As I read, Mother & Son, The Respect Effect by Emerson Eggerichs, PhD, I feel as if I am looking in a mirror. I suppose that I expected a one sided book about how males are, and instead, Eggerichs gives me quite a lot of information about how females are in contrast to how males are.
Eggericks teaches me that "Love-talk is the mother tongue of mothers." Yet, our boys' first language is that of respect. My entire framework, the lens through which I view life, is a lens of love and relationship. The men in my family view life through the lens and framework of respect. And love and respect are very different.
Hint: Appendix A at the back of the book is a quick start guide and I wish I had discovered it first as an overview. :)
I recognize that my daughters are very different from my son, and I have wildly different relationships with each. I know that girls are different from boys in the way we process information and approach relationships, but I have never been able to define or qualify what makes interaction with my son so different. And in the first chapter, Eggerichs has me hooked. A-ha moment after a-ha moment. More than a little overwhelmed. A lot of the information applies to my relationship with my husband, too. I am convicted with a desire to change. I wish I had had this book a decade ago.
Eggerichs recognizes that this language of respect is not a mother's first language, and he reminds the reader that it is okay for this language of respect, this filter of respect, to not feel natural to a woman when her interaction filter is love. Eggerichs also reminds us that the differences are differences, not issues or right and wrong ways of communicating. He addresses a mother's resistance and the questions she might have in an entire chapter (chapter eleven).
There is so much to like about this book. Chapter 3, "A Game Plan" is about being a guide. RDI families who are familiar with guided participation in autism intervention will really appreciate this chapter. Eggerichs gives readers an acronym from GUIDES and helps us apply the concepts (along with the concepts in chapter four) throughout the book with lots of practical examples. (RDIers will love the examples of declarative statements.)
Eggerich's observation that many mothers say their boys ask, "Can we stop talking now?" is reassuring. It's not just me.
What if the son doesn't behave in a way that he deserves respect? Oh yes, Eggerichs addresses it here.
I know that some of my readers are secular homeschoolers who tend to be very selective before using a Christian resource, and from that viewpoint, Eggerichs does reference related scripture to provide a foundation and to illustrate his points, and yet it is not in an 'in your face', holier than thou, preachy kind of way. If you are not a Christian, you will find the material in the book helpful for parenting a child of the opposite gender. (Yes, there is enough info here for men to have some understanding of their daughters even though the focus is on moms with their sons.)
I urge you to go to http://loveandrespect.info/mother-and-son-the-respect-effect/ and watch the videos that Dr Eggerichs has produced for us. Scroll to the bottom and get the first three chapters free.
Love and Respect's facebook page is here.
The blog is here.
I am so glad I got the opportunity to review Mother & Son. I hope that I am able to take the information in it and make course corrections in myself that make for a stronger bond between the men in my life and me.