Monday, April 21, 2008

More for Moms of Boys

I finished reading It's a Boy!: Understanding Your Son's Development from Birth to Age 18today. My original intent was to just read the section on boys age 5 -7 and 8 - 10 with the idea that these were the chapters most relevant to my life at the moment. I was brave, though, and continued on to those tumultuous pre-teen and teen years. I can't say that I read anything that alleviated my fear. I so dread that stage of development, primarily because I remember what a nightmare I was in my teens. As my mother used to tell me when I would object to her strictness, "It's not that I don't remember what it was like to be a teenager. It is that I do." Yes, now I understand!

One section I found particularly interesting was a discussion of what makes an adult. My mom objected strongly when the legal age was reduced to 18, arguing that 18 year olds are not adults. I'm inclined to agree with that as well. 18 year olds are adults in training. It isn't like you wake up one day and are suddenly an adult. The process takes a while. I can honestly say that I felt like a grown-up when I was about 24 or 25. It's not that I wasn't able to make good decisions before then or didn't have adult responsibilities - I got married and owned a home at 22. It was just that by my mid-20s, I felt comfortable in my own skin and more confident in my abilities. I wasn't just pretending to live in the grown-up world, I was actually a part of it. By that age, I also had realized that adulthood wasn't a stagnant state. Adults continue to change and grow - I'm at a different stage of adulthood in my 30s than I was 10 years ago. I'll be different in 10 more years.

And now, I am responsible for bringing two young boys to adulthood. At times, it seems like such a daunting task, and I know I need to take one day at a time and ask God to help me.

Michael Thompson, Ph.D., author of "It's a Boy," offers this advice:

Whenever you are frustrated, whenever you despair of your son, picture him playing with his children: the daughter he adores, the son who so resembles him. The mental picture of him with his children will pull you through the toughest times and guide you to the best decisions. And please, know that he will feel your love in his bones every day of his life. All boys and men carry their mothers with them in their foundations of their soul.

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