Laura is a high school English and drama teacher who writes to bring encouragement and inspiration to moms. She's has written for Moody Magazine, Focus on the Family’s Focus on Your Child, Coral Ridge Ministries and has penned and directed several madrigal dinner plays.
I recently asked Laura a few questions about the art of raising boys:
What's the hardest thing about being a mom of boys?
To me, feeling so outnumbered. I love my boys, but I have often felt rather isolated, as a woman. There have been times I've felt misunderstood, too, by moms whose lives were so different from mine.
How are the dynamics in a many-boy household different from a one-boy household?
Same thing only more! When there's only one boy, he doesn't have anyone to wrestle with. Increase the number of boys, and the wrestling multiplies exponentially! The dynamics of multiple boys is both fascinating and frightening. When they're a band of brothers, it's wonderful; when they're in competition (so common with boys), it can get crazy.
What would you say are some of the top challenges facing boys today -- and how can parents help?
Media choices, I'd say. Teaching our boys to discern is the key -- guiding and leading them to make wise choices for themselves. The lure of technology is so great and will only grow in coming years. We won't always be there, and our boys needs to know how to maintain balance in the light of that lure.
A lot of boys today seem to be struggling in school. As a teacher and mom of boys, why do you think this is so? What can be done to help boys learn?
Oh, I think there are many reasons, ranging from acceptance of stereotypes (on the part of teachers and parents), lack of understanding of boys by teachers, and the nature of the boy beast (in the current educational atmosphere). The best thing we can do is foster and nurture a love of learning and discovery -- early -- so that it lasts. Next, we need to set the bar for our boys and expect excellence while balancing that with unconditional love. We need to look for their best in all things and be willing to accept their best as their best. We can't tie our acceptance to their educational -- or any other type of -- achievement.
How have your boys helped you grow?
Oh, my. I truly understand the male beast better after raising four of them. They helped develop a different side of me -- helped me keep alive the wonder and discovery and joy of childhood. Even though they're young men, they continue to be captivated by the wonder of discovery, and they drag me along. Practically, my experience with them pushed me to write a book, and I've certainly grown though that process.
Want to know more about Laura? Visit her (wonderful!) blog at www.outnumberedmom.com/.
Want a copy of her book? Enter my contest! Laura has agreed to donate one signed copy of I'm Outnumbered! to one lucky Blogging 'Bout Boys reader. To enter:
- Leave a comment, either telling me one thing you've learned about raising boys or asking a question about boys. I'll answer all questions in future posts.
- Be sure to include your contact info! Please leave an email address, so I can contact you if you're the winner.
- One comment = one entry. (And please, no more than one comment per blog post). To earn additional entries, you can...
- Tweet the contest. Each tweet (up to one per day per entrant) equals one more entry. Please include my Twitter tag (@jlwf) so I know you've tweeted!
- Mention the contest on Facebook. Again, be sure to let me know. (You can find me on Facebook as Jennifer L.W. Fink.)
- Mention the contest in a blog post and include a link back to my blog. I love getting to know other bloggers!
Now for the legal mumbo-jumbo: The contest will run through midnight CST next Friday, September 10. The winner will be drawn at random via http://www.random.org/ and will be notified ASAP. Laura will send the book directly to the winner.