Love That Boy
I admit it, this book had me at the title.
As the mother of a child that I love dearly but in the past, have struggled with just that very thing, this book called out to me.
If your child is easy to love, then you probably won’t connect to this post or the book. This is for everyone else. This is for those of us with the child that is “challenging”, “difficult”, “strong-willed” or whatever label you want to put on it.
“Love That Boy”, by Ron Fournier is a father’s personal fatherhood story. His son doesn’t quite live up to his expectations. His son has Asperger’s, a form of autism. Ron struggles to connect with his son throughout his life. His dreams for his son are not realized.
Maybe you can relate: His son does not react to situations as he wants him to. His son does not have the friends he wants him to, or as many friends as he would like, he is not in sports like he always hoped his son would be. The list goes on.
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Connecting with Your Child
For me, I have a child that is completely my opposite. He is not a people pleaser. He is fine with making a scene! The word “no” does not bother him. I’ve seen other adults back down to him – at age 10!
I have often followed him, apologizing. Not necessarily because it is warranted but because I wouldn’t have acted that way.
In “Love That Boy”, Ron’s wife suggests that Ron takes his son on a series of road trips around the nation’s capital, in an attempt to connect with each other. The two of them interview former presidents (the author formally worked at the White House) and visit past president’s homes which is one of his son’s obsessions.
The book oscillates between Ron and his son’s journey and research on how to remove your dreams and expectations from your child’s shoulders. The whole process of letting your child be themselves, learn their own lessons. Basically, you as a parent stepping aside.
As a parent of a strong-willed child who is my complete opposite, this is especially hard.
Working to Embrace Your Child’s Differences
It is easy to accept to your child’s differences and their dreams when you see them succeed. It is when they are pushing every boundary and going against your every expectation that you should consider laying your dreams aside. Embrace who your child is in God.
The book is chock-full of advice that is delivered with empathy for parents of challenging children. I highly recommend reading it if you identify at all with this post. Let me know if you have any book suggestions on the same topic!
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions in this review are my own.