I love being a mom. It is something I have dreamed about since I was a little girl. I feel completely blessed to be a mom to two amazing boys! From the time I first learned I was pregnant I read every book I could on being pregnant, newborns and parenting. As the boys have grown I have continued that. I have felt really prepared as a mom- well most of the time- throughout the last 13 years. As my oldest approached his teenage years I have found myself asking” How do you parent your little boy through the long haul of becoming and being a man?”
Logan and I have a really good relationship. When he was little, we were inseparable. I loved playing cars and digging in the dirt with him. I loved watching his imagination play out and seeing blanket forts come to life. That was fun!
As he approached 13 several things changed. First he grew- taller than me, his voice began to change, and it became hard to tell his shoes from his dad’s (since they now wear the same size). Our relationship has also changed, I am no longer parenting a little boy, I am raising a man. As challenges have arisen for us this past year I found myself completely unprepared.
Parenting a boy is hard (for a mom)- why couldn’t things be more simple like they are with girls? At least I would understand where she is coming from. I never know what is going to be the next battle with my son- why can’t we simply say “Clean your room” or “put away those dishes” without it becoming some all on assault on his up till then perfect day? All of a sudden, we found ourselves on a merry-go-round of sorts. We would have seemingly the same conversation, just a different day. I was starting to become concerned for his short-term memory. While that may be overly dramatic- I hope you sense the mother’s heart and sometimes frustration at the simple things that become somewhat of a battle.
I interpreted his actions one way while he interpreted my frustrations quite another way. How do I communicate to my man-child my love for him while helping him to grow more and more responsible?
One resource I am gleaning from right now is Mothers and Sons:The Respect Effect by Emerson Eggerichs. I have found solace in the fact that I am not alone in this journey, and that there are some steps I can take to help grow this boy into a loving and responsible man. It is easy to relate to the need for all of us to feel a mother’s love, but is that the same thing as respect? Even for young boys, the effect of respect is nothing short of astounding when applied properly.
If you are nodding along as you are reading this post, or shouting on the inside "Amen!" I want you to know you are not alone! I am praying for you and ask that you will pray for me too. Raising your son to be a man, not just an obedient boy takes wisdom, patience, and hard work! Keep at it!
Author: Melanie Knous