Wednesday, November 2, 2011

That's My Teenage Son Reviewed

Continuing with my themes of being thankful, I wanted to share a review of a book I was very grateful to read. I am always amazed when God places the equipment, I need in my hands when I need it. Although I wished I had read this book sooner, it did help me with my thought process as a mother of boys. 

This is also my first book review so I would love to know your thoughts on the review.
I just finished reading That’s My Teenage Son by Rick Johnson. In this season in my life the books I read falling into few categories. I read spiritual, parenting or marriage books. Although this book falls into the parenting category, it is not a how too book.

That’s My Teenage Son, the name says it all. This book is meant to explain teen boys to their mothers and it does. The book definitely provides a view into your teen sons world, and the many challenges he is facing. If you are in the teen years, you may have already figured out most of these things from other books.

There was not a lot of new information for me, but below are some of the things I walked away with.

I am definitely a do not tell me you are doing to do it parent. Word are hard for me, let me see what you do. I guess it is good that I am surrounded by Boys. In Chapter 2, Communicating with Teen Boys the most valuable advice to moms is to
“Concentrate more on observing what your son does rather than what he says.” 
Lots of time our children learn to tell us what we want to hear, so what they do is what matters most.

Chapter 3 on Mom and Son, Rick talks about a mother’s need to rescue their son to extreme. I was never a big rescuer. In my Magic School Bus world we believe in allowing the Boys to make mistake. We all learn by trail and error and those natural consequences make a lasting impression as to why we will never do that again.

We are working on Chapter 5, Healthy Masculinity. Being a man does mean you do more of the things you do not want to do and way less of the things you would like to do. We have to teach our sons that we do the things we do not want to do because they are necessary. For example, taking out the trash is not fun but necessary.

I really enjoyed Chapter 6, Emotions. We need to teach our sons to make decisions by weighing the pro and cons of the situation and not on how we feel at the given time. The value in this chapter for me was that he describes some of the emotions that teen boys face.

I disagreed with the love emotion. He defines love giving oneself sacrificially on a daily basis for the sake of another. He goes on to say that is not a natural male trait. It needs to be modeled. I think this kind of love is a Bible love and is not natural for anyone. Even women struggle with sacrificially giving of themselves.

Chapter 9 was about Spiritual Legacy and he finally discusses something practical that a mom can do for her teen son. We can pray for our teen sons daily. There is a short but well though out list of things to pray for. My favorite was for them to get caught at the beginning of a problem so they will not become more entangled.

Chapter 10 discusses Building Character for a Lifetime. Here we have a list of character traits to develop in our sons. Qualities like resiliency, perseverance, integrity, respect and honor. There was not much practical on how to build these qualities but with the list in hand we are free to decide how best to teach them.

Chapter is 11 was on another favorite topic of mine, Self-discipline. We all need self-discipline. We can teach self discipline by giving our sons boundaries, assigning them chores, teaching them how to manage their money and time. I agree those are all excellent ways to teach self-discipline.

That’s My Teenage Son is a well written book. I did enjoy reading it. I had wished that I had read it when my oldest was eight years old. Then I could have created a plan to instill some of the values in my son. Reading this book when I did was good for me because it help me realized that I was going a good job raising my boys. Had I read it when they were younger I would have been way too hard on myself.
Sharing with Thankful Thursdays, Beck Valley Books