Stop Trying to Fix Your Son. He’s Not Broken

Your Son's Not Broken

What happens when we stop looking at our son’s limitations, and start seeing him as whole and complete?

“Mom, I’m not broken.”  That’s what my son told me when a couple of years ago. I was overly concerned with how he was not being social and he wanted to let me know that he didn’t need me to fix him. He needed me to accept him.  As much as I wanted my son to “be himself”, there were times it seemed that I didn’t accept him.  When he addressed this with me, I realized that I focused on what was wrong with my son instead of being grateful for what was right with him.

Your son is not a DIY project or piece of equipment that requires professional servicing. As parents, sometimes our view of our sons are limited and narrow, that we focus on the areas that need improvement instead of looking at the whole child.

Yes, children need discipline and guidance but it shouldn’t be our focal point. We see the minor imperfections and before you know it, we’re embarking on a mission to fix what we think needs to be corrected. We look so closely at his weaknesses, that we neglect his strengths.  Your son is not going to live his life exactly as you wish. He’s going to take risks and make mistakes. Our job as a parent is to pick him up when he falls and lead him in the right direction.

Your son doesn’t need you to point out his limitations, he needs you to guide him to make the right choices in life.  He needs you to see his possibilities. He needs you to encourage him as he faces daily struggles, pressures and criticism from society. He needs your comfort and help. He needs you to have realistic expectations and allow for mistakes. He needs your reassurance that you believe in him and love him unconditionally.

Take some time today to see your son as capable and complete. I’m learning to do the same every day.

Photo: Slightly Everything/Flickr

Originally appeared at Raising Great


About Marie Roker-Jones

Marie Roker-Jones is a wife and mom of two boys. She is a NAMA Certified Anger Management Specialist, Youth Mental Health First Aider, and Certified Male Youth Life Skills Trainer She is the senior editor of the Raising Boy section of The Good Men Project and the Founder of Raising Great Men™ which provides parenting programs and workshops for raising boys and navigating the challenges of military deployments. Marie created #ManYouWantToBe, programs that help boys and young men to "mind up", not man up. Marie is co-founder of #CompassionConvos, #CompassionConvos are cross and inter-generational conversations using social media, online and in person around difficult subjects of bias. Conversations include, and are not limited to racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia. These conversations challenge biases through dialogue and taking action. Follow her on Twitter, LinkedIn, and G+


  1. This one has been really hitting home lately. As a father, I sometimes see something in my son that I want to change, especially to bring him something I did not have as a child. Is this something he “needs”. Does he need to be more social? What does it tell him deep inside when I tell him he needs to be something he is not and something he does not desire? Good intentions, potentially hurtful and long lasting actions.

  2. Gina Lepore says:

    Well-said. Such a good reminder. I have two sons, 15 and nearly 12, and I realize that my intentions are well-meaning, yet my expectations skewed. Since I often see a weakness on their part as some indication that I am not doing my best as a parent, I try to always improve, but your article reminded me that in doing so, I simply model perfectionism for th, which is not usually healthy. Thank you.

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