Disclosure: This blog contains affiliate links. Read our full disclosure HERE.
Shannon Walter

Raising Boys by Design | Life Lessons & Book Review

Easy KETO Meals, Balanced KETO Meal Plan


How to raise a man. Raising Boys by Design by Gregory L. Jantz and Michael Gurian

Little boys are made of snails and puppy dog tails, but girls are made of sugar spice and everything nice. Really? While all little kids have the ability to be sweet and adorable, there are some huge differences between how boys and girls learn and behave. Little Man and Little Miss are teaching me just how different the two can be.

The most astonishing difference is the amount of talking they do. Little Man isn't really a talker. He is a doer. He is CONSTANTLY doing. One minute he is playing with LEGOs; the next he's climbing on the couch and "flying".

On the other hand is Little miss. She's talkative and not as active. She's content to sit in one spot and tell you all the things her baby doll is doing. (Even if that means saying "shh, baby sleeping" over and over.)

Are boys always so different from girls? No, there are exceptions. Reading Raising Boys by Design has helped me understand the different thinking processes of boys (and men).

Boy & Girl Brains are Wired Different.

In Raising Boys by Design, Dr. Gregory Jantz explains just how different our brains function. Girls use mostly white matter parts of their brain, which allows them to make quick connections from one thought to a seemingly unrelated one. (We call these random connections "squirrels".) 

As moms, you probably know exactly what I'm talking about. If not, here's an example: while discussing what seeds we are going to start for our garden this year, I turn to Maverick and tell him about an important event coming up. The two thoughts don't appear to be related, but in my mind, there's a connection.

In men and boys, their brains function mostly in the grey matter areas. What this means is that they tend to do and think about one subject at a time. There's little bouncing back and forth between random subjects. 

Boys Don't Multitask Well

I can see the difference in thinking process by observing Little Man and Little Miss play. Little Miss is happily playing with her dolls till she hears me say something about food. Her mind will quickly change from play time to eating time.

On the other hand, Little Man tends will delve deep into whatever activity he is doing. While he is playing, his concentration is focused so much on what he is doing that his surroundings seem to vanish. Dr. Jantz explains it this way,
Males tend to spend more brain time doing, feeling, thinking, working, and playing with neurotransmission concentrated in these specific (localized) parts of their brains. This can translate to a kind of tunnel vision when they are doing something. Once they are deeply engaged in a task or game, they may not demonstrate much sensitivity to other people or their surroundings. (pg. 21, Raising Boys by Design)
What Dr. Jantz means is your son isn't always ignoring you. When he is intently focused on completing a task, the parts of his brain that aren't being used take a break. They go to sleep. You may be calling him to come set the table, but his brain is still focused on that one task. It may take a few loud reminders to get his attention.

(P.s. This is NOT an excuse for intentionally ignoring Mom and Dad.)

Raising a H.E.R.O.

Most boys love to watch movies where the bad guy gets defeated by the good guy. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, G.I. Joe, Emoji, and The LEGO Movie are just a few examples. Before you get all non-violent on me, let me explain what is going on.

In movies, the hero finds a cause. Batman's cause is to save Gothom City. That cause drives the hero to build his character and inner strength. Overcoming their own personal flaws, the hero is able to defeat the bad guys and save the day. 

Take for example David fighting Goliath. When David heard Goliath's cursing, he knew what needed done to save his people. King Saul offered him a mighty sword and strong armor, but those things didn't fit David. David had to overcome his flaws and face the terrible giant with his trusty sling. He won. The good guy triumphed. 

There's more to being a hero than just winning a fight, and I love how Dr. Jantz defines it. 
Honor: adhering to truth, values, compassion, and principles beyond self
Enterprise: working at important things, whether they seem small or large
Responsibility: carrying important people and things throughout life
Originality: being a dreamer, a thinker, an explorer in the world
(pg. 72, Raising Boys by Design)

This is such a great acronym. Boys have a natural desire to hero-ship. They strive to be and develop each and every one of these traits. It's our job as parents to help them push the boundaries of boyhood and instill the character of manhood.

I made a LEGO superman print of this acronym to hang in Little Man's room. You can get yours here →Be A Hero

How to raise a man. Raising Boys by Design by Gregory L. Jantz and Michael Gurian

Protecting Boys Doesn't Harm Girls

There are people out in the world that don't understand this fact. No one group of people is better than another. That's it. It's a simple fact. That is the whole point of abolishing slavery, ending the holocaust, and establishing women's rights. To place one group above another is wrong. When God created mankind, He created Male and Female with equal rights. 

While having a discussion with an Exectutive in the Department of Justice, Michael Gurian asked why the government is spending millions on positive programs for girls but not boys. The answer the Executive gave stuck in his mind and pierced my heart. (Grab a tissue because this is heartbreaking.)
Well, from the government's point of view, we already budget for boys and men- in our prison budgets. 
What? You mean to tell us that our government sees no hope of a future in our sons? No potential for greatness because of gender? To be honest, I cried after reading this. I looked up at my Little Man and had the same thoughts many of you do. "My son is just as unique and special as my daughter."





The sad truth behind this society's warped thinking is that by hindering the development of boys they are also harming girls. People are the ones pitting men verses women. That's not what God intended. He made them equal and complimentary.

Raising a Gentleman Isn't Easy

Being a parent is tough. Not only are you responsible for the way you act, but now you are also responsible for teaching a small human how to act appropriately. When Little Man was born, I was so excited and very, VERY nervous. I had no idea what to do with a boy. Growing up it was just my parents, my sister, and me. That's it. No boys.

There is still a lot of work ahead for Maverick and I as we nurture our Littles, but I'm so thankful for Raising Boys by Design. It has helped me understand better exactly what boys need to thrive. 

If there are boys and young men in your life, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book →Raising Boys by Design. It's a great companion and guide to teaching boys to grow into men. Don't forget to have a pen and journal handy. There is just so much packed into this book- you'll want somewhere to collect all your thoughts. Like these.

It takes a village to raise a child. Dr. Gregory L. Jantz really explains how import role models are to boys. His book challenges you to rise up to the challenge of bringing up a cute ball of energy and watching him bloom into a gentleman.

*I was given this book in exchange for an honest opinion.

How to raise a man. Raising Boys by Design by Gregory L. Jantz and Michael Gurian
Shank You Very Much


Shannon Walter

About Shannon Walter -

Wife, Mommy, and Writer are three of the hats Shannon wears on a daily basis. Natural and holistic wellness is her passion. Diving into medical studies, reading long-winded books, and refitting them into information that is valuable to everyday life.

11 comments

Write comments
April 2, 2018 at 11:28 AM delete

yes raising boys can be tough. always to not compare to others.

Reply
avatar
Jessica Foley
Shannon @ TMMW
April 2, 2018 at 8:54 PM delete

Sounds like a great book. I'm a girl mom, but it sounds like a good read, regardless! Thanks for sharing.
~Jess
#GlobalBlogging

Reply
avatar
Aryn Hinton
Shannon @ TMMW
April 3, 2018 at 11:16 AM delete

This book looks great, I'll have to read it!

Reply
avatar
N
Shannon @ TMMW
April 4, 2018 at 10:40 PM delete

Great perspective on being a boy mom! Thx foe sharing

Reply
avatar
Kimberly Cartwright
Shannon @ TMMW
April 5, 2018 at 1:33 AM delete

I have a boy and two girls, and there is a definite difference in how they handle things. It is very interesting! I think it is so important to foster growth and development in both genders. I love the hero acronym. I'm going to remember that for my sweet boy!

Reply
avatar
Cherí B
Shannon @ TMMW
April 5, 2018 at 8:20 AM delete

Love this post. I have two little boys and I hate all the bias towards girls these days. It seems like because my children are white and male, they will have to prove their worth in this world but it will still probably go unnoticed.

Reply
avatar
Our Lives With Bella
Shannon @ TMMW
April 5, 2018 at 10:28 PM delete

I am a girl mom, but my daughter is always playing with her little cousins (boys) and I definitely see a difference in the way they play and think. This sounds like a good book, thanks for sharing!

Reply
avatar
Meagan Emmons
Shannon @ TMMW
April 5, 2018 at 11:05 PM delete

This is a great read for all the boy moms out there!

Reply
avatar
Jasmine Hewitt
Shannon @ TMMW
April 6, 2018 at 1:43 PM delete

As a boy mom, I often see empowerment and encouragement for girls way too often than for boys. It's not equal!

Reply
avatar
April 6, 2018 at 4:15 PM delete

I have 2 boys and a girl. There are obvious differences which I think are due to their gender and their personalities but also my skills as a parent! This sounds like a fab book and I love the acronym for HERO. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

Reply
avatar
Jen | Cuddles & Chaos
Shannon @ TMMW
April 6, 2018 at 6:06 PM delete

As a girl mom, I find the part about how male and female brains are wired differently to be very interesting. I'm also all for the empowerment of kids in general. I think that we see so much aimed at empowering girls right now because it's not something anyone paid attention to before. Boys see lots of men in positions of power, whereas girls don't see as many women in those same positions. I think that's why there are more empowerment programs aimed at girls.

Reply
avatar

Traditional Mom, Modern World is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. More...

Subscribe & Get the Busy Mom's Guide to Clean Eating

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.