Book Review: Raising Real Men by Afterthoughts

Platforms: Book
Release Date: 2010
Genre(s): Parenting
Publisher(s): Great Waters Press
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Book Review: Raising Real Men by Afterthoughts

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)

Review by Afterthoughts

Book Review: Raising Real Men

Since this is a review, let’s cut to the chase: I give Raising Real Men 4 out of 5 stars. Now I’ll proceed to share with you a few things I liked about the book. {If you missed the favorite quotes I already shared, you can view them here and here.} I am so thankful that Timberdoodle gave me the opportunity to review this book.

As an aside, I think that the majority of the concepts in this book also work with girls, they would simply be applied in a different way. My girls, by the way, rarely insist on almost dying as a form of fun, so this first point is not for them.

Getting Comfy with Danger

Probably the number one thing I appreciated about this book was the reminder to let my boys be–to let them climb trees, jump off of “great heights,” and otherwise risk life and limb. There was a good balance struck between not dying and yet testing limits and learning to be brave. Of course, you probably know I liked this so much, I wrote a post about it.

Boys Climbing a Tree
by Goya

Responsibility and Freedom

Using the verse which says, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much,” the Youngs encourage us to be consistent in giving boys as much responsibility as they can handle well, and then increasing it as appropriate.

Raising Real Men:
Surviving, Teaching,
and Appreciating Boys
by Hal and Melanie Young

Thinking About Competition

There was a whole chapter on the competitive nature of boys. Being a woman, I am not so naive as to think that girls are not competitive. But boys seem to thrive on it in a different way than girls do. In fact, most competitiveness I’ve seen in my own girls is completely unhealthy {“Is she prettier than me?” Ahem} There was a defense of competition that encouraged me to quit responding negatively when my son makes it clear that he is competing with my other piano students. As an ideal, I’d rather him aim {as CM said} to master the subject {and, in this sense, learn to compete with himself} rather than another child, but I’m not going fight battles {small though they have been in the past} on this hill any longer. The only thing I found lacking in this area was an understanding that competition is more appropriate in some areas of life than others. Yes, boys are naturally competitive. But competition in sports is good, while in other areas, it is not-so-good, or even inappropriate. So, for mothers of ultra-competitive boys, there is no guidance in training them to let go.

Financial Stewardship

The Youngs are fairly detailed in their chapter A Faithful Steward, which is all about teaching boys to manage their finances well. My parents were fabulous in this area. By the time my sister and I graduated from high school, we were paying for most of our own tangible things–clothes, shoes, gas, snacks, etc. {To say nothing of Dad’s lectures on compound interest.} This really helped me begin to understand what things actually cost. I look forward to going through this chapter again with my husband, and discussing a plan for teaching our children to understand money as they get older.

“Women’s Work”

I thought it was brave for a book about raising boys, obviously directed at the conservative homeschoolers out there, to promote giving boys kitchen duties. Laundry duties.  Women’s work.  Right?  Wrong.  Not only do men who live alone need to know how to do these things, but there are plenty of cultural examples of men who do such things. I love that they didn’t shy away from teaching their boys things that some folks consider a girl’s job.

In All, A Good Read

If you’ve read a lot of parenting books {and I have}, you will find that at least half of the book is stuff you’ve already heard elsewhere. Sometimes, I find it is good to hear the old ideas over again, in new language. But there are enough unique thoughts here to merit reading, even if you don’t savor the idea of review. Personally, I try to read at least one mothering book per year to keep me from getting sloppy.

Legal Disclosure:
As a member of  Timberdoodle’s Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of Raising Real Men in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.


Posted by Timberdoodle Co. | 08 Nov 2011 | 4 Star, All Reviews, Reviews

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