Skip to main content

52 Things Sons Need from Their Moms


52 Things Sons Need from Their Moms

If you could buy only one book on parenting over the course of your career as a mom, what would it be? If you’re the mother of sons, here’s what I’d recommend: Angela Thomas’ 52 THINGS SONS NEED FROM THEIR MOMS.

This might be the single best parenting book on raising boys that I have ever read. In fact, when I first saw the title, I thought that its contents would be along the lines of activities you need to do with your boys: camping, flying kites, shooting hoops, and so on. Instead, Thomas delves deeper. She goes way beyond the physical things we do with our sons, to the things that they need to learn, the qualities we must kindle in them, the priorities we have to pursue as mothers.

"This might be the single best parenting book on raising boys that I have ever read.... I can’t tell you how greatly this book has impacted me --- as a mom, a woman and a Christian."

I have to admit that when I realized that this was more of a book about my life and choices as a parent rather than a list of fun activities I could partake in with my son, I was overwhelmed. But it didn’t take much reading of this incredible book to recognize that Thomas approaches her readers the way a beloved mentor or wiser, more experienced friend would. She doesn’t give us a list of things that the “perfect” mom would do. Instead, she has written a year’s worth (if you read a chapter per week) of thoughtful and loving reflections of what she believes are vital for moms raising boys.

What do our boys need from us? Here are some of Thomas’ thoughts, and some of my favorite chapters, from a list where it’s hard to pick the best ones:

  • Teach Him to Wait His Turn
  • Teach Him How to Treat All Women
  • Teach Him to Be Hipster (in the Best Possible Way)
  • Teach Him to Shine in the Dark
  • Remain Steady When He Doubts
  • Make Home the Safest Place

There wasn’t a chapter in this book that didn’t have something encouraging or empowering to say to me. But there were two very meaningful chapters that actually contained things I could describe as motherhood epiphanies. In the first one, Thomas reminds us to give up on being perfect and to be the best moms we can be at this very minute; to know that even though we ourselves are imperfect, we are still our boys’ moms --- and can joyfully live that out today. In the other, we’re prompted to lead our boys confidently while we apologize humbly. We don’t have to overwhelm them with so many choices that they begin to feel responsible for things on which we can be the deciding voice. We aren’t always going to get it right, and when we don’t or they don’t, we can apologize with humility or forgive lovingly. It’s so important for our boys to know that we can seek to lead them wisely and ask for forgiveness when we don’t.

I can’t tell you how greatly this book has impacted me --- as a mom, a woman and a Christian. In our home, we’re leaving the elementary years behind and moving into the teen years. And all the parenting skills that I thought I had down pat are being challenged; as our son matures, I am the one who needs to change, to enable him to freely grow and spread his own wings. Thomas’ beautiful and useful book has come alongside me at a time when I needed wise counsel for parenting. While it has been so timely for me as the mother of a teen boy, it would be just as excellent for moms of younger boys.

I know I’ll return to 52 THINGS SONS NEED FROM THEIR MOMS again and again for strength, encouragement and wisdom. I’m sure you will as well!

Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds on May 25, 2015

52 Things Sons Need from Their Moms
by Angela Thomas

  • Publication Date: April 1, 2015
  • Genres: Christian, Nonfiction, Parenting
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
  • ISBN-10: 0736952217
  • ISBN-13: 9780736952217