05 October 2011

Mothers and Sons Chapter 7

We have been doing a book study in the Bringing Up Boys book by Dr. James Dobson.

Today's chapter focuses on Mothers and how we can better relate to our sons.

I loved when Dr. Dobson said, "I have the highest respect and admiration for those who are blessed to be called mothers...She must be a resident psychologist  physician, theologian, educator, nurse, chef, taxi driver, fire marshal, and occasional police officer.  And if she succeeds in each of these responsibilities she gets to do it all again tomorrow."
"God made 'em good at what they do.  And He gave them a passion for their children.  Most of them would quite literally lay down their lives to protect the kids entrusted to their care."

Sometimes raising boys can be a challenge (that's what the book says, right now life has been completely awesome raising Mark...he's only 2 but his personality and his tenderness and kindness don't portray the typical rough boy...yet/ever?)

I have absolutely no experience in raising or even babysitting boys...I've taught boys in school, and I loved it (but in third and fourth grade...boys ARE a challenge...they don't really want to sit still and learn and listen, playing outside is the most fun, recess and gym are their favorite subjects in school, and teasing girls brings a smile to their face)  Overall, I guess boys, generally speaking, are messier, bent on teasing, and love to race through the house (ummm, both my kids love to race through the house) and sometimes they challenge decisions that come their way.

Dr. Dobson also says boys have a talent for...
ignoring mom (if what she says doesn't interest them).

He also went on to point out the importance of infant bonding between baby and mother and father.  He says, "I would strongly recommend that you not hand your babies over to childcare workers, many of whom are underpaid and untrained and who will not share your irrational commitment to that infant."

*Longer hours spent in childcare in the first three years of life tend to mean less positive interactions between mother and child.

*The more time spent in these out of home settings, the greater the behavior problems...children are more demanding, more non-compliant  and they are more aggressive.

Isn't it sad that in this day and age some parents can't afford to stay home and raise their children.  In many homes both parents feel strapped to both work in order to pay the bills.  I'm really thankful that we've been able to afford me staying home.  It is only by the grace of God because living in NJ is so expensive, we have a high mortgage, and live in a high tax area.  But having a financial savvy husband has so many benefits because not only are we good savers of our money, but we also will be done with our mortgage by the time our children are high school age, which means we will have extra income to prepare for college.

There are sacrifices that we all make to afford life's luxuries.  One luxury I believe in right now is investing in my children while we can afford it.  That means we don't have a flat screen t.v.  That means we don't go out to eat very often, we don't go on vacations over seas right now, we don't buy the latest and greatest, we cut coupons when we go food shopping and clothes shopping, and we shop sale racks.

Sometimes your priorities have to change.

The bottom line from many studies of infancy and early child development is consistent: babies have several essential emotional needs.  Among them are:


"Despite the importance of an early mother-child bond, it may seem strange that little boys begin to pull away from their moms during the period between 15 months and 36 months." (This has NEVER happened to me.  Are you kidding Mark is my buddy!)

Supposedly boys become:

*resist efforts to be corraled or managed
*they say no to everything
*they run when they are called
*they scream bloody murder at bedtime
*they respond better to fathers, but not very much

This is what the book says...but I can honestly say Mark has either not gone through this stage or has a different personality....BUT I have seen this behavior from a lot of boys and their moms or grandmas at the library...and I feel really bad for them because most of them look tired, and ready to pull their hair out!

But there is hope!  Dr. James Dobson says this is mom's opportunity to take charge and not leave the discipline solely for dad.  How many times have you heard: "Just wait til I tell your DAD!"...or, "Wait til your dad gets home!"

Boys need to be supervised at all times!

If you see some of the signs listed above, especially the gravitation towards daddy, don't take it personal, it's a part of the whole manhood thing.

Dobson stressed that boys might not be able to articulate it at 3 years old but they still want their mom's love and affection but they may feel kisses or hugs are silly.

And at age 10 (apparently this is an angelic period...hence why I loved my third and fourth grade boys...they were adorable!)  this is a time when their obedience and cooperation is at it's peak.

At age 11 boys become testy and cantankerous again!

"Parental involvement is the key to getting kids through the storms of adolescence."  Things like talking in the car, eating meals together, having a family game/movie night are all important and crucial for relationship building.  John and I have already decided that our house will be the FUN HOUSE.  It will be the safe house that parents don't mind sending their kids over, it will be packed on Fridays with kids, fun, and popcorn.  It will be the place our kids will feel comfortable inviting their friends over.  We want the kids to want to come over because we want to be a part of who are kids are close to.

We will NOT be the parents that drop our kids off at the movie theater, or at the mall, to HANG OUT.  And by that I do mean, get into some sort of trouble.  We will be the parents that joke with our kids, talk to our kids and play hard with our kids.  I grew up feeling like sometimes my parents were just too busy for me, and I never want my kids to feel like that!

Psalm 127:3 Children are a gift from the Lord.

What I got most from this chapter is that my time with my kids is more valuable than money.  It is exhausting, it's rewarding, its all consuming, but I do not do it alone.  God has given me a great husband to lead our home and to help me raise both my son and my daughter.

And this time is precious.  These beginning formative years will make the difference.


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