October 2, 2012

I'm Outnumbered! By Laura Lee Groves

It may be a good thing my husband and I don't learn in advance the gender of our babies before their arrival.  I suspect I would have fretted over knowing that our second child was a boy (and fought sleepless nights wondering if the ultrasound was correct).  Boys are, well, foreign to me.  Though I have a brother, we didn't grow up together.  (Not only am I ten years older than him, but other than when he was a baby, we didn't live in the same home.)

Laura Lee Groves is a mom of experience.  She has raised four boys to be men.  Laura's book, appropriately named I'm Outnumbered, is full of practical wisdom.  Though her boys' baby and preschool days were long gone when she penned this book, it feels like she is still in the trenches of motherhood because she has not forgotten how difficult (and joyful) those early days are.

I'm Outnumbered: One Mom's Lessons in the Lively Art of Raising Boys speaks specifically to moms of sons, especially moms who have more than one boy.  Though I only have one son, I knew I wanted to read this based on what I had heard about it and from Laura's blog Outnumbered Mom.  I was expecting some practical encouragement and wisdom, and that is exactly what Laura provides.
"At the very least, being aware of the general differences can make a mom aware that needs to step back and assess her son through different eyes." ~ page 26
That quote provides you with Laura's goal: that the reader would consider boys as the unique individuals they are.  Laura uses her own experiences and the advice of experts to assist the reader in being a parent who loves her sons and helps them grow into the maturity of a responsibly and godly young man.

Here are just a few practical insights into raising my children that I really want to remember.

~ A "no hurting" policy.  This covers the actual hitting that can occur with boys...and girls.  More than that, it also covers the emotional hurts that siblings sometimes force upon one another.  No one should hurt our children...and especially not within the family.

~ Do not buy into "Boys will be boys."  The gender of a child does not give them a licence of freedom for x,y, or z.  Boys still need to try to understand their sister's sensitivity; girls should "cry wolf" just to get the help of Mom.  Laura talked a lot about not allowing this to be an excuse...while understanding that boys really are different than girls.

~ Avoid favoritism and labeling.
" Our attempts to be fair should continue even as our sons grow.  This is easy when they're all making choices we approve of, but when one chooses the unexpected path, we need to keep our love stable and constant, evenly applied." ~ p. 152
For those of us who are blessed to have girls in our home, too, Laura addresses these different circumstances often, referring to these homes as a "boys plus household" since some of the writing was for an all-boys household.  Though I only have one boy blessing, I still gleaned A LOT from Laura in I'm Outnumbered and highly recommend it for moms of boys, especially if you have two or more!  I thought I should also mention that Laura does write with her Christian faith in mind, though I believe non-Christians would also benefit from this book (and without being offended).

I thank Kregel Publications for providing this book for review.  More than that, I can say it's been a real blessing getting to know Laura Lee Groves over the past few months through our blogs and emails.

~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

5 comments:

  1. Definitely sounds like something I could use. :)

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  2. I enjoyed this book, too. I had gotten to know Laura through her blog through FFF and hadn't even realized she was working on a book at first. So it was fun to read a book from someone I sort-of knew online.

    I have one brother and four sisters, and my brother is closest in age to me and lived with my dad for a while after my parents divorced. so I was kind of in the same boat. Laura has lots of great advice.

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  3. I'm very curious to hear some advice on hitting. We don't condone it, but both of mine seem to like hitting each other. Firefly evens resorts to biting. Sunday morning, Grasshopper even hit my momma, because she was holding Firefly and not him. "sigh"

    I really want to read this book! Laura seems very wise just from what I've seen of her blog.

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  4. I loved this book! It sounds like I loved it for the same reasons you did. :) You made me want to re-read it. (I probably need to!)

    Loved reading your thoughts!

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  5. Oh, Annette -- thanks so much for your review!!

    It blesses me to know I'm Outnumbered spoke to you. I appreciate your kudos here, and I value our "blog and email friendship"!

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