DEAR GRANDDADDY- A Teen, Parent, and Educator Advice Column BLOG #30

Dear Granddaddy, why does my son listen to his father more than me? Janice C. – frustrated mom.

Bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV host.


Janice, it’s been said millions of times in millions of different ways that a boy needs a father figure. Heck, there was even a study done on a group of young male elephants that didn’t have father figures. The young pack of male elephants became rougher and rougher until they finally went rogue and roamed the savanna like a vicious gang of thugs.

There’s just something in the basic makeup of the male experience that is different from the female experience. Most moms can’t fully understand how badly their teen sons want to save the planet, or maybe even conquer the world. Many moms think their son’s yearnings are stupid, or immature; and discount them as another one of those foolish things males tend to do. And even if a mother doesn’t express this feeling of condescension to her son, he picks up on it and feels that she has devalued him and has now become another obstacle in his quest to become his own man living his own life.

Adult males have been through this with their own moms and can relate better to their sons. Dads can say something to their sons that is nuanced slightly differently than what mom said, but sounds almost like the same exact thing that mom just said to her son. The irony of this is that most fathers don’t really know how to explain these nuances to their wives, so it goes left unsaid, and usually unnoticed to everyone but the teen boy, who then says, “Okay.” And once again, mom’s mouth is agape.

So, in conclusion, Janice, it’s not your fault that your boy sometimes hesitates when you ask him to do something. And it’s also not your husband’s fault when he comes home and says something that sounds just like what you just said and your boy all of sudden agrees with him. Just hang in there. You’re okay, your husband is okay, and your son is going to be okay, too.

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Dan Blanchard is an award-winning author, speaker, and educator who has appeared on over 100 television and radio shows. To find out more about Dan or to submit a question to him, please visit him on his website at: