Bringing Up Boys

At first glance, I am the absolute last person who would ever be considered a good "boy mom". I have never played a team sport... in my entire life. I do not like being hot and sweaty. I can't stand bugs and am squeamish around blood ... not to mention... the dreaded... throw up. As a child, I spent most of my days playing "house" with my sister and our massive collection of dolls and stuffed animals. If I wasn't doing that then I was reading books or doing arts and crafts. My idea of playing outside always involved a pool.

Fast forward twenty years or so... and here I am, mother to the most amazing little boy on the planet. A little boy who is ALL boy. He's constantly sweaty and would always rather be outside. His idea of playing outside includes digging up rocks in our yard or eating grass. He has a very short attention span, is constantly moving, does not like to sleep, and sometimes gags himself just to see my horrific reaction. And even at the age of 19 months, he thinks dad is WAY cooler than mom.

I say all this because after reading Bringing Up Boys, I have been given a fresh perspective on raising this amazing little guy. While there are parts of the book that I don't completely agree with, I found the whole of it to be incredibly helpful. Here are a couple of my thoughts along with some of my favorite quotes from the book:

-Boys have distinct physiological qualities (brain structure, hormones, etc.) that make them the way they are... thus making them different than girls. God has given them these qualities for a specific reason!
-The time we have to truly impact our children's lives is so SO short. For these imperative years, it is essential that I make the sacrifices needed in order to give my son a firm foundation on which to stand. If that means I don't get to sleep as much as I'd like or don't keep up with every new tv show/movie/book or have to postpone some of my personal goals, then I'm ok with that. You only get one shot at parenthood.

-There is absolutely NO substitute for spending time with your kids. And "time" doesn't mean sitting at the dinner table together and not speaking... we're talking about quality time here.

-Our society has seriously missed the mark in some areas. Things that should be important aren't, while things of very little value are often what consume us. Living counter-culturally (did I say that right?) isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world- within moderation of couse.

-Boys need their dads. They need healthy role models of masculinity and good examples of what it means to be a strong, Godly father. Sadly, many men don't take their role as "father" seriously anymore.

-"Your task as a mother, in conjunction with your husband, is to build a man out of the raw materials available in this delightful little boy, stone upon stone upon stone. Never assume for a moment that you can 'do you own thing' without serious consequences for him and his sister. I believe this task must be your highest priority for a period of time. It will not always be required of you. Before you know it, that child at your feet will become a young man who will pack his bags and take his first halting steps into the adult world. Then it will be your turn. By all expectations, you should have decades of health and vigor left to invest in whatever God calls you to do. But for now, there is a higher calling... Raising children who have been loaned to us for a brief moment outranks every other responsibility." p. 108

-"These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:6-9

**I could write/talk about this stuff for days on end, but I'll stop now since this post is getting a little long. I'd love to hear your thoughts... so comment if you have something to say :)

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