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Book Review: Boy Mom - what your son needs by Monica Swanson

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

Monica Swanson knew she'd tapped a heartfelt concern when nearly two million readers shared her blog post "What a Teenage Boy Needs Most from His Mom." In this helpful book, she takes mothers deeper into the insights they need for the boy-raising journey, covering topics from dealing with the daily influences of friends and technology to helping a boy grow to be physically, spiritually, and emotionally healthy. She also addresses learning and finding passions, perspectives on relationships and dating, and work ethics and money management. Each chapter features relatable stories, handy checklists, and practical advice based on a combination of research, experience, and biblical truth to guide and equip a mom in helping her son achieve his God-given potential.

Purchase on: Amazon

Reviewed by:

Belinda van de Griendt

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Belinda, and I have been married to Bjorn for 24 years. I serve as a deacon and a Bible study leader at City Base Church in Springs, as well as working as the church secretary. I am a mom of two, gran of one, and I homeschool my 11 year old son. I am a passionate teacher and reader, and I have a heart for helping others grow in their relationship with the Father through helping them to know and grow in His Word.

What drew you to read this book?

I have followed Monica Swanson's blog for several years - I first found her website when I was looking for Christian homeschooling moms to follow online. I love her wise and practical Biblical parenting advice, and so I was thrilled to hear that she was launching a book on this topic.

What impact did this book have?

There is so much great advice given in the book, that it's hard to narrow down what stood out for me! But I think that what I love most is Monica Swanson's encouragement to Christian parents to swim upstream in our parenting. Following Christ means that we have to be counter-cultural in the way we think and act, but it's easy to compromise (often unintentionally) in our parenting, because it's "easier" to go with the flow. But in chapter after chapter, this book encouraged and challenged me to be intentional in my parenting, remembering that my goal is not to have a "happy" son now, because everything goes his way, but to raise a man rich in Christlike character! Monica Swanson doesn't shy away from the "hard topics" - she covers kids and technology, social media, pornography, healthy eating, teens and dating, and being involved in the friends and influences we allow in our children's lives.

In a paragraph, what is the main point?

We all want to be awesome moms, and raise amazing kids - but we so easily feel like failures because we think that it should be easy, and it's NOT!! In this book Monica Swanson encourages moms to let go of unrealistic expectations of parenting, and instead to embrace what she terms "purposeful, prayerful parenting", aiming at the men we want our sons to be, and parenting in a way that equips them to get there.

Who would benefit from reading?

Obviously, the target reader for this book is moms of boys, and it really does help us understand that boys are different to us, and how moms can navigate and nurture those God-given! But it would also be a really good book for dads of boys to read, as most of the advice she gives is applicable to both parents (actually, this would be a great parenting book to read together as a couple!). And then I would also recommend the book to all parents, as the chapters on friends, nutrition, technology, teaching character and the value of work will be valuable information to moms and dads of girls too.

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