Book Review

Book Review: Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys

by Hal and Melanie Young
ISBN 9780984144303
Great Waters Press
http://www.raisingrealmen.com/

“Raising Real Men” is scheduled for publication in January, 2010. The authors were kind enough to offer me an advanced reading copy of their work and, as the mother of a little boy, I eagerly accepted this opportunity.

The Young’s most certainly have the “street cred” to be writing about raising boys into men; they are parenting eight children, six of whom are boys of varying ages. Through entertaining vignettes that provided me with an insight into their home life and struggles that raising a larger family with boisterous boys can bring on, they succeeded in teaching me two very important lessons.

1. Boys and girls are different. (Okay, so I already knew about the biological differences; yet I still occasionally fell into the trap of comparing my boy to my girl. They are not alike. Then again, they are not supposed to be.)

2. If you want to raise a man who can protect his family, stand up for his beliefs and take charge of a situation, then don’t train up a coddled male who would rather go along to get along, shies away from dirt and strives for political correctness.

My favorite chapter came early in the book: chapter 2 under the heading of “Is There Not a Cause?” The authors convincingly explain the effect of a shift in societal values on the way boys are reared. Rather than training boys to become young men, they are cocooned and coddled – much like their sisters – into believing that they cannot do for themselves. Before long, their willingness and drive to take risks is becoming extinguished.

The lessons in “Raising Real Men” are not as simplistic as they may sound at face value. As a mother, I intellectually understand that encouraging risk taking in a controlled environment is desirable, but as the mom of my little sunshine, I prefer that he saves risk taking for another day – which will never arrive on its own.

I highly recommend this book to parents of boys. It is clearly written, comes from a Christian perspective and offers hands-on tips and suggestions. What more could I want from a parenting book? I can’t wait to read a book on parenting preteens or teens (of any gender) by these authors!

Sylvia Cochran

Sylvia is a writer, born and raised in Germany. Having been exposed to a variety of religions and traditions due to travel and study, Sylvia has been a student of the Bible for more than ten years and has for the last four years taught in small groups about Biblical principles, practical Christianity, Christian parenting, as well as the spiritual use of money.

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