Raising A Son April 30, 2013 12:26
Living in a house full of boys has been an adjustment for me. I am a girly girl in many ways, and I grew up in a home around other females – my mom and sister. I do have brothers, and for part of my life we shared a home with my dad, but the world of little boys was largely foreign to me before my sons were born.
This adjustment to life with boys has had many ups and downs. I am so blessed and amazed every day to be a part of their heroic hearts, sense of adventure, strong characters and fearlessness. I also struggle to mother children who are so full of energy and fire – testing my limits and patience on a daily basis. In search of some deeper understanding of why boys are the way they are, I of course turned to books. I read voraciously to find answers to my most burning questions – and to help uncover this particular mystery, I found ‘Raising A Son,’ by Don Elium and Jeanne Elium.
This is one of the best books I have read on parenting. It doesn’t judge or offer the silver bullet for raising ‘well-behaved’ children. It isn’t filled with ‘how-tos’. It eloquently explains the biological differences between males and females, and helps parents understand the fundamentals of what boys need to thrive. It talks about the emotional journey of a male, and how gentle but firm boundaries can be provided to guide him, keep him safe and help teach him how to harness his natural tension and release needs without stifling his soul. The book walks through the biological development of a boy and how and when testosterone impacts his behavior and personal desires. I found this fascinating and valuable information as a mom trying so hard to navigate these unfamiliar waters. The book also helped me identify why sometimes this journey seems to come so much more naturally to my husband than it does to me – because he knows what it is like to be a little boy; he inherently understands testosterone’s drive within a male body.
The book is also full of heart. It talks about how important it is for boys not to be pushed from the world of ‘mother’ too soon; not to be forced to be ‘big boys’ and not to ignore their emotional needs. It encourages mothers to love and nurture their son's emotional side and sensitivity with the confidence that when it is time for him to cross the bridge over to the world of ‘father’, he naturally will if a strong male figure is there to guide him. It also addresses the struggles of single mothers raising boys, and offers support and advice for how to manage this unique challenge.
I loved this book. It helped me let go of some of my fears about raising boys, and validated what we have been doing so far. It opened my eyes to a greater understanding of my husband and my sons, and brought forth both tears and laughter in the process. Mothering is an amazing adventure whether you are raising boys or girls. But, if you are surrounded by one boy or a handful of them, you will appreciate what this book has to offer.