Boundaries: Stop Making Excuses for Your Son

boundaries Feb 17, 2021


You're listening to Dr. Leslie from Dr. Leslie Inspires, where we empower mothers by raising their level of awareness, discussing tough mother son issues that everyone knows exists, but no one is talking about. Learn more about us by visiting our website at Now here's your host, Dr. Leslie. 


Hello everyone and welcome to the Dr. Leslie Inspires podcast on today. And on this podcast, we are all about empowering, encouraging and inspiring mothers. Maybe just like you, mothers who are struggling to raise their sons. And so, for those of you that are tuning in for the first time, the last couple of sessions, including today, I am going through my book setting boundaries with your son or setting boundaries with your African-American son, which can be found on Amazon. And so, the topic that we're going to cover today is, "Stop Making Excuses for Your Son". And it's a very important topic, so important that I wanted to make it a chapter in my book because having my background, working with mothers, working with sons, being the founder of a private school. I work with a lot of mothers that make excuses for their sons and they make excuses for themselves too.


You know, and a lot of the sons learn that making excuses is acceptable because their mothers accept those excuses. And so, I just want to kind of go over that today. And as you are listening, if you are a mother who is struggling to raise her son, just try to listen to some of the things that I am saying to see if the shoe fits. You can see if, Oh, wow. Ooh, okay. I do that. And if so, basically this podcast is to make you aware and then empower and encourage you along your walk. You know, because none of us are perfect as I always say. And as I always will say, but this walk with the Lord is a walk that is a process and it's a daily process. You do good some days, other days, not so good. But you have to look at each and every day and determine the change that you want to see, determine the change that you want to be, you have to determine it.


And nobody ever said it would be easy because if your son is older, then it definitely may be more challenging. And that's why we always advise mothers, if their son is young, try to nip it as soon as possible, as soon as possible. From the beginning of a temper tantrum, to hit him back to talking with no words, you got to find a way to not even let him do that. Because that gibberish will eventually become "you are what I said, I'm not doing it". And that's very clear. So, the behavior of making excuses starts early and your excuses for your son starts early too. You know, somebody could say, Hey, it sounds like he was talking back to you. No, he wouldn't do that. He is just really, really trying to talk. And so that's just how it's coming out because he's very expressive of himself.


So, what about when he just threw his body on the floor having a temper tantrum? Well, he gets that way sometimes when he's hungry. And you may be right, but it does that mean that we make excuses for the behavior. So, let me go ahead in prayer. Father God, in the name of Jesus, we thank you God for this opportunity to come before you. We thank you Lord for each and every woman, each and every gentleman who is listening at the sound of my voice. I pray Lord that you would give me wisdom on what to say, wisdom on what to speak even the inflections of my voice so that it does not hinder the opportunity for a mother to receive the information as she needs to. So that her struggle with her son will be over. And we thank you Lord for each and every woman that we believe you allow them to find this podcast.


We just thank you Lord and ask that you would open up their ears and open up their ability to receive the information that is for them. And we pray that if it's not for them, that they would refer someone, another mother who may be struggling. Refer them to the podcast to receive this information so that we can have a better world, a better community, better fathers, better brothers just overall and better husbands. And so, we thank you all God, and we will be so careful to give you all the praise honor and glory in Jesus mighty name we pray. Amen. 


And so, as I go through my book, if I hadn't mentioned it, I am working on another one. But this one is setting boundaries, which is so applicable to what we are dealing with. And the time is now, the time is now for us to make the change. So, on page 76, I'm at step four, stop making excuses for your son. It starts off: It doesn't matter how old your son is. You have to stop making excuses for him. Our sons know what they want, but they don't always know what they need. When sons are spoiled or never given the opportunity to work through struggles, they won't be given one of the most important skills in adulthood, which is the ability to self-regulate. You know, those adults, they are the ones who expect the world to revolve around them. Come to work when they feel like it, explode over very small things and they never seem to be happy. 


Well, in fact in order to have sons who are content, work hard and respect authority, the expectations need to be set in childhood. If this is what you want for your son, then consider the following. Common excuses, and many of you, I need you to listen at this point to determine if any of this is you. 

He did not get enough sleep. That's why he's doing that. 

Oh, he's just bored. That's why he's cutting up at school, they're not challenging him enough. 

Oh, he's gifted. That's why he's acting out at school. 

He's not being challenged enough. 

He needs to be challenged more. 

You know, boys will be boys. 

I do not know why he does that. 

Your child is bothering my son. 

Well, you know, he has ADD, 

well, you know, he has ADHD. 

Will, you know, he's bipolar. 

Well, you know, he never had a father in his life.

Well, you know, he's got a problem. 


Those are high on my list because I have heard them all. Those are the ones that I hear the most. Doesn't mean that they're right. Your excuses have only enabled your son to repeat bad behavior with consequences or without the correct consequences or without consistent consequences. Because you know, some of you, this is off the book. Some of you say "I told you no". So, saying no, which is another podcast. And then making excuses, almost go hand in hand. So, I got to kind of watch myself here so that I can decipher the two very clearly. 


But without consistent consequences, that's when we say something and we mean it when we say it at that moment, but then he knows how to wear you out. He knows how to come back for round two. He knows how to come back for round three. Oh, he's watching you, your son is watching you closely trying to determine the best time to come in, to come in and catch you. Because now you've softened up. You've actually forgot about it. And you're in a better mood at this point. So now he's not necessarily getting on your nerves, he has learned to let you calm down and then come back. Maybe after you've eaten, maybe after you talked to your boyfriend or maybe after you've eaten a good meal, I don't know what it is for you, but your son does. I promise you, even if he is six months old, he is watching you. And that behavior that he masters with you, he gets wiser and wiser and he hopes his craft on how to allow you to make excuses for him. 


And so that means that you said one thing, but you didn't follow through. You didn't stick to it. And he knew it. So, children usually exhibit bad behavior at an early age, parents too tired. Let me say mothers, cause we're not talking about the father right now. We're talking about mothers who are too tired to correct the bad behavior. Those are the mothers that allow it to continue. Permissive parents give in and many mothers fear that the consequences for bad behavior are too strict and not loving. You feel like your son won't love you. You feel like he might feel like you don't love him because you're being too strict. But I promise you without correction, the child continues the bad behavior. Most mothers are embarrassed when their child misbehave.


And they look at other mothers who might blame them when their child misbehaves. Some mothers do blame themselves. They know that they have allowed their child to continue to use bad behavior. Excuses make some mothers feel better. Mothers who make excuses for their son's bad behavior are actually teaching their son to use those same excuses that mom is using, that you are using, that I am using, that we are using in other areas of their life. So as a result, your son continues exhibiting bad behavior, and you mom accept it. You don't want to. And you know that you probably shouldn't, but you do. And from a school stand point and from an educator standpoint, it hurts me. Now, t's a little bit different from private school than public school. Because I have a different relationship with So, mothers at the private school level, more of a personal relationship to where I can say these things to them and help them to understand what I'm seeing from my end. 


And just allow them to parent or be the mother that they know that they need to be, and they can receive my suggestions. And that's how this whole Dr. Leslie Inspires got started. Because I realized this making excuses thing, this thing of manipulation, this thing of not being able to say no to our sons is serious. It's serious. And as an educator, we see your son. We deal with him. You deal with him on one level and we deal with him on another level.


And so sometimes we can see things that you can't because we're seeing him operate with his peers, we're seeing him operate with others, even as it relates to coming to school early or let's not even say early, on time. I have seen so many mothers make so many excuses as to why they are late. Why their child is late, why their son is late. And she brings them to school, but the excuse is he woke up late. He didn't get up this morning. He didn't have his clothes washed. He couldn't find his uniform pants. He couldn't find his tie. We spent time looking. So as a mother, one of the ways we can help with that is to help them at night. And if you know that's a sore spot for him, start reminding him at night, don't wait until the morning when you know, he's going to need things. And nine times out of 10, he's going to be up on that game. Or he's going to be up talking to some girl. And even if he's six months old, still in his crib, maybe his clock is off. Because I had that challenge with one of my children. The clock was off. They slept in the day and was up at night. So, when you come in, in the morning, everything is on the floor no longer in the crib. So, we got to make some excuses because that same internal clock may continue. So, what do you do? But many times, when the mom, in my opinion, makes excuses for her son, she's also making excuses for herself. And I think it also goes into who she's giving the excuse to. Someone who she knows is going to receive it.


Someone who may not call her to the carpet. And that can be a male figure, depending on the male. A real man or somebody who's a little soft, who's going to receive her excuses and the excuses that she's making for her son. So, I don't know if this is you, have I said anything that resonates with you? I may not be talking to you. I may be talking to your neighbor. The thing is, that's why there needs to be a balance because women, they can see those excuses and all of that behavior coming from the little girl, "ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, I know what she wants to go sit your fast tail down", but she doesn't always see it coming from her son. And that's the benefit of having a male around or his father around because he can say, "ah, boy, go upstairs and clean up that room. I don't care what you were doing. We're not leaving here until that room is cleaned up. And it better not be a piece of lint on that floor".


Because if you allow him to keep the lint on the floor or you go up there and you see that the room is really not cleaned to a certain standard or whatever it is, he was supposed to do, if it was not done to a certain standard, guess what? Your son is not learning how to create a standard for himself, because I guarantee you when he gets older, trust me. When he gets older, he's going to keep some of the standards that you have taught him, even as it relates to them making excuses, or he's going to tell you the standards that you did not teach him. Oh yes. They come back, they come back and tell you everything that you did not do or that you did not teach them. I tell you what I like to be on the other side. And my children have come to tell me some of the things that I did not do. And there comes a point in time where you know some of the things that you did not do, you know some of the things that you are not doing right now. But you may need some help in terms of actually doing them. And I will tell you, after I take this drink of water for my throat,


I will tell you that you want to be on the other side of being the stricter person, the firm person who taught your son boundaries, opposed to him being brought up in an environment of lawlessness, to where he was allowed to do whatever he wants. Because then you'll be going to see him in jail. Then you'll be making excuses to the judge. And guess what the judge is going to say, because he hears so many or she hears so many excuses throughout the course of the day. Thank you, ma’am, thank you, thank you.

I remember I went to jail with a student to speak on his behalf because he seemed to been doing so much better. And I told the judge, well, he's doing really good now. And he's doing what he's supposed to be doing. And the judge said, "of course he is. He has nothing else to do. He's sitting in this cell all day". And that made me think he is absolutely correct. That is why many times when they go to jail, the demon is gone. So now they see things that they have done. They can see clearly, but something happens when they get out. A lot of times, either they learned it or they didn't. And they will go back to making the same excuses that they did before they went in. So, we have to stop making excuses for our sons and we have to seek out help. 


Now I will tell you something else about seeking out help. If your son is a person, I don't care how old he is because some of these 6 and 7 year olds, they know too much, they act grown. They're doing grown folks, grown men type things, exhibiting grown men behavior. And that's why some of them face harsh charges at a young age, because it's like, who and how did this boy even know, how did he get in this state of mind? So, when you have a son who just don't want to do anything. He has gotten to that place where you've made so many excuses and you've done so many things for him that he doesn't know how. And now he's not even interested in doing anything for himself. But you mom, you want him to do so much. You believe in him; you believe in him more than anybody on the planet. You got hope for him more than anybody on the planet. And people have tried to help him, people want to help him, now they can see it. Somebody coming in can see that your son is only going to make excuses for his bad behavior or his lack of whatever. Your son he knows that you believe in him and he knows that you want more for him and you want better for him. And you've asked so many different people to help him, but he won't help himself. So, people are tired and people don't want to help him.


And so, there's a place where, we have to really pray and ask God to help your son, to help bring that right person who believes in him and won't give up. Because we've got some 30 and 40 and 50 year old boys who are determined to do nothing. And it's very challenging for other people. They might try once, but they won't try twice. And they won't try a thousand times like you. And you can't fault those people because they have their own thing going on. They've got their own lives and they've got their own challenges. Maybe they have their own son that they're dealing with and are trying to help you as best they can. But mom, don't get mad. Please don't get mad at people that you feel won't help your son because he has to want to help himself first. People will help those who help themselves. If someone comes into your life and they see that your son is trying, they will help. Somebody will help your son, as long as they see him trying to do something. But they can also look through and see through when you're making excuses. "They keep doing him dirty or they keep doing him wrong". No, I see what's going on. And because I've been doing this for so long, I see through it. And because I've seen boys growing up small all the way to adulthood and I mean, I use to did not really tell mothers, I only observed.


And I would say to myself, that boy is going to be in jail one day. He's on his way to jail. And many of the times, if I am honest with you, there was a father or there was not a father. So, some people can say, Oh, it's because he didn't have a man in his life. Because he came from a single parent home. That is not always the case, believe it or not. And that's why I have vowed to have this conversation as I stay in prayer to do it. Because there are some men growing up this way and they grew up with a father in the house.


But what happened? The father did nothing. He watched the mother. This may not be you, but you may know somebody like this. They watched the mother and allowed the mother to do everything and anything. She wore the pants. That's another conversation. I've got so many podcast topics that I want to talk about. I have a topic for every day, every day of the year, I have a podcast topic. But I can't do that because I don't have that kind of time, but I will be on here every Sunday. So, make sure you subscribe to my channel and listen to a new topic every Sunday. But as I was saying, it's just so much. We can take so many different angles.


I also have a course "Sons speak loudly in quiet desperation", where you can hear some of the thoughts of young men. You can hear the thoughts of young men, how they feel from age 16 to 50 something. And what I realized after doing the interviews for that course is, a lot of men were angry at their fathers. I couldn't believe it. They were angry at their fathers because of what the father did or did not do, or for the mere fact that he was not there. Because he was not there. And the son was angry. Purchase that course, because those men told it because they were healed enough to really realize that they were healed. And they realized that they could no longer make excuses for their father because he wasn't there. But they realized that there were angry and had to seek out therapy or counseling. For Dr. Leslie inspires, I'm a coach, but I'm not a therapist. I could have gone that route and maybe should have. But I feel like being an educator, I can be so many more different things that suit my tastes. I like to deal with people. I like to talk to people. I like talking to mothers. I even like talking to the men and young men to find out what is going on. And they usually talk to me and it is so much of an interest here because men are hurting because something is missing, there's a void. So, going back to the father, who's in the household with this boy or with this young man or with this man, but it was like he wasn't there.


So, now the cycle continues of making excuses. So why is your son in jail? Why is this happening to your son? And you were there, you were in the house. I thought his father had died. I thought his father didn't live in the home. You mean to tell me he was in the home and all this was going on. You don't even have to tell me what happened. You don't even have to tell me about what happened in that household, I already know, just by looking at the situation. And I used to say in the classroom at schools, when you've been doing this for a long time, you don't always have to observe to go into a classroom to see what is really going on. When you've been doing it long enough, observing teachers, observing classrooms, observing schools, you can walk past a classroom and know what is going on. I'm talking about 5/10 seconds, the same way in a household. If I'm talking to a mother, if I've never seen the mother or the father, and I look at the behavior of this child, of this son, I can tell you what's going on or not.


But many times, it becomes a cycle in which the father, he might've seen his father do nothing. Or he may be castrated by his wife or his baby mama. He's castrated, every time he tries to do something, even though it's his son too. And I'm not talking about step son, I'm talking - oh, that's another story. I'm telling you. I've got a topic for every day. I've got a topic for every single day, but I can't do it every day. So, the key is, we have some very strong women. I can be a very strong woman. I have had to learn. I've had to learn what I'm teaching now. And it's not that easy to learn when you haven't been raised that way. It's a decision that you have to make for the sake of your children, for the sake of your son. And even if his father doesn't know how to be a father, if his father doesn't know how to be a man, guess what? He's got to be a man today, because now you're no longer being a woman. You're no longer being a woman. Just like you're castrating him, his man part. It can be challenging because we as women, we naturally step up to the plate. We naturally do what we have to do, no matter what it is, we think with two sides of our brain. 


But as I get ready to close, because I can go so far on this one, we've got to stop making excuses for our son. And I'm going to pray that the Holy spirit would function. You when your son is making an excuse to you, that you know you shouldn't accept, that you will no longer accept those excuses. Because now, you know, and you are fully aware that you are hindering his progress and his process as a man. And sometimes, as we get older, if you don't get it under control, your son will start making excuses for himself, but he will blame you. The reason why this didn't happen is because you didn't do what you were supposed to do. But I just want to encourage you to not accept those excuses. Because if he's 30, 40, 50 years old, he's old enough to know better and to do better. He's old enough to understand. And it's all in your approach because if he sees that he's hurting you and he sees that you are being mean to him and it's hurting you, maybe your eyes water, maybe you get tears in your eyes and maybe you say, "well I tried, I did the best that I could”. 


I will say I remember my daughter was telling me some things that I did not do. And I want to just tell you all too. Some of you are having this problem, not with your son, but with your daughter. It's the same. It's the same. The only thing is we have chosen to focus on sons, but you can still listen to the podcast, you can still listen to my courses with your son in mind. But the behavior with your daughters is the same. I have many daughters and people ask, "why don't you talk about daughters, because I'm having this problem". It's the same. Just apply it to your daughter. But I remember her telling me something that, I did. And at first, I said, "I didn't, get over it". I think it started off with me making excuses that she was making excuses. And then it went to, Oh Lord, not this again. How long are you going to keep telling me this? And then one day I prayed about it and I'm going to tell you what I did. So maybe you can do this if you're in this situation. This particular day, I listened to what she said and I said, "wow, you're right". And I looked her in her eyes as she spoke the whole time, gave her my undivided attention to let her know that I was listening to her.


And when she got finished, I said, I am so sorry. I apologize for what I did, the role that I've played. And I did what I knew at the time. You know, it may not have been right. But I do apologize. And I asked her if she accepted my apology and she said yes. And then I said, my concern is that you move on from here because I don't want to see you in your thirties, forties and fifties, coming back to the same situation hurt because of something that your mom did or did not do to you or for you, or because of you. And she says, "nope, I'm finished". She said, "I needed to know that you heard me". That was the key. That was the key. And ladies, I promise you that child has never brought it up again. There was an act of true forgiveness at that moment. And so, she hasn't brought it up again. 


And so that's where I learned that lesson in terms of making excuses. Because at that time I was making excuses for myself. I wasn't really listening to her. I had to protect myself because I felt like I was being attacked every time she would bring that up. "Perfect mommy", no such thing. And that's what happens. Many of us were trying to be such the perfect mother that when somebody calls us to the carpet on something that makes us look the role of being imperfect, how dare they? How dare they? But the older we get, the more we learn, we're not perfect. And we have to listen to what is being said and allow the person to know and understand that they are being understood and validate their feelings.


So, I'm going to close on that note, but I do want to say something else as I close. If you like, you can write a letter to your son and you can give it to him or not give it to him. And you can just write somethings that are bothering you. You can write a love letter to your son. I don't know if he's in jail or not. I don't know if it's a strained relationship to where you can't really talk to him. If he's five or six or seven or eight, just take some time and listen to him. But do address the situation and think about some of the excuses that you are listening to and make a decision today that you will no longer accept excuses from him and you no longer make excuses for him. And it's going to be a challenge especially if you've done this for so long, but you can do it. 


Just think about your son being whole, W H O L E. Think about your son being a man, being able to make decisions, smart decisions, wise decisions, not just for you and not just for right now, but for his family. And can you even see him with a family right now? I mean, some of us can't because he's not taking care of himself. So, on that note, I'm going to close. I'm going to close us out in prayer, and then I'd like you to subscribe to this podcast so that you can hear us each and every Sunday. And it will just come to your box. You can look at some of our videos on YouTube. All of them have to do with transforming mother/son, relationships, starting with you mom.


So, father God in the name of Jesus, I thank you Lord so much for every woman at the sound of my voice who is hearing this podcast. Father God, I just thank you for wisdom because we know it is the principal thing. I ask that you give each and every woman that's listening to this podcast, the peace that surpasses all understanding as she keeps her mind stayed on you. Father God, we thank you until the next time that you hear each and every one of their prayers and you answered their prayers, let So, them speak to the mountain so that mountain can be removed. We thank you Lord. And it is with love and peace and joy and all the fruits of the spirit that I pray this prayer. In the mighty and magnificent name of Jesus we pray. Amen


Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Dr. Leslie Inspires. If you're enjoying the show, please feel free to rate, subscribe, and leave a review on your preferred podcast listening platform. We really appreciate that effort, also for more content and resources, please be sure to visit our website, and we'll see you in the next episode.



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