The First-Time Mom’s Guide to Raising Boys

Ever wished you had a guide to raising boys?

A manual you can consult when your tween son confuses and frustrates you?

Now, one exists — and it’s Jen’s first book!

The First-Time Mom’s Guide to Raising Boys: A Practical Guide to Your Son’s Formative Years, by Jennifer L.W. Fink, was released on July 6, 2021. It’s a handbook that’s intended to help moms navigating the tween years (approximately ages 8-12) for the very first time. Janet says Jen “interprets a complex subject in a way that’s wise, fun & reassuring.”

This book helps moms (& dads) understand male development and the challenges boys face in the world, and then teaches them skills and strategies they can use as they parent their tween sons. Listening, Jen says, is key.

“If you don’t express an openness or willingness to listen to your son’s viewpoint, he’s not going to listen to yours,” she says. “Remember that you have different perspectives. When it comes to social issues, your son does not know what happened 20, 30, 50, 100 years before he was born. So you have important perspective that you can share with him. But at the same time, you don’t know what his daily experience is like. You don’t fully understand what’s happening in schools, what it’s like to be a kid today.

If you can remain open and curious to each other’s perspective, you can learn from each other.”

In this episode, Jen & Janet discuss:
  • The unique skillset required to parent boys
  • Why the tween years are so challenging for moms
  • “Unlearning” parenting
  • How our childhood experiences affect our parenting
  • Talking about tough subjects with your son, including divorce, relationship conflict, addiction, mental illness, racism & violence
  • The importance of intergenerational relationships
  • Prioritizing mental health
  • When to worry
  • Boys’ experience of shame & embarrassment
  • Helping a boy expressing self-hatred
  • Preparing boys to handle sexual pressure
Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

The First-Time Mom’s Guide to Raising Boys — Jen’s first book

Top 6 Tips for Parenting Tween Boys — classic BuildingBoys post

The Inside Scoop on Parenting Tween Boys — a very early conversation between Jen & Janet

Parenting Teen Boys Is… — Building Boys post that includes the deodorant-in-freezer pic mentioned at 7:08

Addiction Inoculation with Jessica Lahey — ON BOYS episode mentioned at 15:42

How to Raise a Feminist Son with Sonora Jha — ON BOYS episode mentioned at 17:23

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