I’ve had this book on my to-read list since I was pregnant with my first son three years ago. Actually, it was my husband who really encouraged (urged) me to read it. He had heard about it on Dr. Dobson’s Family Talk radio show and thought it would be beneficial for me to read. The relationship between a mother and a son is an interesting one, and because mothers have never been boys (obviously!), it’s not always easy for them to know how to relate to their sons in healthy ways. Levon anticipated that I, as both a worrier and a nurturer by nature, might have difficulties raising a strong and independent boy (and he was right!), and so he strongly recommended I read this book.
I’m glad he did. It was a highly informative book, and it gave me a lot to consider as I raise our boys.
**Links in this post may be affiliate links. This means that if you click that link and purchase the product, I will receive a small compensation. I am, however, committed to honestly assessing the products mentioned. My opinions are my true feelings and are not affected by my participation in the program!**
Strong Mothers, Strong Sons
Strong Mothers, Strong Sons: Lessons Mothers Need to Raise Extraordinary Men was written by Meg Meeker, M.D. Dr. Meeker is a pediatrician and mother of four children. She is a regular cohost on Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk radio show, as I mentioned earlier, which is where I was first introduced to her. I’ve always had great respect for her wisdom, experience, and advice, and this book only solidified that respect.
Any good mom would say that she wants to raise her son to be a responsible and successful man, but knowing how to go about doing that can be challenging. Dr. Meeker shares what she’s learned from many years of experience in order to help mothers guide their sons through the transition from boyhood to manhood. The majority of the book focuses on the preteen and adolescent years, but there is much to be learned about the years before and after that period, as well.
To be honest, I didn’t love this book as much as I thought I would. I had high hopes, and it just didn’t quite live up to my expectations. But it definitely did have enough helpful insights to make it worth the read.
I had a hard time getting into it initially. I found the beginning chapters to be more clinical than other parenting books that I have read (probably a reflection of her occupation), and I had to focus more and read more slowly to pick up what she was saying. I don’t know if her tone became more personal, if the material was more interesting, or if I just got used to her style, but I didn’t have the same troubles in the later chapters.
As I said, there was a lot to be learned from her in this book. Ever since Aidan was born, I’ve realized that it may be difficult for me to let go as he gets older. Dr. Meeker does a fabulous job presenting why it is so important for mothers to do so and how to do it in age-appropriate ways. She peppers her advice with anecdotes from her practice, interviews with adult men, and her own experience with her son, making it very sound and well-rounded guidance.
One of the biggest lessons I took away from this book was the importance of raising my sons to be responsible. As she says, “…boys feel better about themselves when they have work to do … Doing too much for our sons robs them of the opportunity to experience the exhilaration of being responsible… it makes a boy feel powerful.” I didn’t realize before just how important it was to give boys work to do, and she offers a number of ideas of age-appropriate tasks, which I found helpful.
The book also includes a great chapter on talking to sons about sex. As strange as it felt to even think about my two year old son dealing with the challenges and pressures she described, I know the day will come. I want to be prepared for when it does. Dr. Meeker stresses the importance of starting early, so it is good to have this information now. The attitudes and ideas about sex nowadays and the pressures facing teens are such that this chapter alone makes the book worth reading.
Though it’s perhaps not my favorite book on mother/son relationships (that honor so far goes to Mother and Son: The Respect Effect by Emerson Eggerichs – read my review of it here), I would still recommend it. Like I said, the first chapters are a bit dense, and it gets a bit repetitive at times, but there is a lot of great practical advice that would benefit any mom of boys and her sons.
Start learning about how to raise your son to be an extraordinary man today!
Find the book here:
Read more reviews:
- Better Together by Jill Savage
- Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford
- The SuperMom Myth by Becky Kopitzke
- Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine