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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Boy-sterous Living: Celebrating Your Loud and Rowdy Life with Sons
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on May 27, 2010
I picked up this book, hoping to learn some tips for working with boys - there's a plethora of boys in my children's ministry and often, I'm left scratching my head at their antics.

From the start, I could barely put this book down. The book, filled with tons of humor and personal stories from Jean Blackmer's life, was simply hysterical. It's filled with a variety of true-life stories - all from the point of view of a mom.

I think it takes a special person to raise boys. I often find myself trying to understand the plight of a friend, who is raising four boys - ages 5, 6, 8, and 9 - laughing or crying with her when it comes to their crazy stories and actions.

Blackmer's book was almost like reading a "field guide" to little boys. It opened my eyes to some of their actions - especially those that seem to involve loud or breakable things.

I laughed out loud as I read the chapter, where Blackmer talks about finding her son jumping on a trampoline with a hammer. (Note: he was trying to fix a basketball goal hanging above the trampoline.) She never guessed that she would have to say "don't jump on a trampoline with a hammer." After a visit to the hospital, she learned.

It's kind of like the lesson I learned the night a group of the kids at church played a game of "hide and seek."

I never imagined, as I gave the ground rules for the game, that one of the boys would decide to hide in one of the oversized refrigerators. Fortunately, it was too full, so he didn't get stuck in it - and just smashed a few desserts. But now, thanks to the book and experience, I've learned to give pretty specific instructions to the kids - especially the boys!
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on September 16, 2009
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.

With each chapter ranging between four to ten pages, Blackmer doesn't have time to dig deep into any of the topics she touches upon. Moms looking for an in-depth, thoughtful guide to raising Christian boys would be better served by another title. At times the treatment specific subjects receive seem somewhat superficial, only gliding over surface concerns. She does dig into some tender spots on occasion - such as letting go, and letting dad.

Those of us on the more conservative spectrum may find several chapters that don't apply to our experiences. Unless your boys play sports, video games, and have girlfriends (or some day will), there will certainly be entire chunks of text that are largely inapplicable to your family situation.

Blackmer has clearly learned to delight in the differences between herself and the rest of the all-male home she lives in. Her sense of genuine delight and rejoicing in the God-given differences between male and female certainly shines through her words. Mothers of boys looking for a quick, inspirational round of humorous commiseration will be encouraged to count their blessings anew. Readers looking for something a bit meatier should continue their search.
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on September 11, 2009
As a mom of 2 girls and 2 boys I can tell you first hand that there is HUGE difference between boys and girls. Their personalites, the way they show love, the way they play, even the way the eat.

So I was pretty excited to read the lastest book by Jean Blackmer called "Boy-sterous Living - celebrating your loud and rowdy life with sons". After all I do know there is a difference, but I can't claim to be an expert (yet) on what boys really like.. I don't know if we ever can but having someone who's been there done that advice and help sure would be nice.

Boy-sterous Livng had me laughing from the preface. Through the rest of my book my emotions rollercoasted up and down and even tears ran down my face and a big lump in my throat thru some parts. I could easily relate to her examples (even with my boys as young as they are now.) I wasn't really expecting ALL of what she had to offer. Her witty writing style made me relaxed and feel like she was sharing with me rather than lecturing me on "how it really is". I love that she's included Bible verses to help, reading materials and questions to think about or ideas to try out. For example on the first chapter it suggests writing down a funny story about your son and than telling it him. I did that and my 5 year old loves it. He loves being my main character when I'm telling a funny story.

One thing that struck me and I found prevalent for myself was her chapter on technolgy and how we are suppose to handle it as Christians. She says

"To some, technology is scary or evil, but it doesn't have to be. Jesus mentions several times in the Book of John, chapter 17, that we as Christians live "in the world," but he cautions Christians not to be "of the world." to me, this means we don't have to fear technology. We live in the world and need to know how to function. We can embrace the advances in technology and stay informed about the newest games, gadgets, and Internet opportunites as long as we don't let them be all-consuming."

That spoke to me on several levels for myself and for my family as we dabble in computers (and having a past technological career myself).

You'll find Jean providing you with solid information and heartfelt stories that only a mother could share and laugh about. This is one of those few books I want to savor a lot! I'll be keeping it for a long time to go over and ponder. I think whether your boys are 5 or 25 you'll find this book useful and insightful. You'll be blessed and dare I even say you'll find someone who understand just what it's all about.

My only comment about the book is chapter 3. - the Bible verse is Proverbs 10:19 not 10:8 if you're looking them up!
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on September 10, 2009
Aside from the obvious, is there really a big difference in boys and girls?
Differences that should effect how we raise and relate to them?
Are those differences profound enough to warrant publication of yet another book on the joys, challenges and celebration of rearing boys?
The answer is yes, if that book is Jean Blackmers
Boy-sterous Living: Celebrating Your Loud and Rowdy Life with Sons

In an amusing yet very thoughtful manner Jean shares real life stories culled from her own life and those of friends to illustrate how wonderful and blessedly unique boy children are. Each chapter focuses on solutions to the many challenges and joys faced in raising happy, healthy and Godly `boy-sterous' boys. Her personal stories are quite precious and at times almost too funny to believe; unless of course you have first hand working knowledge of males.

With it's many scripture references, a `Digging Deeper' section, `Questions for Reflection' and a list of `Suggested Reading' accompanying each chapter, I highly recommend `Boy-sterous Living' as a study for any meeting of MOPS, Mom Care or Moms in Touch groups and think it would make an excellent gift for all new parents and those expecting, whether a boy or girl.
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on September 15, 2009
Jean Blackmer's Boy-Sterous Living: Celebrating Your Loud and Roudy Life with Sons offers a mother's perspective on being the only female in the house. Using her personal experience, in addition to tips from experts, she covers:

The importance of laughter

Why boys need adventure

How to use video games, iPods, and other electronics wisely

How to teach boys to express their feelings

Dealing with the "fear factor" of having and active boy

I found this book extremely relatable! Tips included things that parents can realistically apply. For example, instead of advocating a ban on video games and computers, she shares how her family incorporates limits and balance, knowing that today's kids live in a technical age and need to know how to use it responsibly. I felt like I was talking to a mom from my son's school, one who has the same concerns and hopes for her sons as I do. Whether you have all boys or just one, you will enjoy this entertaining and informative read.
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on August 29, 2011
I loved this book! Jean did a great job of relating to all moms with boys with hilarious and personal stories, great tips and ideas for connecting. I loved her book suggestions at the end of each chapter... I just checked a couple Calvin and Hobbes books out of the library and plan on reading them with my son. I highly recommend this book for any mom who has boys and wants to know how to parent them better.
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on March 29, 2009
This book brought smiles to my face and new encouragement to parenting my three sons. Blackmer gives a perspective on how parenting boys can be fun, adventurous, fulfilling and filled with grace for the times we don't quite get it right. I found encouragement to honor boys for the way that God made them and to parent accordingly.
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on February 11, 2009
Awesome read! This is a fresh, fun and informative book about parenting boys. The author's experiences and wisdom shed light on both day to day issues as well as thinking through future issues. It is a great gift book as well as a must read if you have boys!
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