We’re so very close to finishing up the re-work of our popular program for moms of hard-to-handle boys. We’ve been working on this for over a year, and we’re finally going to wrap it up and release our newly updated program in early January!
This course will be entirely focused on support for moms of what we call H2HBoys (hard-to-handle). It will include printed manuals, video teachings, podcasts, and more. Basically, it’s going to be a brain dump of everything we know about raising H2H boys.
We’ll help you understand your H2H boy in a way you probably never have, helping you to see the God-given value in having boys who tend to be high energy, over-the-top, 250% boy, non-compliant, aggressive, etc… (believe us, there IS value!)…and we’ll do it all from a completely Gospel-Centered, Christian perspective!
HOWEVER, we need your help. Before we finalize everything and send it to our technical “powers that be” to get ready, we need to make sure we’ve covered everything.
That’s where you come in! Please take a few minutes to answer this super-short survey—really, there’s only one thing we need to ask you…
Here it is:
What are your two top questions about raising hard-to-handle boys that we absolutely MUST answer in this course? In other words, what two issues about parenting your H2HBoys keeps you up at night wishing for a solution?
Leave your answers to this question in the comments knowing you’ve helped us create a program that is exactly what you need!
The MOB Society
Thanks in advance for your answers! We can’t wait to hear them!
How to make bedtime easier.. my 7 yo hates to go to bed .. and he and my 9 yo spend most of their time together using hurtful words and actions toward each other.. but neither do so with their 2 older brothers (11,13) … yes 4 boys!
I SO get this, Jenette. I was just asking my husband the other day why bedtime had to be so hard. I hear you!
I need help letting go!! When my boys are in the midst of their ‘hard-to-handle-ways’ my control freak kicks in and I become a dictator! I want balance. How do I entrust my young men to God and how do I give structure and consistency without going into boss-mode. Thanks for all you MOB folks do!
This is great, Meghan. I have these tendencies, too. I was raised my a Srgt. Major in the Army, and my inner drill srgt comes out in these moments as well!
How lovingly lead and teach him without frustrating him or myself
How to discipline him in a way that directs him to Christ
So good, Cathy. Parenting in a way that reaches their hearts instead of just changes their behavior is HARD WORK.
How do I discipline him for his bad choices with making him believe he is a quote “bad guy.” I just want to cry every time.
Just how do I get through to hard to handle-ness. How I do I achieve that glimmer of comprehension.
Sarah, I’m so glad you brought this up. Our H2H boys tend to feel like they’re bad boys, don’t they? I think there’s a danger there and we need practical ways to address it. So glad you asked!
I need help with argumentative and angry outburst from my preteen son.
HORMONES! Right, Jamie? Blech…
1. How to handle a boy that is incredibly strong-willed with a high IQ. He is very bright and therefore, has a difficult time with the word “no”.
2. How to handle social situations of an intelligent, shy kiddo. Again, he’s very bright, but tends to play alone or with less dominant males/females. How do I help him become a leader instead of a follower?
Definitely agree with question number 1.
See my response to Valerie. Same issues for us.
High IQ boys can be very H2H, Jenny. Thanks for pointing this out.
How do I balance the empathy for a dyslexic boy for whom school (homeschool with one day of class outside the home with real deadlines) is HARD… and the “suck it up you have to do it” mentality. I find it difficult to balance the idea of independence and self-motivation with the fact that this is harder for him than my other children.
How do we allow time to “just be a boy” and be silly and have fun and also help our sons grow to be men who do what they say they will do and know how to work hard? This is also a challenge for me because my husband is a great guy, but pretty passive and will default to me being the task master because he is relationship oriented.
Ella, I bet this particular boy has you in protective “Mama Bear” mode all the time, doesn’t he? They can tear our heartstrings right out. I’m so glad you brought up this point.
How do I get him to obey without threatening or the power struggle showing I am the boss?! Each & every time!
How do I get him to listen to other people? Eg. Babysitters, teachers, grandparents.
Obedience is the #1 reason for issues in the home, I think, Brittany. You’re not alone!
I only have one for right now, and it’s this: what do you do with that hard-headed STUBBORNNESS?! It makes me want to bang my head against a wall!! I’ve always heard stubbornness is a good trait to have, because it will help our boys stand firm in the face of temptation or peer pressure, and that you just have to “shape” it into godly character. Well HOW do you do that?? I feel like all I do is constantly fend of arguments all day long – it’s completely and thoroughly exhausting!
Absolutely love this question. I have so many, I’m commenting on ones I’d like to see addressed 🙂
Cynthia Tobias’ books and radio programs (Focus on the Family/Family Life Today) are brilliant.
With our gifted, arguing son it helps to give him some ‘control/agency.’ Meaning, instead of “do it now” we say, “Do you think you could do _________ by x o’clock?” That way, they feel they are in control. Or, just keep repeating, “Your choice. You can do homework now, or this weekend when you get invitations to go to your friends house. Your choice.”
Hope that helps,
Mom of a gifted, future debating lawyer or world leader
Stubbornness is one of THE main characteristics of an H2H boy, Valerie. It makes us CRAZY, right? Such an important issue.
How do I know when to let go and let him fail and figure things out for himself? My very difficult boy is nearly 16 and we’ve been at this for over 10 yrs.
How do I make myself turn to God in prayer when I’m so angry at him for giving me this boy I’m clearly not equipped to help?
Your second question made me cry because I can relate and I appreciate your honesty!
Could I suggest this article, Charity? I wrote it a few years ago, but it’s exactly what you’re talking about: https://www.themobsociety.com/blog/2015/03/12/20150312youre-mad-god-giving-hard-boys/
I desperately need an answer for bickering brothers. My oldest boys are 20 months apart and bicker constantly!
Also, our youngest is only five and the older boys don’t really connect with him. They read to him and talk to him and they watch cartoons together, but the minute the little one does the least little thing the older two don’t like, they shut him out. He really gets his feelings hurt. What is the balance between giving the older boys space, but still including younger brother?
Bickering brothers is something I know a LOT of moms deal with. I think this will be important to cover. Thank you, Samantha!
How do I encourage obedience without being a nagging mom?
How do I prepare for and handle the high-highs and low-lows of emtions in my boys when our schedule or routine changes?
Preparing ahead of time is one of the most important things we can do. Great insight, Friend!
Right now, 4 out of 5 of my boys are teenagers. So my burning questions have changed from when they were little tots that I was dragging around and trying to tame.
Now, my top questions are these:
1. How do we create in them a servant’s heart, especially when they are feeling selfish?
2. How do we encourage them to follow God’s will, to find Godly friends, and to stay away from temptations, when the rest of the world is driving them towards everything unhealthy?
These are SO on my list, Erica. You’re speaking my language right now 🙂 I’m excited to be bringing in moms of older boys to help us figure these things out as a part of the program. Thank you!
How do I handle and view his very short fused anger as a God given trait in a God glorifying way?!?
Great question, Crystal. Thank you for taking the time to answer!
I do I help him see the benefit of accepting “NO”? I know that stubborn perseverance is going to be very useful for God’s kingdom, but how do I keep it from wearing me thin?
I love how your heart is oriented toward the positive, Crystal. This is great, thank you!
How do we manage anger that can be explosive. Our girls get angry and cry, he gets angry and physical. How do we walk this through?
Great questions, Jessica. This is a real issue.
Thanks for doing this! I look forward to hearing more about the program.
1. Trying to help a strong-willed and very bright 3 year old self-control and obedience without breaking his spirit and enthusiastic personality.
2. Helping my 7 year old keep on a Christian path and resist sassy attitude he picks up at school.
I love this, Amy. It’s so important to approach our parenting from this perspective. Thank you!
How do I help my boy begin to find intrinsic motivation to do things at school, home and especially help him to know that he is doing all of this for the fjord of our LORD!
How can I help my son to learn how to keep his mouth from saying things he knows will hurt other people.
Great questions! Impulsiveness is another one of those classic characteristics of H2H boys…
How do I help my son be more open to religion and spirituality? He is 13 going on 14, and refusing to complete confirmation but will attend church services with me. He says he’s not sure what he believes and his dad, my ex-husband, feels the same. I say he doesn’t have enough information to make that decision, and confirmation will help him learn what he needs to make a decision of what he believes.
Also, do I rely on myself to continue filling him with information, modeling Christianity and reliance on God, God to continue reaching out to him and knocking on the door to my son’s precious heart, and hope that in time he will be more open? Or do I make him go to confirmation and hope that won’t cause him to resist even more or possibly turn him off of God and going to church?
That’s 3 questions, so I apologize.
No problem, Stephanie. These are important, great questions. Thank you for your insight!
How do I get myself under control when I’m pushed to the very end, when it seems like screaming is the only thing I have left that they will listen to? What do you do when you’re a bigger problem in the situation than they are?
How do I reach the aggressive, strong-willed child’s heart?
How can I be proactive with a child who has no discernible triggers?
How can I balance his high activity level and need to move with MY need (as a homeschooling mama) for him to sometimes sit and work?
How can I know what expectations to have for “appropriate” behavior? I understand he has a higher energy level (and is noisier) than many kids, but I don’t want to make excuses for behavior either. I have a hard time figuring out when to let him be and when to be firmer with him. I want to help him grow and mature and don’t want to enable bad habits.
My boys are 6, 4, and not even 2 yet. My concern is, tht I won’t be able to teach each of them in the manner they each need to learn at their best. Each boy is so different, and I want to be able to reach each one at their own unique level, but how do I tht and still stay sane?
My H2H boy is 15 almost 16 year old and he has this idea that he is right about everything, no matter what I try to assist him in! He is the all around kid– super smart, athletic, & handsome. (So people say) This has caused him to be vain and he has lost the humbleness that we have instilled in the child. How do I bring this strong headed child back to reality??
Second hardest thing to manage with this child is his attitude & temper!! Anytime I say anything about his talking back, rudeness but joking, disrespect, school, etc… he goes in to full angry temper!! He says I’m nagging him, I’m always on his back, I don’t give him a chance, I’m to hard on him… and when I try to give an explanation on why I’m saying or doing something he just gets angry & shuts down, won’t talk to me, & goes to his room.. when he does “talk back” it’s usually to tell me it’s hard, he doesn’t want to talk to anyone, and he doesn’t trust anyone to tel them his real feelings…Then I get mad because I feel like he is disrespectful and blowing me off when I’m offering him help or getting someone he can talk to! Help Is needed on how to control or adjust his attitude & temper.
I would love to see more on pre-teens & teenagers!!
My two questions: HOW do I keep them from touching each other?! There is bumping, punching, hitting, pinching, poking–you name it. No sense in just walking by when we can TOUCH another brother. I have tried MANY consequences but none work.
Secondly, how do I keep the respect of boys as they move into being teens. I have one 11 year old who is driving me crazy and is becoming very disrespectful. I know this isn’t nice but I do need help! 🙂 He is so respectful to hubby and gpas but not to me as mom.
Thanks for asking!
My guy is not high energy, but he moves at his own pace. He feels he should be able to go at his snail pace because that is who he is. I want him to be proud of himself, but understand he must meet his deadlines. For example arriving at school on time.
How do I handle a boy that is incredibly strong-willed – he is very bright and therefore, has a difficult time with the word “no”. Very oppositional, had him tested, nothing but stubbornness on his part.
How do I get him to respect me and other figures of authority, back to the oppositional behaviors; he does not willingly do anything we ask of him unless he gets something out of it.
Oh my goodness, reading some of the above comments – ditto!!
Here’s what I’ll go with:
1. How to teach the strong-willed H2H boy to respect and obey without crushing their out-of-the-box thinking & incredible logic/reasoning.
2. How to get/stay in the right mindset/heartset for the momma of an incredibly noisy, SMART H2H boy!
1. How do I nurture a relationship between my 8yr old son & his father (not my husband) who was never shown how to be a father or show love in his own childhood? & how do I know when/if it’s time to give up?
2. How does a single mom help her 17yr old learn to live with, thrive & treat his newly diagnosed mental illness (bi-polar disorder) without teaching him to use it as an excuse? (Maybe a future endeavor could be for mom’s of boys with these type of problems)
How can a grandmother (me) help support my daughter (the mother of a strong-willed son) without interfering or seeming judgmental? My grandson is smart/sharp, & at age 7 thinks he is always right. Most disturbing is his anger when he doesn’t get his way. But on the flip side, he has a big heart and can be very loving. Some of these challenges are age related, however, any suggestions would be helpful.
I was going to add something, but the questions above are SPOT ON! Stubbornness, defiance, “marching to the beat of a different drummer” – it all makes parenting extra challenging!
How can I maintain a good relationship with my H2H youngest son, when I’m constantly disciplining him for disobedience/meanness towards siblings/downright rudeness?
How can I help him understand that his goal of constantly irritating his siblings is alienating them, not building good relationships with them?
Yes yes yes!
My boys don’t answer us…drives us crazy. We have 3 boys. This causes most of the frustration and yelling bc we get frustrated with them not answering before we can even talk to them. We’ve tried all sorts of things as consequences!
How to be a more compassionate, loving mother when I feel like all I do is yell at my two very H2H very young sons.
And how can I let them explore the world and be rough and tumble on a farm, but still keep them safe!
I guess I would like to figure out how to hone his exuberant energy into things like reading, getting into a devotion, learning more about Jesus. With a stubborn, intelligent and passionate (temper) child, sometimes I’m not sure how much he’s retaining or if he’s really grasping the importance of that relationship. He is 9, so maybe I’m asking for too much, but not I’m sure. Also, how to help him manage his frustration/anger/emotions.
My highly intelligent boy cannot seem to complete simple tasks without a fight, i.e., putting the top back on the toothpaste, flushing the toilet, putting a belt on, eating properly, etc. We are on him all the time. He says he “forgot,” but these are normal life skills he has to have. How do we get him to accomplish these simple tasks without following him around and telling him every step to take?
He is also very strong-willed, so getting on to him becomes a major battle. We won’t let him talk back to us, but he can’t seem to stop trying to defend his position. It’s like he’s going to explode. How do we discipline him in such a way that he can address his concerns with respect?
How to get him to take more initiative with school work, chores, etc.
More motivation in school work etc.
How do you start in the teen years with guidance of H2H boys, when so much of the good advice should have been done years ago?
How do you make sure you stay close with you H2H boys, especially when they do not want to be close to me?!
How do you handle lack of concern for a sibling? I feel my H2H is really indifferent in regards to his younger brother. Also, consistent discipline ideas when NOTHING seems to work!
1. How to handle disrespect ( talking back and argumentative behavior with 21 yr old boy and 15yrold boy when you are a single mother.
2. How to help my boys pick godly friends and make wise choices especially since the male influences in their lives are very lacking.
( I also have some of same problems as the mothers above mention).
2. Encouraging relationships between brothers as well as with other people
He’s 4 he’s SOOOO jealous of the baby brother (who’s 2). He was perfect until the baby came along now its a constant fight. For the last two years. How do I teach him that I LOVE THEM BOTH EQUALLY AND ENOUGH? We do one on one time, we do separate times separate dates, I try to fill his power bucket and needs and attention. He just thinks that HE HAS TO have the spotlight and that there’s not enough attention for him. 2. He is very spoiled and entitled. He feels like we owe him everything. I think many hard to handle kids programs need a chapter on entitlement. I’m learning right now about natural consequences for entitlement thinking. (Not really a question sorry).
1. How do we as moms shows grace while still disciplining our boys? I want to teach them that God gives us grace yet we as parents still have guidelines to follow as well. I never know exactly when to incorporate grace into discipline or how to go about doing it well.
2. My hard to handle middle son is usually the source of most of our family conflict. I feel like he is ALWAYS the one getting in trouble. I dont want him to grow up resenting us or thinking that we (my husband and I) were always so hard on him, or have it strain the relationship with him. My heart literally feels like it is breaking every time he is once again getting into trouble. How do you deal with one child who seems to cause so much conflict?
My major concern is the lack of godly male role models. I struggle with this and tend to blame the ungodly men for their behavior and not providing a godly path. When father and especially grandfathers are not saved. Do I keep them away from my sons? Or constantly pray and let my sons know their ways are not gods ways?
How to handle the stubbornness/hard-headedness on a daily basis, while still maintaining a loving relationship. And, if possible, touch on How to handle this while my son has ADD.
In 1 Corinthians 16:13 it says stand firm in the faith, be men of courage,be strong….
I want to know how to make my sons this way and not take away there little boy life cause there are a lot of pressures to deal with and sometimes it’s not easy to accomplish
How do you help your son see that hard work and Patience are a good thing to have…
1 – where’s the line between extending grace and teaching manners, kindness, self-discipline? 2 – what is my role in training my boys to pray?
This program 2.5 years ago changed my relationship with my son! I have watched us grow deeper in love with each other and protect our heart connection when correction and discipline must be done.
The two issues that I believe need to be further explored are:
1. (like Julie) Maintaining that relationship as we move through seasons of high energy and lack of listening.
2. How can we facilitate better sibling relationships? This can cause chaos in house and lead me to respond in ways I don’t want to.
Otherwise, THANK YOU! I am now my boys biggest champion and supporter. The program changed ME, my perspective, my response, to this outrageously wild and hilarious son of mine. ❤️️
Thank you so much for sharing that, Christina! You just blessed my socks off 🙂
How can I meet my ADHD, dyslexic, and reactive attachment 6 year old stepson where he is and encourage him to be the man that God wants him to be?
How can I encourage each of my 4 young sons to be godly manly men that encourage and support others, without losing my temper at their ‘boyness’, in my introverted personality
My question is similar to Charity’s. How do I turn to God instead of away from Him when I’m at a loss as to how to help my son with ADHD. I want to trust God’s plan for giving me this boy yet I feel so unequipped to raise him. It’s hard to not have anger or bitterness at times.
Help and suggestions for when he can’t control his emotions and behaviors and how to love and train so he learns not just “punished” and growing relationships with brothers amidst the hitting and hurting. Thanks, love your heart for these special future- men of God
How do I balance rules and obedience with patience?
How do I get myself (and my husband) past his special needs (ADHD, OCD) and prepare him for life on his own once we are gone?
Trying to parent siblings! I am right here! I will take care of them! And we are not trying to keep up with the joneses or anyone else! I am not buying the newest cell phone
How do I help a stubborn teen who argues about the family rules surrounding time spent online and no electronic devices in his bedroom over night, understand it’s to protect him and not punishment.
I have a boy who always thinks he knows everything(7yrs old) and doesn’t think he has to listen to mom(but will do anything dad asks)…I don’t know what else to do with him.
Not sure if this had been mentioned yet…
Now what? How to fully acknowledge and adjust for 14 years of occasionally sparing the rod and using words to manipulate my son to obey. I have been disobedient and have lacked faith in God’s Word; by doing so I’ve spoiled my son. Now what? It’s not too late, but how do I enforce firm boundaries when he now stands 5 inches taller than me (he’s too big to spank and he knows it)?
I am a single mom with a 2 year old son. It is just us and his 23 year old sister. He plays rough. When is rough to rough. He gets too excited he bites he gets frustrated he bites he gets angry he bites. And this week we started pinching everyone one and every thing. I don’t want to lose who he is but I don’t want him climbing on me every min from when I get home from teaching. It makes it impossible to cook or clean.
1. How do I foster a soft heart in my H2H boy to see the gospel, God’s loce for him, and his need for our Savior.
2. How do I foster a soft heart in me when all the rebellion from H2H boy makes me feel unloved, unwanted, and unsuccessful.
1 Discipline without crushing their spirits. They are capable of so much fun energy, and creativity, but on the other extreme can have such violent temper tantrums.
2. When to allow boys to be boys, and when to reel it in. I don’t understand why they feel the need to do cannonballs in the bathtub, diving off the sofa and kung fu fighting down the stairs!
My boy has so much spunk and creativity and out of the box thinking, He does not just believe things, but has his own ideas. God gave him LOTS of energy and amazing stamina. Those are such valuable qualities, but they make me uncomfortable as a parent. I want those qualities in the grown children who are adults and no longer under my care! Lol! My biggest worries are how to help him and guide him so that he makes the choice to follow hard after Jesus, and do things His way. And, a fear of squelching him or telling him through my attitudes that he is too much of some things and not enough of others. Also, how to inspire him to have high values and strong convictions and be a man who stands for truth and righteousness.
My biggest struggle is similar as some above: how to know when to let go and let God train his heart- the balance of dicipline and grace. It kills me to be constantly in a struggle with my 8 year old son.
I have 3 boys and my youngest leaves me in confusion. I’ve figured out that his disobedience is sometimes stubborn, but is also creative problem solving, independence, and curiosity. How do I handle that? He’s just two, but hes so fast (I swear he drinks rocket fuel!) and always on the go that many days I just pray he survives childhood. I have older boys and thought I knew what I was doing (they are loud and rowdy, too) but the little one makes them seem easy.
1. How to teach H2HB to just OBEY/Submission?
5 yo son (smart, independent determined sweet,loving) was told at school not to touch the self on the Shelf. (I don’t do it bc I think he’s creepy, and I really don’t need one more thing to give me Mommy guilt that I’m failing. Advent calendar and Santa are all I can handle .) He touched it and got in “trouble”. I asked why he touched it. He said “I had to touch it to see what would happen to it and I didn’t care if I got into trouble” I see inquisitive mind and research. Teacher not so much
2. How to deal with H2HB without father in home and not around frequently?
Going through divorce as we speak due to his physical abuse of me and infidelity. Not a Godly influence for my son. And visitation time limited to attempt to minimize fathers influence.
How to handle the disrespect without sinning myself by yelling or being rude. Also, how to have fun with them since I’m such a girly mom.
How do I handle other people trying to address my son’s challenging behaviors in ways that are not in line with my beliefs of boy-raising (for example his grandma threatening to spank him with a metal spatula if he doesn’t listen)? We’ve have conversations about it and she seems to think immediate obedience is the priority over long term heart change, and my methods don’t work fast enough, although I have seen glimmers of hope in the midst of the challenging days.
Similarly, how do I guard him and myself against other’s opinions of his behavior, (“no one likes me. ____ says I’m a bad boy.”).
I should clarify… his grandma would never actually spank him with it, but she wants him to fear the threat… which he does and then his behavior changes and she thinks she’s proven her point that it works :/ but his heart hasn’t felt remorse at all, he is just terrified of her threat.
Big boys issues! Five boys here aged 10m-13 y! How to help them find their interests, giftings, callings, and help the find motivation to pursue them instead of slipping into the easy here and now stuff of games, texting, and internet. How to keep choosing God’s way when it’s hard, big life-impacting decisions, without a parent there to guide or advise.
How do you know when they’re just “being boys” and when there’s a definite sin problem to be dealt with? It feels like I spend so much time reprimanding and getting on their case for something that may just be normal for their gender…….but how do you tell the difference?!