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Last fall, we took a vacation together. This would be the last time our family trip would consist of its original ten members. We were about to happily and excitedly add two son in laws!
As I pondered this huge change that was about to take place, my mind moved ahead to what the next season would look like. Once the weddings were over, I could have an even more intentional focus on the ones left at home, mostly boys. The realization that I only have a few years left with these boys made me feel suddenly panicked! What in the world should I make a priority in preparing them for life? So I went on the hunt for a good book to read on our vacation! Not wanting to waste time on something that was not helpful, I was being picky about what book I chose. I thought there would be a plethora of great ones to choose from, but honestly, it was slim pickings, in my opinion.
Finally, I landed on a book called, “Boys Should Be Boys”, by Meg Meeker. It is by far the best book on boys I have run across. She does an amazing job of covering areas that I could honestly say I hadn’t received much useable advice. I often peruse a book like this, but I read this one cover to cover, highlighting and marking it up like crazy!
Here are some of chapter titles:
“Boyhood under Siege”, “Bucking Peer Pressure”, “Bullfrogs and Racecars”, “Encouragement, Mastery and Competition”.
And I loved this from one of the chapters in the book:
“The choices, loves, and beliefs of a boy’s mother craft his character. Mothers are a powerful presence in their sons lives. This knowledge shouldn’t frighten us; it should motivate us. Boys need more of their mothers in order to be greater men. And any mother who follows her maternal instincts, examines her own motivations, and does the best she can, will be a good mother. Boys don’t need perfection; they just need you there.”
She did a beautiful job of outlining clear perimeters that really made sense in dealing with sons. As they start to enter manhood, I have found those perimeter to be especially confusing, so this was truly a breath of fresh air and seemed to give me so much more peace.
Suddenly my job didn’t seem so intimidating anymore. And I think that’s pretty much what we all need, whether raising girls or boys. We need to know that we have what it takes to do this well. Parenting is NOT for the faint hearted-at least good parenting isn’t! But, as moms(and dads), we have “gut” feeling, a God-given instinct that we really NEED to tune into.
I also encourage you to go to your husband with questions about your boys. I have found my husband to be particularly helpful in bringing the real issue into focus with our sons because he understands the way they are wired far better than I do. I remember last year, I was REALLY frustrated with all of our boys on the whole. My husband looked at me and very sweetly told me that I use TOO many words! That the more words I use, the less the boys respect me. He thought that might hurt my feelings, but it didn’t. I KNEW he was right! Just keep the conversations and confrontations simple and clean!
I hope that today you will remember that God made YOU the mother of your children for a reason! And that He WILL equip you to be faithful to this high calling! Don’t hesitate to humble yourself before Him and ask for wisdom. He is ready and waiting to pour out His grace and direction to you!