Raising Real Men: A Review by Twin Firs Adventures

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

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

Review by Twin Firs Adventures

Raising Real Men: A Review

As a part of Timberdoodle’s Blogger Review Team, I am presented with opportunities to review products that Timberdoodle carries in their online store.  This time, I am reviewing the book, Raising Real Men by Hal and Melanie Young.  They have six boys (and two girls) and have been involved with parenting, political commentary, writing, and homeschooling.  They wrote this book because Melanie was asked to share her thoughts on raising and homeschooling boys.  I felt since I am in the process of raising and homeschooling three wonderful boys, this book would be a good fit for me.  However, I found that I’m different from their typical audience members in that I already understand and appreciate my energetic boys.  Most of what they write is common sense.

IJ and M target the window with Nerf guns, 2008

The first part of the book covers virtues that boys have that drive parents crazy (competitiveness, aggression, recklessness, etc) and ideas to help cultivate these virtues into “real men” characteristics.  One issue they bring up is the use of weapons in play.  They have a common sense approach to gun play: treat your toys like a real weapon, don’t shoot at a living person (which is exactly what I told S this morning after he shot his sister with a Nerf gun), and always be the good guy.  I didn’t need to read a book to know that.

Fun and Safety with BB Guns 2011

How can you cultivate the love of weaponry in young boys into a Real Man characteristic? And why would you?  Because it is all about responsibility.  Being responsible so that if they are ever in the position where a friend is playing with a gun, they know what to do.  Being responsible while hunting.  Being able to protect your home from invaders (or raccoons), without accidentally shooting someone innocent.  And then there is the possibility the young boys grow up to be warriors in our Armed Forces.  The Youngs give plenty of Scriptural examples for the need of virtuous warriors.  They say, “Just as we teach them the truth of God’s word to better arm them for the spiritual battle, we can help them understand the proper use of physical strength and appropriate weapons in the right causes.”

IJ and E 2007

The second half of the book covers the topics necessary to growing up that drive boys crazy, especially coming from their parents (becoming responsible with money, having good manners, learning their way around the kitchen and cleaning up after themselves).  I never once for a second ever thought that my sons should be exempt from kitchen, cleaning, and/or laundry duty just because of their gender.  Nuh-uh, no way.

Being Raised to be Real Men

At 9 and 8 years old, IJ and S are responsible for unloading the dishwasher, moving the laundry from the washing machine to the dryer, sweeping the floor, and they often make lunch for everyone while I am busy with other things.  I know I share this view with many other Christians, but I know there are still people out there that think this kind of work feminizes boys.

Tenderness is NOT exclusively feminine

Those people might need the Scriptural references the Youngs provide of men weaving cloth and baking bread and nurturing babies, but I don’t.  Plus (as M likes to joke) there is no guarantee the girl they marry will know how to cook.  Just look at me.  If they can’t cook, they might starve (like M obviously is).

My Real Man

The most important thing, in my opinion, to raising boys into real men, is to provide them with the best examples of Real Men.  Take M for instance.  There is no doubt that he is a perfect example of the balance between being masculine, but having the nurturing side that is also very masculine.  He has taught our boys so much about how to be physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight, yet also how to show tenderness so that scenes like this are not a rarity, but reality:

D naps snuggled with S

I really wanted to enjoy this book, but I have a hard time spending so much time reading about things I already know.  Especially when I believe the book wasn’t as organized or as well written as it could have been.  It took me a few times through the introduction of the two parts to figure out why there were two parts.  It took me a few tries to get through the book one time.  Some chapters were ended with a conclusion header and paragraph, others weren’t.  Sometimes a fact was tossed into a conclusion that seemed out of place.  There were too many examples from how the mother was raised applied to how they are raising their sons. But those are just editorial issues, not content issues.

There are so many people who do like this book.  Raising Real Men won 2011 Book of the Year from Christian Small Publisher Association.  I encourage you to read other reviews on this book at Because Mom Said.  And in the interest of full disclosure, Timberdoodle granted me a free copy of the book in exchange for my frank and unbiased review.


Posted by Timberdoodle | 22 Nov 2011 | 4 Star, All Reviews

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