Do you have any plans this weekend to cozy up with a book? I just finished this book by Tom Golden. I can’t say enough about it. In terms of understanding boys, Tom boils down the big points of relating to boys in about 100 pages.
He starts with physiology and brain differences – two testosterone floods before a boy is three months old! – then goes on to talk about boys and feelings, boys and ways they heal their emotional pain, how to get close to boys, and finally, boys and discipline.
As Tom puts it, “at puberty and beyond boys are expected to prove their worth…manhood must be earned and maintained through publicly verifiable actions…Knowing these things makes it easier to get a sense of boys and to understand some of their ways. Boys are thrust onto a stage that expects them to strive for status, to succeed, and to prove their worthiness at every step.”
This explained a lot to me. In order to continually compete for the top spot in his world, a boy must keep his feelings under wraps and maintain distance from those who jeopardize his status.
That’s where moms come in. If we can notice how our son seeks safety – in doing things, pondering, or inaction – and give him the freedom to do so, we create a path for closeness with him. If we give him space and withhold from questioning him, he will see that we’re on his team rather than a liability to his success. I’ve noticed that my son ends up in his room alone “tinkering” at least daily, and he comes out a renewed boy. It isn’t just play but healing from the day.
I found this statement profound about a boy’s world where he’s constantly having to prove himself: “We need to acknowledge that safe places for (boys and men) are far and few between. Mom, keep in mind that you may be alone in your compassion for your older son. You and your family may be all he’s got.”
Have a great weekend.
As we ramp up for the school year, keep these three things in mind. I especially like the part about resilience in kids.
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” ~ Warren Buffett