Being a Boy Mom or Boy Dad!
People sometimes ask how we came to write and speak about raising boys. The answer is easy – we have six of them.
“Six boys!” the people at the checkout line say in mock horror. “Yes!” we say, and smile warmly. “Well, better you than me,” they conclude, shaking their heads. To be fair, not everyone reacts this way. Some cultures seem to place a special value on sons, like our Kenyan-born obstetrician, or the Hispanic families we meet at the store. We hear them counting quietly under their breath — “ … cuatro — cinco — seis niños!” and when Melanie turns around and confirms, “Sí, seis niños!” — nearly the total of her Spanish vocabulary — there are smiles all around.
Too often, though, we hear the negative wisecracks from our fellow Americans, and far too often, from our fellow Christians. We have a few snappy comebacks of our own if someone is remarkably crude, but usually we try to answer with grace and cheerfulness. We defend our decision to have a large family and we especially express our happiness to be the parents of many sons. The world pities us, but God says He has blessed us. Why, in the Old Testament God gave Heman fourteen sons to exalt him (1 Chronicles 25:5). We stand up to the world’s attitudes and smart remarks with confidence.
But back at home, privately, we admit to ourselves it’s not always rosy. The jokes sometimes have an element of truth to them. Yes, teenaged boys can put away a startling amount of groceries. Young boys can be downright destructive. They tend to be noisy at any age. They seem utterly unconcerned with personal hygiene. The dog has a longer attention span for schoolwork. Worse, they seem to come forth at birth with a chip on their shoulder. They are combative, aggressive, arrogant. They seem obsessed with power — whether powerful machines, powerful weapons, or personal power they can exert over people and things. They love to build things but have a perverse delight in tearing them down, and if fire and explosion come into the mix, surely boy-nirvana is close at hand. The older bullies the younger; the younger schemes to entrap the older; the middle son plays two ends against the middle for the joy of ratting out both of them. The youngest are like bantam roosters, strutting and posturing; they grow into wild bulls, crushing china, furniture, and family members without even noticing the havoc in their wake.
Or so it seems, some days.
If this is God’s chosen gift to us, and He says that it is, then why does it seem so hard?
Is it them or is it me? How can I prepare these boys for a life serving God when we can barely make it through the day? Isn’t there a better way?
The answer is yes.
(From the introduction, Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys)
Boys are a challenge all right, but they’re also a delight, a joy, and endless fun, we’ve found.
If this sounds familiar to you, and you’re privately struggling a bit to deal with the energy, noise, dirt, and sheer testosterone in your home, then you might appreciate Raising Real Men for practical help and real encouragement in raising and enjoying your boys! And for more personal help, we offer two online classes for parents of boys: Boyhood Boot Camp, which we’ll present live next week – and Boot Camp 9-12 – for parents of pre-teen sons who want to make the years ahead great!
CLICK HERE for more information on Boyhood Boot Camp! (and note, you get a discount on the book if you order it at the same time you sign up!)
Come laugh with us – and get practical help in raising your boys!
Hal & Melanie