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4 Ways to Strengthen the Mother Son Relationship

When my oldest son was a little-bitty guy, he liked to climb on and off my bed. He loved that it was tall and high off the ground. He would get almost all the way up and look back and say, “mommy, wook, dis so danj-wis!” I would tell him that he was a great climber and that I was so proud he was able to do that all by himself. I wanted to strengthen the mother-son relationship and I knew allowing him to “conquer the world” was vital!

Now, that the Lord has blessed me with two precious boys, I continue to take intentional steps to strengthen the mother-son relationship I have with them. Fortunately, the most powerful steps are also the easiest.

In his tweens now, my oldest boy still finds satisfaction in things that I now see as “so danj-wis!”

Only today, it is much harder for me to smile and say, “good for you!” Why? Well because he could actually hurt himself.

4 Steps To Strengthen the Mother Son Relationship

1. Let the testosterone do its thing.

In his pre-teens now, my son (more than ever) is craving manhood.

He loves to build and so he wants to use his dad’s drill. He wants to cook (something else his dad does) and therefore wants to use the stove. And he wants big responsibilities on our little farm. Like, driving the four-wheeler, or operating the lawn mower.

I wrote another article about holding your kids back from their potential and that is exactly what I have to be careful not to do with my son. Each and everything he can do that leads him closer to his manhood, I must encourage him to do and praise him for a job well done.

My boy is not me – he doesn’t see things the way I do, and he never will.

My boy will grow to be a man. What he lacks in logic and reasoning during his youth, I must compensate for with clear boundaries. A boy mom must do her part by creating an environment balanced between risk and reward.

Let him practice being a man and watch him flourish.  want to make him a modern-day knight? go here

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2. Chill

Young men don’t want to be nagged any more than grown men do.

I think of my tween boy as a mini-hubby. It’s easier to understand how to be a great mom to a son when I do so. Delivering expectations, clear and concisely, one time proves most effective.

Let consequences fall where they may when expectations are not met. Don’t nag.

Let go of what you can for the sake of the mother son relationship.

My precious husband has learned to love me despite all (or at least most) of my hang-ups.

One of which is my need to correct grammar. He works with people. A lot of people. People he needs to impress and “win over.” I try to tell him that he would much rather I correct him than for him to keep mispronouncing or misusing a word with a customer.

I don’t know if he agrees or if he’s just really gracious to me. My tween boy also doesn’t want to hear my constant correction. “But aren’t we suppose to correct our children?” Yes, when it matters. Too much criticism is good for no one.

3. Practice silence instead of speeches.

Bare with me while I get technical for just one brief moment. I’ll try not to make a habit of it. At 6-7 weeks after conception, male babies experience a spiking of testosterone in the womb.

Many changes take place with the baby at this time, one of which is a significant “hit” on language and communication. (like the technical stuff? go here) I see this in my tween boy after I’ve slipped into a lecture.

After about 60 seconds, he has stopped receiving what I’m saying. He has gone into defense mode. I can not impart anything to him at this point. His shield is up and deflecting everything that comes his way.

Boys are cause and effect. When he has messed up, deliver a consequence along with a very brief explanation and be done with it.

Save your words for affirmation. The same way I can make my husband soar with my encouragement, I can do so for my son.

4. Give your mother son relationship what it needs.

I use to love hugs. I still do to a degree, but as my life and needs have changed, the way I receive love has as well.

To be blunt, if you want me to feel loved… do something for me. I have loads of responsibility and taking on a piece of that, to help me out, speaks volumes of love to me.
learn more about how your tween boy feels love here *best seller*

Affection is important. Getting married and having babies, is what people do. Those spouses and babies will need affection, so I worked with my less affectionate children to teach them how to give and receive love in this way.

I digress…

The point is… boys need affirmation! Freely give your boy words of affirmation, and give them often!

Boys are seeking approval from day one and on into old age. I could be hugging my tween boy, cleaning his room for him, or showering him with gifts and he still not be getting what he needs if there is a lack of affirmation.

Are Boys More Difficult to Parent?

Some moms say that sons are more challenging to parent and some say, daughters.

The advantage for moms with girls is that moms ARE girls! Mom has walked a mile in the emotions, feelings, sensitivity and all the other “estrogen-y” issues. go here for more about raising girls

Therefore, properly understanding how to stay connected with your son requires intention and your best parenting-game!

I once read a story in a parenting book, about two boys who borrowed an older brothers motorcycle. They drove it down a few blocks to the high school and went joy-riding for a few hours on the school’s football field until they were caught.

Scary, right? What takes this story to a whole other level? The boys were blind! Boys. are. wild. go here for more about raising boys

How Do You Feel About Your Mother Son Relationship?

Whether being a boy mom makes you want to pull your hair out, or seems like a walk in the park, you must work to build a strong relationship with him by understanding him and giving him what he needs.

Hal and Melanie Young over at Raising Real Men have written a great article just for moms of boys. I’d recommend you give it a read here. Have fun with your boy… he’ll be a man before you know it!



  • Brooke says:

    Hey Shelley! I loved your article and it really opened my eyes to some things I can change about my communication with my 3 boys.

    You mentioned being the grammar police with your husband, so I thought you might want to know that you have “whom” where it should be “womb” in section 3. Just thought you might want to know! 🙂

    Many blessings to you and your family!

    • Shelley says:

      Hi Brooke!
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and found value in its wisdom!

      Thanks for pointing out the typo! That’s a pretty comical mistake.

      My editor must have been off that day 🙂

      I’ll fix it…


  • Thank you so much for linking to my article on being a mama to boys! Loved your post!

    • Shelley says:

      My pleasure. We have enjoyed listening to you and Hal more than once at the TTD Home School Conference. Thank you for reading. Hoping to see you all again this year!

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Hi there! I'm Mama Duck,

I'm a stay-at-home/work-at-home, homeschooling Mama of 4 beautiful kiddos, wife to my loving husband, Parenting Coach, Speaker, and Writer. I adore the sound of my children's giggles, that first sip of hot coffee, and a snuggly blanket fresh out of the dryer. Here on Faithful Parenting, my heart is to equip mamas with the skills, knowledge, and biblical wisdom to raise fantastic kids and build a tethered family!