As parents, we want to be the main voice of influence in our children’s lives. We can pass on the values and mindsets we hold dear when we choose to spend time getting to know them well – their interests, passions, and heart. We earn the right to lead and inspire when we have won their trust and respect.
And yet, any parent knows that sometimes it takes a third party to affirm something that you have been trying to tell your child all along! I’m grateful for other adults, older kids, and even great authors who inspire our children towards the things we value.
The book, Boyhood and Beyond has been one of those books for us. I think it’s great for any boy from the ages of 9-14. It is written by a Christian author, and so several of the chapters do speak to living out a relationship with God, but most of the chapters would be applicable to any maturing boy. The author, while writing about many habits and virtues goes about it in a very authentic way, telling personal stories, never cheesy or “preachy” (which we steer clear of in this family since it never really hits home).
One of the first chapters was titled, “Admit It,” and my son was able to share something with me that he had decided long ago would be too difficult to tell. The author encouraged readers to get in the habit of admitting mistakes quickly, as it gets easier to do each time and develops courage. My son experienced the freedom that comes from telling the truth. We were both relieved.
This last chapter that he read talked about how treating your sister kindly can help prepare you to love and take care of a future wife. My son read aloud several paragraphs to his sister and myself, excited and inspired to start living out things that we have to repeat to him continually. She felt giddy sweet, and they’ve been having a wonderful day together since.
This book is changing him. It’s his favorite book to start reading each day. He’s run over to me many times, wanting to read a certain quote. I think it will be a neat “marker” in his life as he’s transitioning from these boyhood years towards greater maturity and responsibility. It’s not always easy being a parent, but great books like these surely do help.