Raising Boys Ministries Needs Your Help TODAY!

Thank you SO much, friends, for celebrating our big announcement yesterday and starting our fundraiser with a bang! We went to bed with our goal 20% funded! That is amazing!

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If you haven’t heard the news, MOB Society is becoming a nonprofit ministry! But we can’t do it without you. Here’s a message from Brooke:

We need your help TODAY!

Today is a special day in regards to our fundraiser and we need it to be BIG. Fundly, the company we are using to manage our fundraiser, has reduced their processing fees for TODAY ONLY as part of their #FundlyGivesBack campaign! That means we receive more of the donations made today than on any other day! It is a great day to give if you are going to donate to our nonprofit ministry process!

Fundly is our main fundraising source, but if you do not want to use a credit card to donate, you may donate through PayPal with the email address themobsociety at gmail dot com OR by check. Please contact us by email if you would like to donate by check!

If you already gave or are not able to at this time, we would love your help is SHARING this campaign because the fundraiser with the most social media shares will win $100! Please share our Fundly campaign page with all your friends and family and use the #FundlyGivesBack hashtag whenever possible! The more shares of our fundraiser with that hashtag, the better our chances of winning $100 to go towards our campaign!

For Twitter:   helps  find delight in the chaos of raising boys. Help fund this ministry!#FundlyGivesBack (<<–Click to Tweet)

For Facebook: Do you have boys? The #mobsociety helps moms find delight in the chaos of raising boys and shape a generation of men to love the Lord. I want to help fund this vital ministry. Would you help? http://bit.ly/1sZURU0 #FundlyGivesBack”

Thank you again! We love this community so much and are grateful for the ways God is knitting us together as we raise our sons to love the Lord!

A New Direction and Season for the MOB Society

We’ve been around almost five years.

That’s hard to believe, isn’t it? Nearly five years ago, God planted a dream in our hearts for a place to provide encouragement and hope for moms of boys. We had four of them between us then, and desperately needed the encouragement ourselves. We had only met on Twitter about a month before opening this site, and met in person for the first time about five months later.

You’ve walked with us through births, miscarriages, deaths, moves, crazy wild attempts to find hope in the mess of motherhood, first books, and so much more. Through it all, you’ve become a powerhouse of praying boymoms who are willing to fight for their sons no matter what.

Erin and I stood back to take a good look at you recently and realized that you just sparkle on the internet. You shine. You provide a beacon of hope to hurting moms, and we couldn’t be more proud of all God is doing in your lives.

Here’s what you have to say about how the MOB Society has been there for you…

It really helps me to know there is a community of people who really, truly “get” the ups and downs of life with multiple boys. I feel much encouraged and far less alone.Jennifer

I feel like you get me. Like you understand my goals and my challenges. Your encouragement and positivity means so much to me. Thank you.Leslee

I feel so blessed to have found MOB Society right at the start to have as a resource every step of the way. Thank you for all you do.Crystal

This information has changed the way I interact with my son and has given me information for the future.Jennifer

The resources, questions, prayer of the day, devotional opportunities just fortify and uplift especially on days where it feels like I’m failing at every turn. To read that other moms are going through some of the same things helps me not only to handle similar situations in a Godly way from some of the guidance, but I also know it’s not just me or my son. Thank you!Cin

But we sense Him asking for more…

About six months ago, we started having some serious discussions about the future of MOB. Clearly, God has His hand on this community. In the last two or three months, the number of visitors we get to this site has almost quadrupled. God is doing something here, and we believe it’s because you’re so close to His heart.

He loves you, and wants to equip you to raise godly men.

This is incredibly exciting news! God is expanding our territory and impacting more lives! Friends, this has been our prayer for this space all along, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Our hearts are to minister to you right where you are…

Ministry

As we’ve talked and prayed, the word “ministry” has come up over and over, because truly, that’s why we keep this space alive: to help moms find delight in the chaos of raising boys, and shape a generation of men to love the Lord. Our desire is to provide you with care and resources for raising godly sons, so to be a for-profit ministry just no longer makes sense to us.

That’s why, under the Lord’s leading, we’re pursuing non-profit status for The MOB Society.

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Our official name will be Raising Boys Ministries, and this blog one of the arms we’ll use to reach mothers of boys with a message of hope. Admittedly, not much will change about this blog—at least not this year. But everything we do, from the top to the bottom, will be designed with ministering to you in mind. 2015 will bring expansions of ministry, new resources, and new ways to reach the hearts of moms with a message of hope.

Here’s the deal…we can’t do this without you.

Erin and I have never made much money from this site—basically just enough to maintain it and keep it growing over the years. To apply for non-profit status and pay our site expenses for the rest of the year (through the end of December 2014), we need to raise $10,000.

  • If you believe in the ministry of the MOB Society…
  • If you believe supporting moms as they shape a generation of godly men is important…
  • If you want to see more moms of boys get the resources they need to truly make a difference in the lives of their sons…

Would you consider helping us reach this goal?

We need our community to come together and rally behind the vision of delight in the chaos, and support for raising godly men like never before. Will you be a part of it?

If 1000 boymoms give $10 each…

If 500 boymoms give $20 each…

If 250 boymoms give $40 each…

If 100 boymoms give $100 each…

If 50 boymoms give $200 each…

If 10 boymoms give $1000 each…

If 2 boymoms give $5000 each…

We’ll reach our goal today.

We want to walk with you on the journey of raising boys to be godly men. We know it’s the hardest job you’ve ever had, but we’re here to offer hope, resources, prayer, laughter, and encouragement for the daily grind of boy mamahood.

YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN ANOTHER MOM’S LIFE BY GIVING TODAY.

Help us spread the word. Let your show of support be a vote of support, not for us, but for the moms out there who need hope as much as they need air to breathe.

*Donations are NOT tax-deductible at this time. We apologize for any inconvenience.

 **If you would prefer to donate an alternate way, you can donate directly to our Paypal account at the email address themobsociety at gmail dot com OR you can email us at that same address to find out how to send a check! Please let us know if you have any questions!

 

 

Three Ways to Tune Into Your Teenage Son

Three Ways Tune Into Teenage Son

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Dear Mom,

When my son was young, I would think about the future and I often battled the fear of what might happen when he became a teenager. Do you ever feel that way? Knowing our relationship would change as he got older I was fearful of what it would turn into. Change was inevitable, but I didn’t want to lose the sweetness.

Fear not! There is hope!

One of the things I have worked hard to do is to nurture my relationship with him by connecting with him in any way possible.This connecting has looked different in each season, but here are just a few of the ways we’ve kept our relationship strong.

  • Model Humility: Admit When You Are Wrong

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…” (Colossians 3:12)

Beginning at a young age, my husband and I would regularly take the time to ask each child if there was anything that we were doing that bothered, hurt, or frustrated them. It often brought to light things that we didn’t realize we were doing. It gave us insight into where they were and how we could best encourage them.

I remember clearly the day I sat with my then elementary school age son and asked him if there was anything I was doing or saying that frustrated him, or anything I needed to work on as a mom. He quietly thought for a few minutes and then said,

“Well, Mom, sometimes at night when I wake up and I’m scared, I call out to you. And sometimes you get irritated. That kind of hurts my feelings.” Grieved by my lack of sensitivity, I asked him to forgive me and told him it was something I would work on. I thanked him for being brave enough to be honest with me. And from that day on I purposed to try to respond better when he woke me up in the middle of the night because he was afraid.

Practicing tuning in over the years has been very eye-opening and humbling, but it has shown our children that we’re people who are in a process of growing  just like they are. It has helped to pull our children closer to our side (even in their teen years!), helped my husband and I become better listeners, and has been used as a tool to help us become even better parents.

If we’re unable to receive input or we make excuses for our behavior such as claiming that we’re “too old to change,” we are the ones who lose! We will lose relationships with our children, opportunities to grow and be humbled, chance to set an example, and lastly, we will lose the respect of our children.

We must admit that we don’t know everything. We must not insist that our way is always the right way. It’s a good thing when our children see that we don’t know it all and that we’re seeking help from the only One who does. If we live humbly before our children, I believe it will be one of the most important things God uses to draw our children to Him.

  • Give Them The Gift of Silence

It’s easy to automatically reflect on our own childhood and want to give our children the “When I was your age . . .” lecture. I’ve found in most cases that this speech only causes frustration. Our children are not us. They’re individuals. They need us to be functioning in the here and now and focus on who they are. As easy as it can be for us to go down memory lane, our parenting should not be based on all that we experienced as children. It’s important that we purpose to seek wisdom from God and study who our children are as individuals.

As my kids approached the teen years, my husband and I found ourselves reflecting back on our own experiences, so we came up with a signal that we call the “You’re Going Down Memory Lane” signal! It’s a gentle reminder that helps us to listen more than we talk.

When I practice listening more than I talk as we are going about our daily lives, my son will often open up about what is on his mind. Many conversations happen when I least expect it–over a meal, in the car, or on the way to a sporting event.  It is easy to get stuck in “parenting mode”, “teaching mode”, or “lecture mode”, when a “be quiet and listen mode” is more appropriate.  This validates what they are thinking and feeling and that you really want to hear what they have to say!

  • Turn Off, But Tune In!

In this age of technology much of what we do is done on the computer or cell phone. It’s easy to be distracted by what is now an ever-present pull, easily accessible, and seemingly urgent. Starting when they were very young, as much as possible, I have made it a policy to turn off all technology when my family enters the room, so that I can focus on them with as little distraction as possible. Of course, at times that may not be possible. I may need to finish up an email or quickly come to a breaking point on a project. There are times when we’re watching a movie as a family or when everyone is busy doing their own thing, so it’s okay to continue working, but as much as I possibly can, my computer closes when my family is home together. It shows them they are what is most important and that I want to focus on them with no distractions.

Modern technology is much more than a distraction, though, and it can be used for good! Because of the technology we do have, there are many creative ways to use it to tune in and communicate with our children. For example, the cell phone can be a wonderful way to keep in touch. As soon as your child gets a cell phone, start texting them regularly!

Messages like,

“Just checking in.”

“I love you.”

“I’m proud of you.”

“I’m thankful for you.”

“When will you be home?” reaffirm your interest in and affection for your teenage son. Cell phones and text messages are just another way I can tune in and connect with them. It’s a great way to take advantage of this age of technology.

Even though my children are now grown, I continue to look for ways to tune in. I don’t think that will ever end no matter what season of life I’m in. Yes, it does take time and creativity and just when we think we have it down, our kids grow and change. Then we have to try new ways to tune in. Our children are worth the effort, don’t you think?

150 150Gina Smith has been married to Brian for 25 years, and has been a mom for 23 years. Her husband and children have been her greatest gifts! Even though she has entered a new season of life, her children do still need her, and she is thrilled about that! Gina has served alongside her husband at a small Christian college right outside of Washington DC for almost 20 years. After homeschooling both of her children, she was able to serve as the Dean of Women at the college. Being a mom has been the most wonderful, terrifying, exciting, challenging, satisfying, exhausting, heart wrenching, and heart warming adventure and calling of her life. Now that her children are both grown, she fully enjoys her calling to mentor young women in person, and on-line with her blog “Real Life Titus Two“.

 

How to Keep and Deepen Relationship with Your Teen Son

My 6-foot-tall son lumbers into the room and sinks onto the sofa.

“So, I’ve been thinking about Chapter Two…” he says.

I pause what I’m doing and we talk. We talk about fictional conflict, inciting incidents, and motivation—what the character wants more than anything. Nathan has just finished writing a novel and lately we’ve been chatting about that.

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I have six children and my relationship with each of them is different.

They all enjoy different things, and for a while I wondered how I could best relate to my sons as teens. Yes, I cheered at their basketball games. I often found myself out to lunch with them one-on-one, or at sci-fi movies, but I wanted something more–something that could just be “ours.”

It turns out that Nathan, my third oldest, and I both enjoy writing and plotting. We relish figuring out what makes a story good…then what makes it great. After nearly every movie we watch, we talk about what worked and what didn’t. As a homeschooler this started with chapter books that I read to him during school time.

Nathan also attended homeschool writing classes that I taught. We’d chat about all the elements of fiction writing on the way home. It wasn’t a forced conversation. I didn’t read a book and try to follow it. Instead, I just opened myself up to my son. We have talked about our shared interest and I’ve watched our relationship grow. Soon talking about plots and writing became “our thing.”

As I was thinking about this, I asked Facebook friends what they enjoyed doing with their teen boys.

What was “their thing?” The answered varied as much as the families!

Lyn: My 17-year-old and 13-year-old and I are in Civil Air Patrol together. I’m the squadron deputy commander. We love air shows and doing this together.

Angela: My son invites me to join his fantasy football draft and march madness bracket competitions. It might be just to make fun of me though.

Connie: My son used to like to browse antique shops with me. I think that’s what instilled in him a love of history.

Sandra: Going to cons together! (As in comic conventions) And we always go to midnight shows of nerdy sci-fi/fantasy/comic book films.

Karen: My son just got his pro card and he is a Pro Bowler, I am his manager and we go to all the tournaments together, he just turned 20.

Marci: Several years ago two of my sons and I trained for a sprint triathlon together. It was an awesome experience and on race day when we finished it was fun to celebrate..later one of my sons and I did a mountain bike triathlon and during the off road part we actually passed each other on the trail and gave each other a high five…great experience.

Doni: We shoot our compound bows. It is his passion but I enjoy the time I’ve had with him.

Tami: I have three teen boys. I fish with them, play basketball, ride bikes, run, participate in their fantasy football league, target shoot, and raise a worm farm with them.

Donna G: My son and I played racquetball together (until I fell on the court and broke my wrist in 4 places). A good bonding experience (he and I, not my wrist!).

Donna O: 3 sons…3 different things we do.
1. Scrabble with the youngest (16). We both play for blood!
2. Yard/ sales/junk stores with middle son.
3. Deep discussions with oldest son. Usually at 2 am

Karla: Riding motorcycles

As you can see, “our thing” is as unique as each mother and son. In fact, just today I had one-on-one time with my three-year-old boy. What did he ask to do? Watch Lego Superhero as we snuggled on the couch and eat fruit snacks. Who knows, as the years pass Legos—or Superheroes—just might be “our thing.” And hopefully we’ll graduate to something more than fruit snacks!

So how about you, Mom?

Do you have an “our thing” with your boy? I’d love to hear!

 

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This post is a part of our series on building relationship with our teen sons.  Click here to read them all!

 

Three Daily Reminders to Connect With Your Teenage Boy

I just want to connect with him.

I’ve spent fifteen years with this kid. He used to rattle off every thought that went through his head, but sometimes it can get very quiet, awkward even.  We’ve always been so close, and now I might sit by his side and can’t think of one single thing to say. I don’t want to say the wrong thing and push him away. I don’t want him to think I’m trying too hard. I’m baffled.

I just want to connect.

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That awkward scenario doesn’t happen too often with either of my teen boys and I’m super thankful for that. Overall we have kept a healthy connection as they have entered their teenage years. But still, teenage boys will have these moments, and us moms…we need to deal with it.

When those moments do happen, I’ve discovered a little trick to help us connect. I sort of just stumbled upon it, but the more I practice it, the more certain I am that it works.

Connecting with your teenage son can be as simple as BEING IN MOTION with them. Boys need to move–a lot, and physically doing things with your son is a sure-fire way to open up communication.

When I want to chat with my boys, I will often get outside with them.  We shoot baskets together, pick fruit, or take the garbage down to the street together.  With almost no effort, I find the conversation flowing.  Sure, there may be some quiet moments, but soon the chatting begins.  Taking a walk or hike is probably my favorite way to open the channels of communication.

It doesn’t have to be playing sports or going outdoors.  I might ask one of my sons to help me fold laundry or do the dishes. As we work, there is a natural connection. We may not talk non-stop, but a little joke here, a comment there…which often lands us in a real-live conversation.

The car can be another magical place and it’s for that reason that when I’m alone in the car with one kid, they put phones and iPods away.  A little background music and the car provides a great place to chat.

THREE DAILY REMINDERS

Though teenage boys can seem like quite a mystery, I find these these THREE DAILY REMINDERS help me find a connection with my boys:

1. My teenage boys are NOT who they used to be. I need to let go of what I considered “normal” in his little boy years and allow him to grow into the man he is becoming.

2. My teenage boys still need me. Though my role has changed, I am still important in their life.  They might actually want to tell me about the things going on in their life, but perhaps  aren’t sure how to start the conversation. It is my job to look for opportunities and stay open for when the time is right.

3. My best chance of connecting with my teenage sons is when we are moving.  If I can find an activity or a project to do with my sons, they will be much more likely to open up.

Parenting teens is one of my favorite things in the world. It has taken me some time to adjust, but I love what we are growing in this new season. I encourage you to let go of old expectations or sentimental notions. Embrace the teenage years, have fun with your son, and pray for him as he is growing into the man you’ve been preparing him to be since he was born!

With Aloha,
Monica

Monica Swanson lives on the North Shore of Oahu with her husband and four surfer boys.  She home schools her boys, and has a passion for all things family, health and faith.  She loves to share encouragement and inspiration at her blog:  www.monicaswanson.com.

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This post is a part of our series on building relationship with our teen sons.  Click here to read them all!

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