Boy Talk: Welcome to My Book

Tuesday August 17, 2010

The title of chapter five, Boy Talk, may cause some of you to scratch your heads. “Is there such a thing?” you may ask.

One of a boy mom’s most daunting tasks is to teach her sons to listen to others and to express themselves. Many boys aren’t particularly communicative, but I say, “Don’t give up!”

Think about it. If you’re the only female in the house, you set the standard when it comes to female communication. Is there a woman out there who has NOT experienced communication dilemmas in her marriage? (I think I hear a resounding, “No!”) As a boy mom, you have the opportunity to teach and model effective communication with your sons and prepare them for the future.

The benefits are immediate and long-term. As with much of parenting, the little things we do now pay off in big dividends in the future. Simple conversation about emotions when they’re young, continued as they grow, can make for strong lines of mother-son communication. You can’t buy into the “strong, silent type” myth when your son is younger and expect him to open up to you at sixteen. It just doesn’t happen.

This chapter focuses on brother-to-brother communication, too, which can make for strong family ties in the years to come. There are sections titled Early Talk, School Talk, and Teen Talk that are full of hints for moms of all age boys. One of my favorites is Table Talk, where you’ll read about the importance of the family meal – complete with ideas for the busy family, even the family with members on different schedules.

When you have a houseful of boys (or boys and girls, for that matter), it’s important to remember the need for one-on-one talk. There are times you just have to make time for one, alone.

And mothers of the “boys plus” household (with a daughter or two in the boy mix) will be interested in studies of family communication when sons and daughters are both present. This chapter looks at boys’ communication from many different angles and applies to ages across the board. No matter where you are in the spectrum of boy raising, Boy Talk will open your eyes to some new ideas.

Interested in reading about organization? That’s the subject of chapter six, The Big O’s – Order and Organization. My Thursday post will give you a quick preview of that chapter, so come on back.


Melissa said...

You've made an excellent point. I hadn't given it much thought in these terms, but I've always tried to help my son learn how to communicate clearly and appropriately. Thanks for previewing the chapter!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Awesome subject.
Our boy to boy talk seems to ebb and flow, maybe partly because of the 6 year age difference. I was so pleased, though, this weekend when my older son saw his little brother freaking out about starting middle school and sat down with him, trying to listen and help with his stress. A chorus started singing hallelujahs in my head!

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Don't you LOVE those moments? I'm finding those happen more and more as they get older, and they're a real blessing.

Leann Guzman said...

OK, you've gotten me hooked by your posts on the book chapters. This one sealed the deal. I'm going to get a copy of your book! Since my son is so young, it remains to be seen how talkative he'll be, but I've said from day one that he is quieter than his sisters. He is behind where his sister's were verbally at his age and he's always just sort of sitting back, quietly, taking in all of his sisters' drama. I suspect I will have to work harder to learn his thoughts. Thanks for writing about this!

Victoria said...

This chapter makes me wonder: Do you have a chapter referencing how Mom models female behavior for her sons the way she does female communication? My husband learned to communicate well for the most part (living in a house with Mom and three younger sisters while Dad worked all the time) but also learned to expect negative behaviors because that's what he saw modeled. I don't know much about raising boys but that was one thing I knew I'd have to correct if we had sons.
I'm really glad you have a chapter dedicated to communication. It's definitely something boys will benefit from good training in.

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

My chapter on Respect addresses that, Victoria. Stay tuned!!

Michelle DeRusha said...

I am reading your book, Laura -- and gleaning A LOT of great tips for parenting my boys! This chapter is particularly useful -- I think the point you make about making time to spend quality one-on-one time with each kid is important. I can't imagine doing it with 4 -- even 2 is a challenge. But I do see the benefits, so it's worth the schedule juggling that's often required to spend alone time with each child.

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