question and he says, “I don’t know” or “Fine?” Females are generally much more verbal than are males, although that is not always the case.
If you have a son who isn’t a talker, there are some things you can do to help draw him out.
Try to have a conversation with him while doing something. Rather than making him sit down and look you in the eye, go for a walk with him or throw a ball back and forth while you talk.
Allow your son to have an object in his hands to fiddle with while you speak to him. Or let him draw while he’s listening to you. This type of activity actually helps boys pay better attention to what you’re saying.
And rather than asking them how they feel about something, ask them what they think about it.
6 – They want us to connect with them
It’s easy to mistakenly think that your son doesn’t want to have a relationship with you if you go by how often he initiates a conversation with you or by how much he enjoys spending time alone in his room. But fortunately, there are ways to help keep a close connection with your son.
The best way to do this is to enter your son’s world. Spend some time doing something with him he enjoys doing. If he loves playing video games, play with him. If he loves shooting hoops, go out and play Pig or Horse with him.
Talk about things he enjoys talking about. Ask him questions about his interests. Ask about his friends or about what he’s doing in youth group. Show interest in him!
7 – They need us to respect them
Men want to be heroes and our sons are men in training. They have the same need for respect that our husbands have. God has placed a desire to be great and a need to conquer inside each of our sons.
This desire will cause them to want to compete with those around them to prove their worth. They love to have battles! They like to come out on top.
The positive side of this is that we can use their competitive spirit to help them want to improve and to grow. The downside is that our boys put a lot of pressure on themselves to be better than the next guy. As moms of boys, we need to allow our sons to have constructive outlets where they’re able to satisfy their competitive urges.
This is where team sports can play such a beneficial role in the lives of our boys. Boys who aren’t athletic can benefit from participating in science fairs, music competitions, chess clubs, boy scouts, 4H, and other competitive activities.
8 – They learn best from natural consequences
Boys like to play rough, and as moms, it can be difficult to watch. When my boys are scrapping with each other, I like to break it up to make sure no one gets hurt.
Dr. Jantz says that boys learn by fighting each other. Moms want to intervene but our sons are just playing and having fun.
He warns about trying to keep our boys from experiencing any kind of harm. He says that our boys learn from natural consequences so much more than from lectures. We need to remember that if our son gets a scrape on his knee it isn’t going to kill him, and it will teach him to go about things differently next time.
Boys and girls are very different from each other. And that’s a good thing. God has specifically created us so that our differences will complement each other.
If you’re interested in learning more about your sons, I highly recommend the book Raising Boys by Design by Dr. Gregory Jantz and Michael Gurian.
→ Related Content: Male Mind vs Female Mind: What’s Your Son Thinking, Anyway?
Sometimes it’s hard for moms of boys to understand what’s going on in the minds of our sons. It’s very apparent that they don’t think the same way that we do!
But when we attempt to learn about how their minds work and learn how to best connect with them, we will be much more successful at building strong relationships with our sons and helping them to feel confident and comfortable in themselves.
Has your son done anything that has been confusing to you? Have you learned any tips which have helped you to connect better with your son? Please leave a comment below.
38 thoughts on “8 Things Moms Should Know About Their Sons”
This is such a great list! Having a boy has been such a blessing to me. I’m going to be sharing this. Thank you 🙂
Sons are awesome, aren’t they?!? I’m glad this post spoke to you. And thanks so much for sharing it, Mary! I really appreciate that. 🙂
The way to talk to them part is so true. My son will not answer a question with any detail. However, if I’m working on the computer, pretending to only half pay attention, he will tell me all the details of his life. This is DEFINITELY not the way the girls communicate. I can barely stop them from telling me all the details of their day.
Hey, that’s a great trick. That also seems to be true when you’re doing pretty much anything else and not staring at your son. Thanks for sharing that. It’s definitely something to keep in mind when we’re talking to our boys. 🙂
I can’t tell you how much I love this post, particularly points 4, 5, 6 and 7. My boy is now 21 years old and remembering these key points has helped our relationship grow so much these last couple of years. Some of our best conversations take place when either one of us is driving.
Thanks so much, Tatiana! That’s so good to know. Thanks so much for stopping by! 🙂
One tip that has worked well with both of my boys, 18 and 7, is to take everything they say seriously which earns their trust when they are little. Another thing I began doing when my oldest was about ten or eleven, was I told him that he was a young man in training and that his teenage years were preparation for adulthood. Which means that only appropriate adult behaviour would be allowed in our house – no sulking, back-talking, rebellious attitudes, etc. If we had a disagreement we would work it out. I as an adult can’t go to work and roll my eyes at my boss, lol. I think a lot of people expect the teen years to be rebellious but it doesn’t have to be that way. 🙂 My oldest and I are very close and it’s going to be very hard when he leaves the nest. He is a very mature, respectful young man.
Thank you so much for this post and your blog! I am so learning so many new things about our 5 and 6 yr old boys every day, especially about their need their need to be be active constantanly
Such helpful reminders! Thanks from a mom of 5 boys:)
I totally agree!
Truth – all of this! Boys definitely need to move
Helpful article! I may be getting an exercise ball for school time! 😉
Seems pretty accurate to this mom of two boys. Now I just need to keep that information in the forefront of my mind and do better interacting and talking with them especially!!
Yes, same here, Chabree. It’s easy to forget and start expecting them to think and respond the same way that we do.
My boys are 11, 9, 8, 4, and I have one due in 2 weeks. I am still learning how to relate to them. Thank you for this post. I will definitely be looking into Dr. Jantz’s book!
You’re welcome, Rebecca! Glad I could help. And congratulations! I hope all goes well with your new little one. 🙂
Listen, listen and look him in the eyes. Take his opinions seriously.
Yes, Pam. Excellent advice!!!
I am a mom of 3 boys (7-3-1) and one outnumbered daughter (4). I was raised in a nearly all female family with no brothers or boy cousins and often find myself asking my husband, “Is that normal?” when it comes to my boys. I would love to read this book.
I hope you’re one of the winners! 🙂
Simply telling him I love him, that nothing he could ever do will ever change that. Period.
I love it. Excellent suggestion!
I’m learning everyday how different boys and girls are in energetic and personalities. Having been raised in a generation of girls, I had no idea that raising boys would totally different until I had three boys of my own (6,2 and 1). So each day is a new learning experience.
So true, Missy!!! Enjoy those sons of yours. 🙂
This list is a great reminder of how boys are unique. I try to remember that my boys are “little men” and can only process one thing at a time, concentrate on one thing at a time, etc.
Yes, exactly, Becky. It’s way less stressful for everyone if we remember this point!
Love this insight. Now I can take comfort in knowing my son is most likely listening even though he’s fiddling with things when we talk.
Yes, Audrey. He’s probably able to listen more carefully because he’s fiddling with something. 🙂
Great article! I learned a little and was reminded, too. These precious boys are so worth it!
They certainly are, Tracey! 🙂
Doing something physical while we talk. Too intense if I make him look at me and talk to me. Taking a walk or sorting something or playing legos. Thanks.
Yes, that makes a huge difference, doesn’t it?!?!?! 🙂
How funny, just about everything you wrote about boys applies equally to my daughter. It’s wonderful how each person is an individual and no I e set of rules applies to everyone, isn’t it?
Yes, that’s so true! Obviously, these are just generalizations and all people are unique. But when we’re confused about our sons, it’s nice to have a starting point so that we can begin to understand them better – or at least try to. 😉
Love this so much and couldn’t agree more. I am a mom of 5 boys, a blogger over at upliftingmayhem.com and homeschool as well. I have found through trial and error that my boys learn sooo much better and retain more info when they are doing something! Juggling a soccer ball, building, eating etc. I love this and will share it! Thank you
Thanks so much, Marcy! I appreciate that and I will check out your blog as well. With 5 boys, I’m sure you’ll have all sorts of information that I’ll find interesting. 🙂
I have 1 boy (about to turn 11) and 2 girls (6&2) and they are definitely so different. I’m still learning my son. We are close because I listen to everything he says because I know that if I show interest now the older he gets our communication will grow for those hard talks. We have come a long way because for the longest I couldn’t get him to talk but alot of 1 on 1 time has helped. Great blog! I definitely will revert back from time to time.
My boy is still one year old. I want to be ready with the knowledge that can help me raise him well.
Thanks for this blog. I’m bookmarking this now.
You are awesome!