Books on Raising Boys


It’s Boymom Week on the blog, and our super-heroic moms of all boys are talking all things BOY! Click here to read other posts in this special series brought to you by DMMB’s boymoms.

booksI don’t think there is anything that can prepare you for being a mom. And then, well… there is being a mom of boys. My vision of being a mom did not include sounding  like a broken record. “Get off him! Can you just not touch each other? Get off that! Not that loud. Stop running. Put that down. Don’t climb on that….”

I had a brother, but he was nine years older than me. My husband has an older brother, so he totally gets it. He is my reassurance: “Oh, my brother did that to me all the time.” I am utterly exhausted at the end of most days.

I want to share a few books I have read (or started).  I read a lot last summer sitting by the sandbox with the boys in our backyard, and I plan to finish my pile of half-finished books this summer!

First, I have a couple thoughts on being a mom of two boys….

If you have a boy, you understand they are so different than girls. But if you think having one boy is crazy, let me say there is nothing that compares to having two. I recently gave a ride to a friend with her daughter and son. After a minute in the car, she looked at me and I said, “They were like this the whole drive over here.” Her reply was, “Oh, this is what it is like with two boys.” They are loud and crazy, but most of all they are COMPETITIVE and they feed off each other. If one is loud, the other one will get louder. I had a friend share the other day that her two were comparing how many times they threw up when they were sick. They were competing over who threw up more…. Really?!?

Secondly, surround yourself with amazing and supporting friends. Supportive friends are key to motherhood, but being a mom of boys, I am so blessed to have a couple wonderful, dear friends who have boys and get it. I don’t feel judged when my boys are being crazy or pushing my buttons. They smile and just understand – they offer encouragement and support. They don’t look at me like, Why is your child acting like that? I know they know that I am trying my best to be the best mom and guide these little boys. They know our children aren’t perfect, but we are trying our best – doing everything we can – to raise these boys into men.

Now, the books….

My degree is in social work – I have taken many sociology and psychology classes in my day. I love to know the “why.” Why do we do what we do – why do boys act the way they do. A few of these books really helped a light bulb click in my head. Have you ever read a book and it just clicks? You say, “Oh, that make sense now.” Several of the books are written from that psychology stand point. Why do boys do what they do. They validated that boys are really wired differently and help us as women jump into the minds of our boys. I think they even helped me understand my husband, too. Check your library – most of these are available at my local library.

As a mom, I have felt a shift in my parenting over the past year from “just surviving” those young years to now trying to teach my boys how to become men, how to act, how to treat others, how to be an adult. These books have helped me in that journey.

Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas

A friend with three boys recommended this book. The authors are therapists and speakers. More practically, they have boys, too! So to be totally honest, I have read three-fourths of this book and plan to finish it this summer. One of the highlights of the book is that they break down a boy’s childhood by age groups and talk through what is happening to a boy in each of those ages. They also throw in a few funny stories. I really enjoyed this book because, well, it helped me realized my son is normal and the things my boys are doing are a normal part of the development of a boy. Highly recommend this book.

What a Difference a Mom Makes by Dr. Kevin Leman

I read this last summer and found it to be a fun, quick read. Dr. Leman really brings to reality the importance of the role moms play in their sons’ lives. One of my favorite chapters talked about picking your daughter-in-law! On a side note, one of Dr. Leman’s best known books is the The Birth Order Book. If you are looking for a fun and interesting read, pick it up. The thing that stuck with me three years after I read that book was what he said about having two boys born in a row (one being a firstborn) – he said you will have FIREWORKS. Oh, that is so true in our home.

Bringing up Boys by Dr. James Dobson

I have started this book which I borrowed from a friend after another friend said how much she enjoyed it. From the few chapters I have read, Dr. Dobson approaches the world of boys from a psychological stand point. This is another book I hope to finish this summer by the sandbox with my boys.


How Do You Tuck In a Superhero?: And Other Delightful Mysteries of Raising Boys by Rachel Balducci

Need a laugh? Then check out this book. A mom of five, Balducci shares personal stories from her life of raising boys. My friend said she read this with tears running down her face because she was laughing so hard.


Praying for BoysPraying for Boys: Asking God for the Things They Need Most by Brooke McGlothin

I bought this book on a whim. Somehow, it popped up on my screen while I was looking on Amazon one day. Feeling defeated and overwhelmed, I bought it instantly. This is hands down my favorite book for boys. Brooke is a mom of two boys just a bit older than mine. When I started reading the book, I immediately connected with her! My favorite quote:

I pray because I don’t have all the answers. I pray because I’m lost and can’t see the big picture…. I pray because I don’t know how to raise these two boys to be the godly men I dream they will be, but I serve a God who does.

Oh man, that pierces my heart and gives me tears every time I read it. This book is so practical – every mom of boys should have a copy. About three-fourths of the book is 21 short chapters on specific topics (integrity, wisdom, honor, purity, the fruits of the spirit, etc.), and at the end of each chapter there are 10 Scripture verses typed out with a blank for you to pray your son’s name there. I usually insert all three of my boys names in the blanks (my two sons and one amazing husband). Powerful.

Photos taken from Amazon.


Have you read any of these books? What are your favorite books on raising boys?



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