Monday, April 11, 2011

Book Review: Bringing Up Boys

After reading Bringing up Girls last month, I wanted to follow it up with Bringing Up Boys - since our family is in the business of having boys : ) I was struck on page 7 with the fantastic summary of what it means to raise boys...

"[Parent's] assignment during two brief decades will be to transform their boys from immature and flighty youngsters into honest, caring men who will be respectful of women, loyal and faithful in marriage, keepers of commitments, strong and decisive leaders, good workers, and secure in their masculinity. And of course, the ultimate goal for people of faith is to give each child an understanding of Scripture and a lifelong passion for Jesus Christ."

One of the columnists quoted in the book talks about how to raise healthy boys in our shock-wave world... It can be accomplished by "being reasonable, smart and fully awake: Reduce boys' exposure to violence, be there when they return from school, help them with homework, ask them about their day, let them cry if need be, support them when they're down, help them to see options, teach them to handle guns safely if you have them, reward good behavior, provide meaningful consequences for unacceptable behavior, make reasonable demands, express moral expectations, talk to their teachers, and hug those boys every chance you get. Don't ask them to be men when they're just little boys, but show them how to be real men by demonstrating the thing we as a society seem to have lost: self-control."

I felt very strongly that every parent should read Bringing Up Girls because I thought that it helped parent's understand their girls, and understand the heavy responsibility of raising boys to treat them right. I feel less strongly about this book, as it seemed to be more of a critique of society than a manual for raising boys, not to mention it's 10 years old already, but nevertheless, there are a lot of extremely well thought-out and well supported thoughts on education, discipline and the nature of boys and it was a good read. We aren't just living with these little people until they're old enough to take care of themselves, we're bringing them up and molding them into the men that God created them to be. It's a heavy task, but the best of parents should be up for it.


Shaloma said...

Thanks for the review Beth. I've been considering reading that one. I am currently reading Wild at Heart by John Eldridge. It is absolutely amazing in my opinion. I would recommend it to anyone. It is all about the nature of men and boys. He has one for women called Captivating that I'd like to read too.