Friday, January 1, 2010

Wild Things - the art of nurturing boys

Wild Things – the art of nurturing boys

Written by Stephen James and David Thomas
Published at Tyndale

About the book
Playing off the themes in the Caldecott Medal-winning children's book Where the Wild Things Are, this informative, practical, and encouraging guide will help parents guide boys down the path to healthy and authentic manhood. Wild Things addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual parts of a boy, written by two therapists who are currently engaged in clinical work with boys and their parents and who are also fathers raising five sons. Contains chapters such as “Sit Still! Pay Attention!” “Deficits and Disappointments,” and “Rituals, Ceremonies, and Rites of Passage.”

Born to be . . . wild!

A boy’s endless imagination, hunger for adventure, and passionate spirit are matched only by his deep desire to be affirmed, esteemed, and loved.

Yet over the past few decades, our culture has adopted a model of parenting and educating boys that doesn’t affirm, celebrate, or embrace a boy’s hunger, passion, or wildness but rather seeks to tame it. As a result, many parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors find themselves frustrated, confused, and wearied by boys’ behavior.

The truth is, boys don’t need to be tamed—they need to be understood, loved, challenged, and encouraged.

Wild Things helps parents, teachers, mentors, and others understand and explore the hearts, minds, and ways of boys—and the vital role that parents and caregivers play on the journey to manhood.

Based on clinical research and filled with practical tips and suggestions, Wild Things gives fresh insight and much-needed encouragement on the road to raising boys.

Who are Stephen James and David Thomas?
Stephen James, M.A., is a private-practice therapist in Nashville, Tennessee, and is also on staff at Fellowship Bible Church as pastor of congregational care. Stephen earned his master's degree in counseling from Mars Hill Graduate School in Seattle, Washington. He is husband to Heather, as well as father to Emma Claire; Elijah; and twins, Henry and Teddy.

David Thomas is a therapist and director of counseling for men and boys at Daystar Counseling in Nashville, Tennessee. He did his undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Tennessee. David lives in Nashville with his wife, Connie; daughter, Lily; and twins, Baker and Witt.

My Thoughts
I have three boys. And when I heard the authors speaking on FOTF back in 2009, I thought it would be nice to review this book. So I asked Tyndale if I could get a copy in exchange of a review. And I received one.

It took me a while to read it. Too long and I admit it. Not that it isn’t interesting – quite the contrary but somehow it slipped my mind and forgot about it. So when the Christmas vacation came around and that we were not doing homeschooling for a little while, I decided to catch up on this book and write the review.

This book reminds me of the Wild at Heart book from John Eldredge but it is written more specifically on a boy level I find. Boys and girls are different and even among themselves boys are different too. And when they grow up, they go through various stages of boy life (explorer ages 2-4, lover ages 5-8, individual ages 9-12, wanderer ages 13-17 and warrior ages 18-22). The first part of the book will make you realized the differences between these stages. Also each chapter concludes with tips from the authors on how to raise your boy. Right now in my life I have an explorer, a lover as well as a borderline individual. I can see my oldest slowly going into the individual stage. He is more independent already and we can trust him with more important tasks.

The second part of the book highlights the mind of a boy, its brain, the learning styles as well as how schools are not flexible enough for boys. There is also a chapter about dealing with disappointments and deficits in a boy’s life. The third and last part of the book provides interesting information about the heart of a boy – his relationships with mom and dad as well as a rite of passage. Eventually the little boy who stands in front of you will be able to sail the world on his own. It is our responsibility to teach him how to do this and guide him to make wise choices.

The book concludes with hot topics like discipline, sensitive boys, competition, dating, money, sex, and much more. These hot topics are very informative and gives you a point of view on how to approach a sensitive subject with your son.

I really enjoyed reading Wild Things and it gave me a new perspective on how to guide my boys. I am more aware of the different stages they will go through and consequently hopefully more equipped to help them.

I strongly recommend Wild Things: the art of nurturing boys to anyone who have boys in their family.

This review was possible because I received a copy of Wild Things – the art of nurturing boys from Tyndale.
Wild Things is available everywhere even at and

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