4 Ways to Draw Out the Hearts of Our Boys

At first, we couldn’t figure it out. Our son, the one who was a confident leader, was suddenly dissolving into deeply emotional outbursts and tears over seemingly “small stuff.” His sensitivity chip was in overdrive and it threw us for a loop. He couldn’t seem to articulate why he was having a hard time.

Sometimes, our boys swing in the other direction-they clam up and we can’t figure out what is making them moody or retreat. The invisible wall they put up seems insurmountable.

4 Ways to Draw Out the Hearts of Our Boys via The MOB Society

As a mom of 3 sons, I affectionately call my house a “testoster-home.” It took me a while to navigate the differences in communication between males and females. When our sensitive sons erupt into tantrums or sulk quietly, it’s a signal to us that they need our help to put their feelings into words. It’s not a time to condemn, punish punitively, or criticize them.

A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Proverbs 15:1

There are four gentle ways that my husband and I have found effective to draw out the hearts of our boys:

One-On-One “Dates” With Your Son

The other day, I took my oldest boy out to an early dinner straight from school. We ordered his favorite mac n’cheese from California Pizza Kitchen and shared a sundae.

Slowly, as we savored the hot fudge, he leaned into me and thoughtfully confessed that he was having a hard time at school with a certain friend who seemed to be playing with someone else more than him. The moment of comfort and security was enough for him to put his emotions into words and it gave us some quality uninterrupted time for me to speak life into his heart.

Kick a Rock, Walk & Talk

It’s crucial for dads to take a specific interest and role in talking about emotions with their sons so that they can identify with a role model. This is especially true if the son is being obstinate or difficult, but you don’t know why.

Imagine with me for a moment, Dad approaches the son lovingly and explains that they are going to take a walk around the block until they figure out what‘s going on together. It may take several laps, walking side by side so they don’t have to look each other in the eye, but eventually, our sons will open up. They long to do so, but often feel inhibited. It doesn’t come as naturally for boys to express themselves verbally. Having a father who gives them an opportunity to kick a rock and walk and talk is relief for them. We want parenting formulas to help our sons, but our patient faithfulness is what will bless them the most.

Shift From Exasperation To Empowerment

Sensitive sons may feel like they have a lack of control or choices in their world, especially during times of big change such as a move, a new school, or the loss of a friendship, etc.

A practical way to help them feel more control is to involve them in something that makes them feel empowered. If your son tends to cry a lot or explode in anger, they may very well feel powerless and frustrated.

It’s helpful to sign them up for lessons or sports, or involve them in an activity that allows a bit of responsibility.  Permit your boys to finally have that puppy to take care of or let them choose a summer job that will give them independence. The key is that it is something they will have a measure of success with so that they don’t continue to feel helpless and at odds with the world around them.

Pray Scripture Over Them

There is no greater act you can do for your sons than to pray over them with a fervent heart. God predestined the life of every one of us before the foundation of the world and He cares for our boys even more than we do. God has all the answers to all our questions. When you don’t know what to do, keep your eyes on the Lord and pray Scripture over your boys. The MOB Society co-founder, Brooke McGlothlin’s book, Praying for Boys is a beautiful and Biblical tool for you to use as you pray for the hearts of your kids!

Moms, keep in mind that it takes a CHILDHOOD to move from immaturity to maturity.  An entire childhood! And it takes a childhood for our boys to learn how to navigate the world and their role in it. Stay the course, lovingly and gently drawing out their hearts and protecting their God-given emotions.

RESOURCES

1. Praying for Boys by Brooke McGlothlin

2. Parenting With Love & Logic by Foster Cline, MD & Jim Fay (This book is a favorite of mine. It teaches parents to give choices to kids so they feel responsible and learn from their mistakes instead of fighting or arguing about it with mom and dad.)

Amber-LiaA former high school English teacher and budding novelist, Amber is a work-at-home mom of 3 little boys under the age of 6. She and her husband Guy answered the calling to start Storehouse Media Group, a faith-friendly and family-friendly TV and Film production company in Los Angeles, CA. When she’s not building sand castles with her boys on the beach in Santa Monica, CA or baking her famous Triple Layer Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake, you can find Amber writing to encourage families on her blog at www.MotherOfKnights.com

Raising a Quiet, Reserved Boy? (Our March Series)

A lot of you have what we like to call “those” boys…the ones who are 250% testosterone, aggressive, loud, and drive you to the brink of insanity and back several times a day.

But it’s becoming clear to us that there’s a pool of our friends who have just the opposite…

Your boys are quiet, studious, deep, inward thinkers, and often have to have their thoughts pried out of them. We like to call them tenderhearted warriors…the exact opposite of “those” hard-to-handle boys.

Raising a Tenderhearted Warrior: Tips for Parenting Those Quiet, Reserved Boys via The MOB Society

In the month of March, several of our writers who are raising tenderhearted warriors themselves will be leading you through a series designed with you in mind.

  • If you need help understanding your quiet boy…
  • If you wonder how in the world to get inside his mind…
  • If you’d like to know what’s really in his heart…what sins he’s struggling with on the inside…

This new series is for you!

To make sure you don’t miss any of this month’s posts, just fill in your email address in the box below and hit, “subscribe” making sure to follow any verification directions that come. When you do, each post will be delivered right to your inbox!

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Four Ways to Help Your Son Be Organized and Responsible for Life!

Four Ways to Help Your Son Be Organized and Responsible for Life! via The MOB Society

As a mom of a boy, you know that getting boys to clean up after themselves is hard to do. Maybe getting them to shower everyday and put on deodorant is slightly easier…right? But, teaching them good hygiene and cleaning up after themselves takes four things:
1. Consistency – teaching your boys to clean up after themselves or how to declutter their stuff does you no good if you aren’t consistent. Boys need to be reminded {not nagged} to keep their rooms cleaned. They need to declutter their own things as they get older. You set them up for success when they learn to be independent in decision making by giving away things that they no longer need to others who could benefit from them.
2. Respect – when your boys are messy or constantly break things without any consequences or expectation to replace the item, it’s disrespectful. Boys must learn to take care of things. They need to accept responsibility for what they don’t take care of or break. We are in the thick of this right now with our teenager. Even if you can easily pay for the damage, think about having them find ways to repay their debt. In real life, they are expected to do this, too.
3. Appreciation –  One of the ways your boys can appreciate you as a mom is by being kind, respectful, and taking care of the chores or various responsibilities they’ve been given. Mom doesn’t need to clean up after them when they make a mess. From the start, teach them that if they make a mess, they clean it up. Teach them to be appreciative and this will carry on later in their lives. Through your example and training your boys will learn to appreciate their wives, children, and jobs.
4. Follow up – As with consistency, following up with them and making sure they follow through on their chores is important. You’re setting them up for success when you check up on what you asked them to do. Their future boss will be happy and your boy will likely be successful.

What ways can you help your son to improve in taking responsibility or with being organized?

Becky BarnfatherBecky is blogger, speaker, piano teacher, wife and mom to two children – her son is 15 {he has autism} and her daughter is 10. She is passionate about motivating women to organize and have a relaxed and calm home {as much as possible}. She’s not OCD and not a perfectionist – just a girl who loves to organize. You can find her blogging atwww.OrganizingMadeFun.com

 

Three Facets of Respect

The group of boys convulsed with laughter. I smiled, thinking they were merely having a good time. Then I saw what they saw.

A little elderly lady was crossing the street, hauling bags that probably carried all her possessions. As my mind raced, trying to determine what to say, I saw one boy step up.

“Guys, c’mon,” he said. “It looks like she’s homeless. And probably hungry. That’s funny?”

The laughter died down and I heard, “Yeah, I guess not,” and “Yeah, not cool.”

One boy took one small stand for respect. He had seen respect in action; he knew what is was, and he valued it.

Three Facets of Respect via The MOB Society

How can we teach our boys to “see something, say something,” in terms of respect?

It starts long before most of us imagine. In fact, there are three aspects of respect to consider: respect for others, respect for self, and respect for authority. All three aspects of respect are related to our boys’ understanding of who they really are.

 

To respect others, our sons need to understand life is not all about them.

To respect themselves, our boys must know their own value—in our eyes and in their Creator’s.

To respect authority, our sons need to surrender to God’s love-driven authority.

 

How do we teach them these three facets of respect, in hopes that they’ll show respect for the women in their lives?

Respect for others begins at home, extending to school and the playground. We can:

  • Show our sons what respect looks like as we deal with them, with our husbands, with that cranky clerk or obnoxious driver.
  • Insist that they respect one another, squelching name-calling and belitting comments.
  • Encourage relationships with those who are different – families of girls, elderly neighbors, friends from a different place or stage in life – giving them the opportunity to exercise respect in the face of those who are different.

Respect for themselves begins as they learn to take care of themselves. We can:

  • Teach them the value of eating well and getting enough sleep, showing them that they have intrinsic worth.
  • Encourage them, as they grow to value their peers, to avoid things that could be harmful to them, reminding that their bodies as vessels for God’s use. This underscores respect for God, their Maker, and for their own self-worth.

Respect for authority grows from a surrender to our Creator, so we must remember that our boys are a work in progress. How many of us are totally surrendered to God every moment of every day? There are several things we can do, though:

  • Remind them that God’s boundaries are there because He loves us.
  • Live as pictures of His love, not as joyless rule-keepers.
  • Help them to understand the guidelines and precepts in God’s Word.

We moms are far from perfect, but the best way to foster respect is to model it. If our boys see it, they’re more likely to value it. Here are some keys to modeling respect:

  • Listen. Not on the fly, but stop. Don’t multitask; make eye contact. React. Nod. Show you respect your son by really listening.
  • Be positive. Respect your son by not belittling in the face of defeat; instead, build up.
  • Be honest. Respect your son by not building false hope. Be realistic about the situation. Tell the truth in love.
  • Give them the opportunity to make choices. Nothing says, “I believe in you; you’re worthy of respect” more than letting your son make a choice. Be wise, of course. But don’t get into the pattern of dictating everything.
  • Give your boys some responsibility. Responsibility says, “I know you can handle this. I don’t have to do it for you.” Your son knows you respect him when you can step away and take hands off at times.

Boys who see respect — for the least and for the greatest — will value that quality. And with a foundational respect that extends from them to others to God, they will naturally value the women in their lives, leading to healthy dating and marriage relationships.

Add an understanding of who they are and Whose they are to some great examples of respect and you’ll set the stage for respect in your son’s life.

Looking for more resources to help teach and model respect?

Growing Respect – a post that gives you a few more ideas.

You Are Mine by Max Lucado - a book that reminds boys Whose they are and what to value.

Honor and Respect – how we can honor others every day.

Dr. Meg Meeker – posts from the author/pediatrician/boy mom on respect.

Laura Lee GrovesLaura Lee Groves is the mother of four sons and the author of I’m Outnumbered! One Mom’s Lessons in the Lively Art of Raising Boys, in addition to Pearl, a novel about international adoption.

Want to learn more about Laura? Make sure to…

 

 

What’s Going on with the BoyRaiser?

You might’ve noticed some changes to the MOB Society’s BoyRaiser newsletter over the past couple of months, specifically when it comes to getting our prayer calendar.

We know you love it (and we’re thrilled!), so I thought I’d take a moment today to tell you about the new direction our newsletter is taking (and if you’re not signed up for it, give you an opportunity to get that way!).

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As we move into our next season of ministry as a nonprofit, The BoyRaiser newsletter will be one of our main ways to communicate with you. In the past, it’s been one large newsletter that goes out once a month, but we feel that format no longer suits the needs of our community, so we’re making some changes.

Here’s what you can expect from the BoyRaiser as we move forward:

Our goal in everything we do at Raising Boys Ministries is to encourage and equip parents as they raise godly men. The BoyRaiser will be an extension of that goal, providing you with practical, biblical tools related to raising boys.

We love this blog, but honestly, we feel like we can really get to know you—your hopes, dreams, fears, and concerns for your boys—through our newsletter. It feels more personal…like we’re having a real conversation. So instead of one big, long newsletter each month that overwhelms you, we’re going to do our best to begin a real conversation, sending you your favorite pieces of the original BoyRaiser (and some brand new ones!) in bite-sized pieces throughout the month you can chew on and digest.

Sign up here!

One important change to the BoyRaiser is that the monthly prayer calendar will NOT be in it anymore. We know, we know…that’s the reason many of you signed up for it in the first place. **We want to assure you that there will still be opportunity (starting in March) to get the prayer calendar each month from a new and exciting program we have coming up** (we’re making an announcement about it soon), and there will still be plenty of amazing stuff coming your way through the BoyRaiser, so hang in there!

With that in mind, you can expect the following things every month:

1. Recommended Reads.

We love sharing what’s hot in current reads! Each month, we’ll send you a recommended reads list of 1-2 books you really need to get your hands on (both for you, and for your boy).

2. Media Minute

Need help knowing what games are good or bad? What music your kids need to listen to or stay away from? Movies that can teach a valuable lesson? You’ll love our media minute feature!

3. The Man Cave

Sometimes it helps to have a dad’s perspective on raising boys, especially when you’re going it alone (physically or spiritually). This feature is designed to support you from a male perspective as  you raise your boys!

4. The BEST of The MOB Society.

These are the articles that stole the show, and made the biggest impact on the hearts of boymoms from the MOB Society’s archives. If you’re new to our community, this will be a special treat! Every few days, we’ll send you the best of the best to help you get to the heart of mothering boys.

5. Special Events!

As a member of our BoyRaiser community, you’ll receive news of special events (like dates for the next Fight Like a Boymom program), and new resources before anyone else! We’ll also keep you informed about ways you can stay connected with me and Erin as we speak on behalf of Raising Boys Ministries! Who knows? Maybe we’ll see you this year!

6. Partnership Opportunities!

In the next year, we’re hoping to unleash all kinds of ways you can personally get involved with what’s happening at Raising Boys Ministries. The BoyRaiser will be THE place to stay in the know!

BONUS: When you sign up, you’ll receive this beautiful lock screen prayer verse for your computer or phone (look for it in your welcome email). It’s perfect to pray over your boys every day, and you’ll receive a new prayer lock screen with every change of season!

Choosing a Verse to Pray for 2015 (and a FREE wallpaper)

Make sure you’re signed up for The BoyRaiser by entering your email address in the box right below this sentence, and following any verification process as you’re prompted.

We’re so excited about these positive changes that we hope will allow us to build an even deeper community! If you have any questions, please voice them (nicely!) in the comments!

For the Boys!

Brooke

Brooke McGlothlin

Brooke McGlothlin is co-founder and President of Raising Boys Ministries. She’s a mother of two boys who believes God has chosen her to fight for the hearts of her sons. She can be found most often on her knees in prayer, not because she’s so holy, but because God is. Not because she knows how to raise godly men, but because she believes in the God who loves them more than she does.

Join 13,000+ other moms in her 5-day prayer challenge, Covering Them from Head-to-Toe!