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Strong Mothers, Strong Sons: Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men

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Meg Meeker, M.D., acclaimed author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, now turns to an equally powerful relationship in the family: the one between mother and son.   From the moment a mother holds her newborn son, his eyes tell her that she is his world. But often, as he grows up, the boy who needs her simultaneously pushes her away. Calling upon thirty years of experienc Meg Meeker, M.D., acclaimed author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, now turns to an equally powerful relationship in the family: the one between mother and son.   From the moment a mother holds her newborn son, his eyes tell her that she is his world. But often, as he grows up, the boy who needs her simultaneously pushes her away. Calling upon thirty years of experience as a pediatrician, Meg Meeker, M.D., a highly sought after national speaker, assistant professor of clinical medicine, and mother of four, shares the secrets that every mother needs to know in order to strengthen—or rebuild—her relationship with her son.   Boys today face unique challenges and pressures, and the burden on mothers to guide their boys through them can feel overwhelming. This empowering book offers a road map to help mothers find the strength and confidence to raise extraordinary sons by providing encouragement, education, and practical advice about   • the need for mothers to exercise courage and be bolder and more confident about advising and directing their boys • the crucial role mothers play in expressing love to sons in healthy ways so they learn to respect and appreciate women as they grow up • the importance of teaching sons about the values of hard work, community service, and a well-developed inner life • the natural traps mothers of boys often fall into—and how to avoid them • the need for a mother to heal her own wounds with the men in her life so she can raise her son without baggage and limitations • the best ways to survive the moments when the going gets tough and a mom’s natural ways of communicating—talking, analyzing, exploring—only fuel the fire   When a mother holds her baby boy for the first time, she also instinctively knows something else: If she does her job right and raises her son with self-esteem, support, and wisdom, he will become the man she knows he was meant to be. Praise for Strong Mothers, Strong Sons   “Solid, practical advice for women on how to properly nurture their sons.” —Kirkus Reviews   Praise for Meg Meeker, M.D.   Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters   “Dr. Meeker’s conclusions are timely, relevant, and often deeply moving. No one interested in what girls experience growing up in our culture today—and the impact that parents, especially fathers, have on the experience—can afford to miss reading this book.”—Armand M. Nicholi, Jr., M.D., professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School   “Reassuring and challenging . . . a helpful road map for concerned fathers [that] tackles difficult issues.” —National Review   Boys Should Be Boys   “If you want to raise a boy you’ll be proud of, read Boys Should Be Boys.”—Dave Ramsey, author of The Total Money Makeover   “Filled with inspirational vignettes, Boys Should Be Boys empowers parents to stay involved and protect their sons’ innocence. It’s a wonderfully written and eye-opening book—a must-read.”—Neil Bernstein, Ph.D., author of There When He Needs You   The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers   “Offers practical ways to help you let go of ‘mom guilt’ in order to become a happier, healthier woman.” —Parent & Child   “Just about any mom, or dad, can find useful wisdom in this book.”—Associated Press


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Meg Meeker, M.D., acclaimed author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, now turns to an equally powerful relationship in the family: the one between mother and son.   From the moment a mother holds her newborn son, his eyes tell her that she is his world. But often, as he grows up, the boy who needs her simultaneously pushes her away. Calling upon thirty years of experienc Meg Meeker, M.D., acclaimed author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, now turns to an equally powerful relationship in the family: the one between mother and son.   From the moment a mother holds her newborn son, his eyes tell her that she is his world. But often, as he grows up, the boy who needs her simultaneously pushes her away. Calling upon thirty years of experience as a pediatrician, Meg Meeker, M.D., a highly sought after national speaker, assistant professor of clinical medicine, and mother of four, shares the secrets that every mother needs to know in order to strengthen—or rebuild—her relationship with her son.   Boys today face unique challenges and pressures, and the burden on mothers to guide their boys through them can feel overwhelming. This empowering book offers a road map to help mothers find the strength and confidence to raise extraordinary sons by providing encouragement, education, and practical advice about   • the need for mothers to exercise courage and be bolder and more confident about advising and directing their boys • the crucial role mothers play in expressing love to sons in healthy ways so they learn to respect and appreciate women as they grow up • the importance of teaching sons about the values of hard work, community service, and a well-developed inner life • the natural traps mothers of boys often fall into—and how to avoid them • the need for a mother to heal her own wounds with the men in her life so she can raise her son without baggage and limitations • the best ways to survive the moments when the going gets tough and a mom’s natural ways of communicating—talking, analyzing, exploring—only fuel the fire   When a mother holds her baby boy for the first time, she also instinctively knows something else: If she does her job right and raises her son with self-esteem, support, and wisdom, he will become the man she knows he was meant to be. Praise for Strong Mothers, Strong Sons   “Solid, practical advice for women on how to properly nurture their sons.” —Kirkus Reviews   Praise for Meg Meeker, M.D.   Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters   “Dr. Meeker’s conclusions are timely, relevant, and often deeply moving. No one interested in what girls experience growing up in our culture today—and the impact that parents, especially fathers, have on the experience—can afford to miss reading this book.”—Armand M. Nicholi, Jr., M.D., professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School   “Reassuring and challenging . . . a helpful road map for concerned fathers [that] tackles difficult issues.” —National Review   Boys Should Be Boys   “If you want to raise a boy you’ll be proud of, read Boys Should Be Boys.”—Dave Ramsey, author of The Total Money Makeover   “Filled with inspirational vignettes, Boys Should Be Boys empowers parents to stay involved and protect their sons’ innocence. It’s a wonderfully written and eye-opening book—a must-read.”—Neil Bernstein, Ph.D., author of There When He Needs You   The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers   “Offers practical ways to help you let go of ‘mom guilt’ in order to become a happier, healthier woman.” —Parent & Child   “Just about any mom, or dad, can find useful wisdom in this book.”—Associated Press

30 review for Strong Mothers, Strong Sons: Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alexandria

    ETA: I WILL delete comments preaching at me or attacking me as a mother. Most of the comments below are well-reasoned and wonderful. But if you came here to force your religion on me, force your fear of sex down my throat, or shame me as a mother, I will delete your ignorant comments and block you. This is a book review site. Keep your drama for Facebook. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I was so excited about this book. And the more I read...the less ETA: I WILL delete comments preaching at me or attacking me as a mother. Most of the comments below are well-reasoned and wonderful. But if you came here to force your religion on me, force your fear of sex down my throat, or shame me as a mother, I will delete your ignorant comments and block you. This is a book review site. Keep your drama for Facebook. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I was so excited about this book. And the more I read...the less excited I became. Ultimately, halfway through, I decided to put the book down and move on for some very specific reasons. Meeker seems to think that men and women are fundamentally different. That there are certain universal truths about men and women that just don't hold up when you take a global perspective. If men really were hardwired to compete with all other men and if men were honestly unable to teach themselves emotional literacy without the help of women (yes, she asserts both of these things with alarming frequency) then there are certain stages of cultural development in many places that simply would not have existed. Not to mention that there are men now, in America, who grow up without a primary female caregiver and, according to Meeker, should have no chance at learning emotional literacy. I'm sure they would disagree. Meeker also spends an entire chapter on the way that a mother can teach her son about God. Yes, that's God with a big G. I was unaware that I was reading a religious parenting book. I should have guessed with the way the author frequently references pastors, treats all pornography use as inherently bad and "an addiction", and the way she makes men and women out to be such vastly different creatures that it's a shock women can relate to their sons at all! The final straw was Meeker's insistence that a son "wants - and needs - to see his father as stronger because that's his role model for his own impending adulthood. He doesn't want to think of his mother as stronger, because this threatens his masculinity" (From the chapter "Give Him an Ax"). If your son's masculinity is threatened because he sees a woman being as strong as he is, you have raised a man who belittles women. Including you. I don't think any mother wants that. I bookmarked a lot of pages to quote on here, including her insistence that teens don't "manipulate intentionally" but that they say mean things to their mothers knowing that it will get their mother to change rules the teen doesn't like.... That's intentional manipulation! It might not be malicious, but it is certainly intentional. Or the chapter where she says that teens who play violent video games are more likely to act out violence in their adult years, which multiple studies have disproven. Or the part where she says that children who grow up without loving mothers are far more likely to commit acts of mass violence than children who have loving mothers. She admits it's an extreme scenario, but one sentence does not erase a paragraph of depicting all male foster children as mass murderers waiting to happen. But after writing this far in the review, I think I've made my case. Meeker presents stereotypes - many of them harmful to all genders - as if they are the reality of human families. She never addresses how parents need to work together (when there are more than one) to help their children, and her views are based on a very Christian platform that does not hold up under psychological studies or common sense. And she seems to think that each family relationship is insular and dictated by what genitalia is in our pants. I'm too invested in raising a thoughtful, kind, and connected child to waste my time with a book written by a woman who clearly states, repeatedly, that I will never be able to understand him because he's a boy and I'm a girl.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    It was so heavy handed with stereotype and crap about how men can't communicate with their mothers through words or physical affection. What? Maybe in your gender binary religious world, but not in my open-minded one. I couldn't listen to any more of the condescending treatment of young men. It was so heavy handed with stereotype and crap about how men can't communicate with their mothers through words or physical affection. What? Maybe in your gender binary religious world, but not in my open-minded one. I couldn't listen to any more of the condescending treatment of young men.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    This book had some great lessons and I hope I remember them all in the coming years. Here are the reasons it didn't get 5 stars: -It's very long, making it hard to remember the first lesson by the time you finish it. I wish there was a master list of the lessons that was repeated a few times so I could remember them all. I did listen to the audiobook, so maybe if I had actually read it I would have been able to reference the chapter list. -The author's beliefs about religion are mentioned a lot and This book had some great lessons and I hope I remember them all in the coming years. Here are the reasons it didn't get 5 stars: -It's very long, making it hard to remember the first lesson by the time you finish it. I wish there was a master list of the lessons that was repeated a few times so I could remember them all. I did listen to the audiobook, so maybe if I had actually read it I would have been able to reference the chapter list. -The author's beliefs about religion are mentioned a lot and I don't think it's fair to say a strong mother has to believe in the same things the author believes in. -In some cases, I thought extra words were being added just to make the book longer. I would have preferred more concise lessons with powerful examples and less filler.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    Having not read this kind of book in quite a while, I remember why I stopped picking them up. Barf. So many issues! Put down the book and blindly love your sons, moms. Unconditionally. Give them boundaries, teach them emotions are okay and normal- and even their fathers have emotions! TALK to them. They will be okay. Good grief.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gussadog

    Great book on raising sons with integrity. So grateful that this came out while my son is pre-teen. We are already benefitting from some of Meg's teachings. I'll keep this book close to refer back to over the next several years. Great book on raising sons with integrity. So grateful that this came out while my son is pre-teen. We are already benefitting from some of Meg's teachings. I'll keep this book close to refer back to over the next several years.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Blom

    Though the book wasn't as structured as I would have liked and a bit long-winding and overly sentimental at points, the key points on how to raise strong sons were well developed. I agreed with her insights on the relationship between moms and sons, recognizing things from how my own son and I relate to each other and from friends. The author gives many practical tips on how to deal with certain issues, like being a single mom, having an ex-husband who is a bad influence, having a son who is ang Though the book wasn't as structured as I would have liked and a bit long-winding and overly sentimental at points, the key points on how to raise strong sons were well developed. I agreed with her insights on the relationship between moms and sons, recognizing things from how my own son and I relate to each other and from friends. The author gives many practical tips on how to deal with certain issues, like being a single mom, having an ex-husband who is a bad influence, having a son who is angry or rebellious, etc. I also loved the many examples and stories in the book, oftentimes I learn more from these than from the theory. I would have liked a bit more scientific research at some points, where she did cite this it strengthened her arguments in my opinion. A big plus fro me was the strong Christian undertone in the book, even though it's not 'officially' a Christian book it is most definitely touching on many aspects of faith (including a very interesting chapter on how the relationship between mother and son affects his image of God). I recommend this book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Holli

    So much good information in this book. I took a lot of notes. I loved how it all came together at the end that we are raising our little boys to become great men. "Something quite mysterious happens when a mother lets go of her little boy. She gets back a man - not just any man but one who shares her values, knows her flaws, accepts her weaknesses, and cares for her in a way that no other man can. He is her son and she is his mom. And that is about as good as life gets." So much good information in this book. I took a lot of notes. I loved how it all came together at the end that we are raising our little boys to become great men. "Something quite mysterious happens when a mother lets go of her little boy. She gets back a man - not just any man but one who shares her values, knows her flaws, accepts her weaknesses, and cares for her in a way that no other man can. He is her son and she is his mom. And that is about as good as life gets."

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gina Ledwich

    Wow is the author extremely judgmental. I couldn't even make it through the end. I learned nothing about bettering myself or my relationship with my kids. She seems to offer extreme solutions without the means of getting there. Wow is the author extremely judgmental. I couldn't even make it through the end. I learned nothing about bettering myself or my relationship with my kids. She seems to offer extreme solutions without the means of getting there.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

    Finished this book at midnight (east coast time) on NYE. A friend gave me this book and reading it has been tantamount to climbing Mt Everest. This is because 7 yrs ago, I gave birth to a beautiful boy, who is amazing and wonderful, and completely boggles my mind with the things he says. I have to admit, parenting him is awesome and totally scary at the same time! No one prepares you for this! Reading this book is like taking a deep breath and diving into the ocean of parenthood, and getting jus Finished this book at midnight (east coast time) on NYE. A friend gave me this book and reading it has been tantamount to climbing Mt Everest. This is because 7 yrs ago, I gave birth to a beautiful boy, who is amazing and wonderful, and completely boggles my mind with the things he says. I have to admit, parenting him is awesome and totally scary at the same time! No one prepares you for this! Reading this book is like taking a deep breath and diving into the ocean of parenthood, and getting just about all those scary questions answered with reassuring positive tones.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lea Ann

    "In most situations we encounter with our sons, our instincts tell us how we should respond and what we should do. So when you are faced with a decision that you must make about your son and you feel confused, I encourage you to pull back from the advice of well-meaning friends and listen to what the small voice inside you is trying to say." At times repetitive, but I did gain some good insight from reading this book about mothers and sons, and mothering sons. It made me ask some hard questions a "In most situations we encounter with our sons, our instincts tell us how we should respond and what we should do. So when you are faced with a decision that you must make about your son and you feel confused, I encourage you to pull back from the advice of well-meaning friends and listen to what the small voice inside you is trying to say." At times repetitive, but I did gain some good insight from reading this book about mothers and sons, and mothering sons. It made me ask some hard questions about the way I parent and whether I am allowing my husband equal opportunity for parenting. Since fathers (or father figures) are so important for boys, pushing for a closer relationship between those two is important. There were several passages I snapped a photo of and sent to my sister, "remind you of anyone?" (Sorry Dad, but it was all RIGHT there). I also really appreciated the section that talked about boys and sex. I'm a squeamish person by nature. I hate awkwardness in all forms. And sex talks between parents and kids seems really just, awkward. But Meeker gives some really basic pointers and conversation starters for boys of any age. Curious, I gave it a shot testing out the elementary age question suggested that went something like this: ME: "I know kids at school might start saying things about what Moms and Dads do when they get married and are in love, like kiss and stuff. If you ever have any questions about that, you can always ask me since I'm a grown up and I know a lot of stuff and because kids sometimes get confused about those things and may not give you the best information." KID: silence ME: "So is there anything you want to ask me about that? Or tell me about that?" KID: "Well, this one kid in the cafeteria, put all his milk in his mouth and then squirted it all over the table and it even came out his nose." Ah, okay we'll table this and check back in a few months. All is well in first grade boy land at the moment. Since I'm goal oriented and reading one parenting book a year is a goal of mine, I'm happy to get this goal checked off my list. And bonus, I actually learned a few things in the process.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    I really enjoyed this book but I read it too soon. The advice and practical applications are more geared towards a mother with a pre-teen or teenager son. Besides that, I found the book to be informative and very down to earth. I'll definitely pick it up again when Kenny is older. I really enjoyed this book but I read it too soon. The advice and practical applications are more geared towards a mother with a pre-teen or teenager son. Besides that, I found the book to be informative and very down to earth. I'll definitely pick it up again when Kenny is older.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kulveen Virdee

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I only got 70% of the way through this book. I really tried to finish it but got progressively more uncomfortable with the perspectives of childhood development in XY individuals by this pediatrician. I honestly think that this book is dated, that her advice is specific to an earlier generation of mothers. First of, she’s incredibly judgey towards women, for example, she proclaims that most women focus too much on exercising or cooking organic food than to play with their sons, when in reality, I only got 70% of the way through this book. I really tried to finish it but got progressively more uncomfortable with the perspectives of childhood development in XY individuals by this pediatrician. I honestly think that this book is dated, that her advice is specific to an earlier generation of mothers. First of, she’s incredibly judgey towards women, for example, she proclaims that most women focus too much on exercising or cooking organic food than to play with their sons, when in reality, most women are trying to maintain their full time job and fulfill the needs that need to be met physically to meet just the first hierarchy of needs (clean house, good food, clean clothes..) so what if a mom wants to exercise?! Cut her some slack if she needs to do something for herself, I think it’s important for boys to have role models of women taking care of themselves rather than constantly putting everyone else ahead of themselves. She also recommends that single mothers find a role model.. like a priest.. to take their sons on solo trips. IS SHE FOR REAL?! As a pediatrician I would think she would know better than to make recommendations such as this. I do appreciate how she gives anecdotal stories about mothers who felt something was wrong with their sons but had a hard time getting their sons to open up. The advice to just be there physically and remind them constantly that they can talk to you seems to be some excellent advice. Also, her advice to create rituals really inspired me to implement a nightly wrestling session to end the day with my sons and it’s been a highlight of their days. So while most of it was terrible, I still go some great pearls.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Some reviews are easy to write and some are hard. To be honest, this is one of the easier ones. I read this book on the recommendation of a friend. It really resonated with her, and as she and I have many similarities, she thought it would really resonate with me. First, the good. 1. Dr. Meeker advocates balance. As sons grow, their abilities and responsibilities grow. It is important to neither over or under estimate their abilities. 2. Meeker reminds mothers that they are not responsible for th Some reviews are easy to write and some are hard. To be honest, this is one of the easier ones. I read this book on the recommendation of a friend. It really resonated with her, and as she and I have many similarities, she thought it would really resonate with me. First, the good. 1. Dr. Meeker advocates balance. As sons grow, their abilities and responsibilities grow. It is important to neither over or under estimate their abilities. 2. Meeker reminds mothers that they are not responsible for their son’s choices. As boys grown into men, they take responsibility for themselves. 3. Moms need to get off “the crazy train” of constantly doing things for their children. Boys need to find their own interests. 4. Age appropriate chores are good. Give your son space to grow within his experiences. 5. The way that you deal with sex and sharing information about intimacy has far reaching effects on your son. Second, the bad. 1. Meeker tells this story with a myriad of real life examples from her medical practice. Most of these examples seemed to be stories where the mother (or the son) experienced extreme trauma. Stories of childhood rape, traumatic divorce, and more. Meeker gave very few examples of positive family role models inside traditional homes and happy families. All the sons interviewed about their wonderful mothers talked about how terrible it was when dad died/left and they were forced to raise their sons alone. 2. Meeker assumes that dads aren’t involved. She dedicated a whole chapter to how to get your child’s father to be more involved. I don’t think this is a reasonable assumption. Yes, many dads are involved, and yes, the stereotype is an uninvolved dad. But their are also many wonderful fathers who want to be involved in their sons’ lives. 3. Meeker off-handedly mentions that children who spend more than 30 hours in daycare are not as emotionally stable as children who spend more time at home. Honestly, what is the point of this? So stay-at-home moms can pat themselves on the back? How does this jive with all the wonderful mothers who were never at home since they had to work 2 jobs to put food on the table? It seems like an unnecessary detail that simply makes people feel bad for choices that they have made. Especially if being a working mother is a necessity. This really continues on into 4. Meeker has a generally sexist tone about mothers and fathers, who is the primary breadwinner. She holds up the traditional family home as the expectation and the ideal. I really struggled with her tone. I am a working mother. My son spends between 45 and 50 hours per week in daycare. I don’t really have a choice in this. Meeker’s implicit bias really bothered me. 5. Meeker states that women are the main emotional teachers in the home. This is almost laughable to me as my husband is much more emotionally literate than I am. She is so biased against men! Just because I am a woman doesn’t mean I am good with emotions. Just because my husband is a man doesn’t mean that is bad with emotions. 6. In a book called Strong Mothers, it seems strange to me that Meeker would advocate being less strong than a child’s father. Meeker contends that a mother’s strength is a threat to her son’s masculinity. How can this possibly be true? Wouldn’t the best way to teach a son strength is a healthy dynamic between mother and father where each upholds the other’s weaknesses? This just doesn’t make sense. Yes, I am physically weaker than my husband, but I am an incredibly strong woman. I am going to show my son that strength and encourage him to find a wife who is also strong. I really hate the concept of “the weaker sex”. Meeker is just perpetuating that stereotype. So, an equal number of good points and bad points, but the bad points seem to be systemic issues rather than specific examples like the good points. Just one lingering question. Why are all Christian parenting books biased in favor of stay-at-home mothers? Can we not give solid advice for working mothers who are doing the best they can?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Trace

    Quite possibly the most useful book I'll read in 2015! I LOVE this author! LOVE her!! I wanted to underline hundreds and hundreds of sentences but sadly it was a library book.... will be purchasing my own copy... Quite possibly the most useful book I'll read in 2015! I LOVE this author! LOVE her!! I wanted to underline hundreds and hundreds of sentences but sadly it was a library book.... will be purchasing my own copy...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Very informative and down to earth! Would recommend to anyone with a son.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hawra habib

    The book gave some insightful thoughts about raising sons for mothers who are puzzled about how and why their sons are acting the way they are.. The only thing i wished is to cut the long story short, the book was very long and included lots of repetition which made it boring little bit. Also, i wish it included a schedule with all the basic information mentioned in the book as a summary. Quotes and note: Mothers should teach their sons how to take responsibility of their actions and not blame ot The book gave some insightful thoughts about raising sons for mothers who are puzzled about how and why their sons are acting the way they are.. The only thing i wished is to cut the long story short, the book was very long and included lots of repetition which made it boring little bit. Also, i wish it included a schedule with all the basic information mentioned in the book as a summary. Quotes and note: Mothers should teach their sons how to take responsibility of their actions and not blame others for it by setting boundaries, eventually they will grow up to follow their own boundaries. They should be assigned chores to increase their sense of responsibility." "Mothers are better wired to deal with their sons when they catch them watching porn or playing games that are laced with sexual content because mothers are more sensitive and close to sons. The reaction of the mother will determine if the son is going to be ashamed, condemned or aware that it is a natural desire but the way he is approaching it is unhealthy" "The writer says that Kids learn about religion from their mother but i would say that they do from both parents,how parents precieve god will affect children, i remember seeing my mom read(duaa) after each prayer and my fathers voice reading quran after every morning prayer and yes i agree with the writer that parents behavior toward god wil establish the ground for their kids religious beliefs" "A 30 year old man has been asked about what he thinks of his mother he said mom is home. Many sons will feel the same because mothers are the ones who will accept their kids no matter how faulty they are. Being a home is not a small thing it is the root of a healthy personality, and all this bonding starts from childhood. How a mother nurture her kid is so vital" Mothers should learn when to pull back and give their sons the chance to become independent men" "*boys in their teens might test the boundaries and show their bad mothers because they're trying to figure how to become men and because they know that mothers will always love them and be there for them. *a father should give the approval to his son thah he accepts him the way he is or else the boy will try to get this approvalor disapproval by being out of control or outrageous to get their fathers' attention" "“Boys who don’t have mothers who help them confront their feelings about themselves and their fathers after the father has left the family can end up with depression, suicidal thoughts, or living a life filled with a controlling, unresolved rage.”" "A struggling boy needs a mother who can handle whatever he feels, whatever he has to say. This is challenging: Too often we succumb to feeling sorry for them, telling them that we are worried about them or are afraid they will do something to harm themselves. In other words, oftentimes we make things worse by projecting our fears onto them. "Listening requires that you shut down distracting thoughts, turn off the phone, make eye contact (for more than one second), act interested, and be able to repeat back to your son what he just told you. That, friends, is work." "Listening to your son makes him feel worthy, important, and loved. Think about how you feel when someone stops what they are doing, asks you to sit down and talk, and then listens to what you have to say. There is little else in the world that can make you feel so important. This is how your son feels when you stop and listen to him." "Boys are more sensitive than girls because they grow up suppressing their emotions and believing that showing signs of weakness is not manly. Girls on the other hand grow up expressing their feelings clearly and grow to become strong woman with emotional intelligence.Mothers should teach their sons how to express emotions. I like this point but how can we teach them this?" "A mother should never prohibit her son from getting her love , no matter how much he looked like he hates her especially during puberty and when problems arise. It is this love that is based on need , that is unconditional that pulls back our children to us when disaster strikes. For boys, a mother constitute the love no matter what happens "Mothers are boys first love , the way the mother treat her son will remain inside him forever and will shape how he treat women or vise versa. Physical affection and love expression should continue during the boy life no matter how embarrassing or uncomfortable he was to receive such affection from his mom."

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bf Mom

    I didn't finish this book. It was pretty problematic throughout, particularly around outdated gender roles, stereotypes and citing old research that supports her personal conservative values. I have 2 boys, and had been hoping for a book grounded in more science and facing a more challenging world. What I got was a preachy, difficult, shaky science, eye-rolling lecture. Skip it if you want to raise boys to be good men in this day and age. I didn't finish this book. It was pretty problematic throughout, particularly around outdated gender roles, stereotypes and citing old research that supports her personal conservative values. I have 2 boys, and had been hoping for a book grounded in more science and facing a more challenging world. What I got was a preachy, difficult, shaky science, eye-rolling lecture. Skip it if you want to raise boys to be good men in this day and age.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Karin Garcia

    I liked most of what she had to say, though much of it was more applicable to older sons. However, sometimes I didn’t love the writing style, especially the interviews. They were written as though they were directly what the person said, but I think she used some liberty with paraphrasing. Two grown men referred to their mothers in interviews as “a tough old bird”, something I can’t imagine any grown man saying in 2018. And then later the author called a mom “a tough old bird”. So I feel like sh I liked most of what she had to say, though much of it was more applicable to older sons. However, sometimes I didn’t love the writing style, especially the interviews. They were written as though they were directly what the person said, but I think she used some liberty with paraphrasing. Two grown men referred to their mothers in interviews as “a tough old bird”, something I can’t imagine any grown man saying in 2018. And then later the author called a mom “a tough old bird”. So I feel like she used a lot of her own wording when it was suppose to feel like what the interviewee was saying. This made some interviews sound over dramatic and fake, though they probably weren’t. Idk:)

  19. 4 out of 5

    Vin Cenza

    anyone with a son/nephew/grandson could definitely find a good nugget in this book!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Hinds

    There were a few good points in this unnecessarily dense book but mostly I found it full of outdated gender roles, annoying assumptions that most dads are uninvolved in parenting, and too many generalizations.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kate Thomas

    I honestly didn't even finish this book, I just couldn't, and I tried over several months. I even brought it as my only book on two different trips to force myself to read it and I ended up just not reading. This book has a few good points to reflect on as mothers but overall is very dense and repetitive. I found myself skimming most chapters to find the meat. I also found the book sexist. Her description of husbands has self-centered and unable to read emotions is offensive and she goes on late I honestly didn't even finish this book, I just couldn't, and I tried over several months. I even brought it as my only book on two different trips to force myself to read it and I ended up just not reading. This book has a few good points to reflect on as mothers but overall is very dense and repetitive. I found myself skimming most chapters to find the meat. I also found the book sexist. Her description of husbands has self-centered and unable to read emotions is offensive and she goes on later to say that she is offended by the way husbands are portrayed as buffoons on TV. I know there are going to be some generalizations in this book, but the gender stereotypes run deep, which is the second reason I couldn't finish this book. The third reason is that some of the stories in this book are just dumb. Who needs to be told not to write crude comments on their son's ex-girlfriends facebook wall? I would highly recommend investing your money in a different book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carrie Dadey

    Yep. It took me a really long time to trudge through this book. First, the author is a conservative Christian who is pretty conventional in her parenting approach: cry-it-out, rewards and punishments etc. I am NOT any of those things so many parts of this book just did not apply to my family. I read a decent amount of Christian authors, but they tend to be more radical peacemakers and into attachment or gentle parenting than this author. I did find some things in the book I liked. First, the ide Yep. It took me a really long time to trudge through this book. First, the author is a conservative Christian who is pretty conventional in her parenting approach: cry-it-out, rewards and punishments etc. I am NOT any of those things so many parts of this book just did not apply to my family. I read a decent amount of Christian authors, but they tend to be more radical peacemakers and into attachment or gentle parenting than this author. I did find some things in the book I liked. First, the idea that boys are as emotionally complex as girls but are often not allowed to be so publicly (boys don’t cry, suck it up, be a man) and that this is damaging to boys is something I can get behind and agree with. The chapter on talking to your son about sex was shockingly refreshing. I was expecting shame and fear based rhetoric and this conservative Christian MD really feels that open factual communication about sex is the very best path towards instilling healthy attitudes about sex in teens. So yay. She discusses healthy boundaries between mother and older sons (teen years and beyond) and how to avoid becoming unhealthily enmeshed in your sons’ personal lives. She talks about honoring the mothering instincts when we know we should set a boundary and say no. I can’t say I recommend this to a friend unless they are conservative Christians. As a non-believer, reading about how God is the only true source of wisdom or how you should give your kids up to God or just the overarching theme that one needs God to raise strong sons was not awesome for me. If anyone of my Christian mama friends want this, they can have it because unlike my Ross Greene books, this one will not join my library of child rearing reference books. I’m not the intended audience. 🤣 Yay! I didn’t quit reading it, even though I really wanted to, especially on page 290. Time to blast through this pile of fiction books that has been waiting for me to finish this one.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Didn't care for this one and won't use it in my class. I didn't disagree with everything she said but there was something about the rigid way in which she characterized mothers and fathers, boys and girls that I do not think allows for the variability within sex that exists in reality. I certainly believe that mothers are important for their sons, but I prefer to think of the parents as more of a unit or team. The way her books separate mothers and fathers doesn't seem realistic or to be consist Didn't care for this one and won't use it in my class. I didn't disagree with everything she said but there was something about the rigid way in which she characterized mothers and fathers, boys and girls that I do not think allows for the variability within sex that exists in reality. I certainly believe that mothers are important for their sons, but I prefer to think of the parents as more of a unit or team. The way her books separate mothers and fathers doesn't seem realistic or to be consistent with research. In fact the book seemed to cite very little research, and was more based on her own experiences as a doctor. On to the next one!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kellie

    Sometimes, being a mother to three boys can be so confusing and frustrating, simply because they seem so different from me. This book helps somewhat with those feelings, but I speculate that the ideas and messages in it might be more relevant as my sons get older. I'm glad that I read this while they are still quite young, because I feel that I now have more tools in my parenting box for the future, and it seems slightly less scary. Sometimes, being a mother to three boys can be so confusing and frustrating, simply because they seem so different from me. This book helps somewhat with those feelings, but I speculate that the ideas and messages in it might be more relevant as my sons get older. I'm glad that I read this while they are still quite young, because I feel that I now have more tools in my parenting box for the future, and it seems slightly less scary.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I loved her approach to this book. She talks about real life problems, breaks it down in a simple psychological way, and gives helpful advice. Although she doesn't put a Christian stance on everything she talks about faith in God & applies it to most of her suggestions. You can tell she's a believer, but isn't religious. This book helped me with my relationship with my husband & daughter too. I loved her approach to this book. She talks about real life problems, breaks it down in a simple psychological way, and gives helpful advice. Although she doesn't put a Christian stance on everything she talks about faith in God & applies it to most of her suggestions. You can tell she's a believer, but isn't religious. This book helped me with my relationship with my husband & daughter too.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Smith Atkins

    Good points, lots of generalizations which I found frustrating. I liked her points on religion (you need God!) and "letting" go of your son. No one likes an enmeshed momma. Thank goodness I have a long time before I have to do that. Good points, lots of generalizations which I found frustrating. I liked her points on religion (you need God!) and "letting" go of your son. No one likes an enmeshed momma. Thank goodness I have a long time before I have to do that.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    It is very informative. I liked this book. Really good information of the relationship between a mother and her son that a mother can be overcoddling? And what happens when you do.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carla

    Good advice as long as it's not too overwhelming to hear all the things a mom has to be. Good advice as long as it's not too overwhelming to hear all the things a mom has to be.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    Bullshit propaganda. Regressive Garbage.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Mother son dyad relationship in gender opposition. Plethora of information Gleaned: A boy crisis in our culture Research shows mother still bear the lion’s share of parental and household responsibilities You are his introduction into female love. His first love. We intuitively know he will one day fall in love and leave us. The relationship will shift. Not the same for daughters. Combat the “boy code” by identifying and talking through feelings rather than repression. Adult men have repressed feeli Mother son dyad relationship in gender opposition. Plethora of information Gleaned: A boy crisis in our culture Research shows mother still bear the lion’s share of parental and household responsibilities You are his introduction into female love. His first love. We intuitively know he will one day fall in love and leave us. The relationship will shift. Not the same for daughters. Combat the “boy code” by identifying and talking through feelings rather than repression. Adult men have repressed feelings of anger & hurt causing them to have depression, alcoholism or sexual obsessive disorders. Healthy feelings are ignored & build up into something destructive. Fatherless epidemic. Boys and girls are profoundly egocentric through their teen years. Boys and girls are profoundly egocentric through their teen years. Inadvertently shame sons Or shame sons by saying their behavior embarrassed you. Focus on own hurt. Take our son’s behavior personally. Boys need ways to physically release anger - physical Regular exercise Outside and busy Release built up energy and emotions Keeping me honest with criticism of my son Role models Anti male sentiment in our culture Inappropriate and unhealthy expectations of mothering She loves him because he IS. Dependency and thought pattern creations Coddling by overprotective mother Don’t do too much for your sons Don’t pick up the slack Let him fail so he will learn his capabilities and resolve and form solutions Healthy and appropriate boundaries Boys need battles to wage and win. They are gross motor and many times this manifests as a desire to fight off enemies. Embrace and channel this in a healthy direction. Fantasy allows conflict resolution in a healthy way. Violence on games and tv desensitized boys. Bullies pick on kids who let them get away with it. Tend to stay away from kids that challenge them. Sex talking Upbeat & positive Explain that peers lie about conquests Give him female perspective Respect his body and a woman’s body Matter of fact and nonjudgmental Side ways questions... Society/peers treating women in condescending way. How would he feel if someone treated his sister that way? Think of respect for all women like this. Great moms hand their son an ax, teaches him how to use it and stands back. Parent inclusively Love, direct, & buoy his masculinity It can lead him to objectify women. R-rated movies video games etc. Sexual play Consensual or forced Explain to teen: Bonding hormones: Neuroscientists believe these hormones are for preservation of species to keep bond strong and repeat sex with same partner to increase chances of pregnancy. Sexually active boys have higher rates of depression You want him to be sexually healthy. Less chances of STD Give sexuality time to mature and develop Feeling in control especially important through puberty when everything seems out of control. Asking your child to pray for you. 10% control 90% letting go Do less for them Be more to them Love deepens when they distance Enmeshment Acting on your own need or what is beneficial for your son

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