I must admit up front, that I’m not a mother of boys. Our family has been blessed with three beautiful little girls (who can be quite feisty themselves), but we are hoping that the Lord will choose to bless us with a boy someday. That’s where my interest in Jean Blackmer’s Boy-sterous Living comes from – the anticipation we feel when we contemplate the possibility of God blessing us with some little men.
As the mother of three boys herself (now grown into teenagers), Jean Blackmer has penned an inspirational, humourous, slice-of-life title which jumps from topic to topic with ease. One moment discussing sports, the next writing on the importance of mothers connecting with other women, Blackmer covers a little bit of everything in her fast-paced, lighthearted read. Primarily written to moms, there is a single chapter written for dads as well.
In each of the 18 topically focused chapters, Blackmer first shares personal anecdotes from her family’s life with boys, experiences from friends or, if at a loss for intimate first-hand stories, from books she has read. Some of the adventures she digs up are absolutely hilarious; the time her son accidentally blew up a toilet with firecrackers most notable among them. Others are frightening, moving, or thought-provoking.
She then draws upon the experiences shared to illustrate the universality of these episodes, and the significance the underlying principles hold in family life. She often writes about how to strengthen certain aspects of Christ-like character in the lives of boys, how to teach appropriate boundaries, foster communication skills, etc. as she makes practical applications.
Each chapter closes with “Digging Deeper,” a section in which Blackmer asks moms probing questions and asks them to commit to a plan of action — small things that will strengthen their relationships with their sons. The “Recommended Reading” section always includes a selection of relevant Bible verses, and at times includes books that Blackmer has found particularly helpful in further exploring the issue she just covered.