Friday, April 2, 2010

Raising Real Men - Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys

Raising Real Men – Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys

Written by Hal and Melanie Young
Published at Great Waters Press

About the book
A Practical Guide to Equipping the Hearts and Minds of Boys without Losing or Breaking Your Own

If this is God’s chosen gift to us, then why does it seem so hard? How can we prepare these boys to serve God when we can barely make it through the day? Isn’t there a better way?

The answer is yes.

Raising Real Men looks beyond the untied shoes and dirty jeans to what the Lord means your son to be. Learn how to help him focus on schoolwork, find real heroes, stand alone when he needs to, and become a real man one day. Don’t just survive raising boys, succeed at it — and learn how to love them as they really are.

Who are Hal and Melanie Young?
Fresh from a state tax audit to prove that yes, they’re all ours, Hal and Melanie Young, authors of Raising Real Men, are parents of six real boys and two real girls. They have homeschooled through seven high-risk pregnancies, three re-locations, two decades, and 181 degrees of longitude. Hal and Melanie have published articles with Homeschooling Today, Homeschool Digest, the N.C. Family Policy Council, the John Locke Foundation, and the Heartland Institute. The Youngs live in noisy familial bliss in North Carolina.

My Thoughts
This book not only gives us information on the lives of the authors and their family but it also gives us biblical guidelines in raising boys. I have three boys of my own and I can see how different they are from me.

Boys are adventurous, curious, ready to jump in the action at any minute, risk takers and much more. My boys will try once in a while to slide down the railing (which we rapidly remind them not to do so) or jump on anything bouncy (again a reminder is necessary) or simply go explore the backyard sometimes.

While I agree with some discussions brought into this book, I disagree with other ones. For example, the whole hero part of it. Yes we do have heroes in the past that we need to look at and study but I don’t see anything wrong with imaginary heroes like Spider-Man, Superman, Batman and much more. Many comic books have some faith incorporated in them.

The chapter about arms is well approached I think. Boys will create guns with anything that come into their hands like it or not. My boys created their guns with legos believe it or not. And the authors put the emphasis on the importance of teaching them to handle the guns and store them properly. Accidents happen rapidly and you don’t want to lose a life into it. It blows my mind that access to guns are so easy in the US.

Other subjects in the chapters are responsibility, leadership, discipline, competition, stewardship, chivalry, school and much more. As much as I want to raise my own boys according to God’s Will and to be loving and caring toward others, I find the book to be a little bit too much on the strict side sometimes. I believe that a little bit of flexibility is needed as well. Yes boys will get dirty and boys need to learn to wash when needed. Being firm and loving is essential for parents of boys. Boundaries need to be established and freedom will help them to grow as well.

I agree with the authors that we need to encourage and train the boys to become leaders and to help in any ways they can in a family. We are trying to do that with our own kids. My oldest son is able to prepare supper if necessary as well as do some washing when I can’t do it (like back in Nov 2008 after my foot surgery). The boys first chore in the morning is to empty the dishwasher. They also know that when it’s time to pick up the living room, it is not time to play (mind you we need to reinforce this once in a while). They are great kids who are willing to help in the house by vacuuming and using the broom if necessary. Having this help is great since we are homeschooling and I can’t do everything in the house. So when I wash the clothes and separate them in various baskets, the boys know they will have to put their clothes away at some point. Once they are done, they bring back the baskets downstairs in the laundry room.

Boys are different and being a woman who didn’t had any siblings in my family, I feel sometimes overwhelmed. So having a book about the differences about boys and how they think, learn and react is something I find important. If you are in the same boat as me and wish to understand more about boys, get Raising Real Men but I would also read other books like Bringing Up Boys by Dr. Dobson or Wild Things by James and Thomas. Then you will have a greater appreciation of the difference about boys.

This review was possible because I received a copy of Raising Real Men from the authors.

Raising Real Men is available directly from the website of the authors –!

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