Mothers and Sons with Tom Golden

The Honey Badger interviewed author Tom Golden again. This interview concerned his book Helping Mothers be Closer to Their Sons: Understanding the unique world of boys. From the Amazon blurb:

Do you sometimes wonder why your son is the way he is? Do you struggle in understanding him? Listen to the words of youtube sensation Karen Straughan:

“For any mother of boys who has ever been perplexed, flummoxed,bewildered, dumbfounded, flabbergasted, confused or stymied by the things they say and do, this book is a must read.”

Learn the secrets that make boy’s emotions invisible. Learn the reasons he seems so different from your daughters. The author has spent over 30years working with boys and learning their nature. This book will open you to their world and in so doing bring a deeper closeness.
Concise, written in a friendly manner, this book will help you shape a new way of being with your son.

Bonus sections on adolescents, teaching boys about emotions, discipline and more, this book will give you plenty of tips about getting close to your son while honoring your distinctly different ways.

Listen to Jennifer Fink, writer,founder of and mother of four boys says:

“I wish I’d had this book when I started raising boys! And even though I’ve been raising and reading and writing about boys for 18+ years, I learned things.”

I have not read the book yet, although I intend to. I find Golden’s insights as mentioned in the interview helpful. He and the Badgers discuss the way boys think and behave and the ways mothers and women in general can learn to notice these things to better understand why boys are the way they are.

I think that this is the kind of commentary we need given how many boys grow up in single mother homes and go to schools where they rarely have male teachers. Women often look at boys’ behavior as bad or treat boys as failures rather than understand that boys simply operate in different ways than girls.

Golden made an interesting point about how men and women react to men’s emotions. He asked Brian how many times Brian had heard the phrase, “You’re not dealing with your feelings.” Brian said he heard it all the time. He then asked who said it to Brian. Brian said it was usually a woman. Golden noted it is typically women who says this. Men already understand the dynamic at play, but because women do not go through the same experiences as men growing up, they do not understand that most men and boys simply not going to talk about their emotions that openly. Golden went on to state that telling a man or boy “You’re not dealing with your feelings” is more likely to make them shut down rather than open up.

This has been my experience, both from my own direct perspective and from watching how the boys I live with react. Trying to get them to talk about their feelings directly will usually backfire. It is typically better to engage them in activities, and they will open up on their own when they feel comfortable. For many boys, even those never taught to hide their feelings (such as my godson), it simply feels weird to randomly talk about their feelings. They need a reason to do it.

However, that does not mean they do not show their feelings. Plenty of boys and men are open with their feelings. It is more of a matter of learning how males express their feelings. There is an element of comfort, trust, and need that will prompt verbal expression. If a boy is hurt, he is less likely to say it. He is, however, likely to show it. This is something most men know and understand, but many women miss it and end up badgering men and boys rather than helping them.

One of the elements that is important to this is understanding that boys and men look for solutions. They do not want you to fix their problems for them. They want you to help them help themselves. That is something missing a lot of literature and training when it comes to helping men and boys, particularly victims of abuse.

I intend on getting Golden’s book soon. I will review it once I read it. In the meantime, I suggest watching the Honey Badger’s interview:

2 thoughts on “Mothers and Sons with Tom Golden

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