So, I have a son.
He’s 11. This a particularly fun age. If by fun you mean head-scratching and mind-boggling and occasionally wanting to pull my hair out.
For you mommas of boys and girls, can I just be real for a minute? I’ve got a 14 year old girl and this 11 year old boy. I love them both. Equally. But the boy…oh man. He wrecks me in a whole new way when he’s having a hard time. And being 11, he is almost always having a hard time. Because…you know…life is really rough and things like losing computer privileges and having to clean your room and doing school work and taking out the trash are absolutely devastating to the quality of your life. At least they are when you are 11.
My boy is easy going with a side of fierce independence. He has a heart for the underdog and his compassion is a mile wide. He’s the second child…my baby. I feel like he’s been the easier of the two children for most of his life, but mostly because my girl has always worn her emotions on her sleeve and he holds his a little closer. But all of a sudden he’s teetering on the edge of manhood with a multitude of feelings and hormones and I don’t get him any more. I love him! But I don’t get him. Ack!
We’ve always been close, this boy of mine and me. When our family does the “Divide and Conquer” plan of attack (it’s a necessity of life when your kids get older and are involved in different sports) I naturally get paired with my boy. I love him to bits and pieces. But all of a sudden I feel like I have to figure him out all over again.
I recently got the opportunity to review a book for Family Christian as part of their blogger network. I love to read and there was a book on mothering boys that sounded like it could help shed perspective on this new phase of parenting for me. So I clicked like and signed on up to review “The Savvy Mom’s Guide to Sons.” I’m totally savvy so obviously I need this book. Right?
When I first started reading/flipping through the book, I almost wrote it off. It was all about toddler and little boy stuff like potty training and play dates. But then…then it got real. One of my favorites? If your son takes something apart, hand him a tool. Boys like to build things. AND break things. AND build them again. Now I could identify with this one so I kept reading and flipping through the book.
Hey, momma friends? This book starts with diapering and ends with this:
101: Relax until your son becomes a daddy and makes you a grandma.
So, yeah. I’m not even ready to think about being a grandma yet. I need to rock my 40’s first, please and thankyouverymuch. Children ‘o mine, do you hear this? But this book is relevant for mommas of boys of all ages. And I almost wrote it off as not applying to me. Good thing I kept flipping.
Reading through the beginning, I could definitely say that Tina had a good practical grip on the younger boy info. I’ve already been there, done that, got the t-shirt, and she was pretty much spot on. So I felt safe in assuming that her bigger boy tips would probably be helpful as well. Topics cover practical stuff like “THE TALK,” self-image, why boys don’t hear a word you say, and other no-nonsense tips, but there are also some fantastic ideas about how to help instill a deeper faith in those boys we love so much.
There are 101 little snippets in the book and each one takes less than 5 minutes to read. It’s got a quick piece of practical advice followed by an applicable Bible verse and then a little more in-depth spiritual insight. I love the quick-read format and value her insight. Think of this more as a users manual than a book that you would sit down and read cover to cover in just a few hours. Although you certainly could do that, it’s better consumed in bits and pieces as needed.
If you’ve got a boy, big or small, I would highly recommend picking up this book and putting it somewhere where you can grab it for a quick read any time you’ve got five extra minutes…carpool line, in the kitchen while you’re waiting for the coffee to finish brewing, or grab it on the way to the dentist or doctor. The information is solid, the writing is relatable, and honestly…11 is hard. And so is 2. And I’m willing to bet 18’s gonna be pretty tough as well. No matter how much a momma loves her boy, she won’t always understand him.