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Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys – a Book Review

  |   Books!, Christian Parenting, Review, Teaching Elementary School   |   No comment

The only problem with the book Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys, is that I regret not having had the opportunity to read it earlier.  Just published this January, this 253 page volume (including the detailed index) not only helps us answer those frustrated mommy questions like “WHY did you do that?” when your feisty sons behave oh, so differently than your dutiful daughters.

(The event I was recollecting as I said that was when my now-17 year old son was about seven, and wondered what would happen if he squirted the light bulb in his dresser lamp with a water pistol.  The resulting minor explosion was just one of many ‘experiments’ conducted by my now-not-so-little explorer.)

We have only been blessed with one boy, but he has made quite an impact on our family.  The authors of Raising Real Men have six, so they are more than qualified to write this book; actually, they are not qualified just because they have six sons; they qualify because they understand that boys – just like little girls – are a picture of the image of God, tragically marred by sin. And that our focus must be on leading our sons into godly manhood, not just trying to manage them to make our lives convenient and more pleasant. p. 25

Hal and Melanie Young, the authors of this book, clearly speak the truth as they describe our culture’s desire to feminize men and our misguided attempts to ‘change’ our boys, rather than understand them.  The Youngs not only exhort us to celebrate the uniqueness of our boys, they give us very practical suggestions for how to train and ready them to use those special God-given characteristics to be the men God created them to be.

Listen to some of these intriguing chapter titles/subtitles from Part One – Virtues in the Rough:

  • Resisting Feminization
  • Boys Need Heroes
  • Visual Media
  • Heroes from History
  • Bring on the Boldness
  • When to Comfort, When to Encourage
  • Standing Alone
  • Responsibility, Then Freedom
  • Learning to Stand
  • What the bible Says about Leadership
  • Developing the Next Generation’s Leaders
  • The Biblical View of Competition
  • The Puritan View of Games and Competition
  • What the Bible Says about Manners

In Part Two – Civilization for the Tough, the Youngs discuss that raising manly men doesn’t mean raising barbarians.  Men can and should be civilized. p. 126 🙂  Part Two is concerned with preparing a young man to interact appropriately with a world that so desperately needs his godly leadership. 

How can we teach our sons the things they will need to interact in society, to lead their families, to serve God?  Step by step, suiting the way God made them, in an intentional, thoughtful way… just the way we teach them everything. p. 126

Sometimes – many times – homeschooling seems overwhelming; homeschooling boys can be, especially.  I loved the above quote because it is in accord with the old Puritan saying, “Do the next thing.”  Let’s make a plan and just take one step at a time.  This book will help you make that plan for raising your boys to be the men they were created to be.

One of my favorite chapters in Part Two is called “Your Own School for Boys.” This chapter may well be your favorite chapter, too, if you have been pulling your hair out trying to home school your boys!  Melanie Young has home schooled six boys at a time and has obviously done some reading on the subject, offering us an explanation why and how boys are different than girls in the learning arena as well as many practical suggestions to get the most out of your boys.  Chapter subtitles:

  • Developmental Differences
  • Developmental “Delays”
  • Gender Differences in Learning
  • Louder, Mom
  • “I Think He Must Be Hyperactive…”
  • “Why Do I Have to Learn This, Anyway?”
  • What’s Your Goal, Son?
  • The Benefit of Stress

This is great stuff! Additionally, chapters include endnotes with scriptural back up!

Other very useful information in this book pertains to teaching boys how to be faithful stewards of their money, why we need to teach them to have good manners, how the Bible looks at work roles and how to deal with male/female relationships.  It even aids with considerations about choosing a college, for the college bound, and describes the counselor role we move into as our children leave the nest.

Imminently readable, warm and biblical, Raising Real Men will help you learn how to train and shape your noisy, dirty, rambunctious boys into real men who can stand on their own two feet and face the world, lead their families, and fulfill the purpose for which they were created.


Enjoy those boys!

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P.S.  If you would like to order this wonderful book for you and/or others, please click on the book cover image at the beginning of this post!

No Comments
  • Dana | Mar 24, 2010 at 9:02 pm

    Beth – Yes,I agree! Raising girls is definitely different from raising boys! Glad you enjoyed the review.

    Trena – Hang in there! Your son is at the perfect age for you to read this book and begin implementing some of the ideas presented. I loved all the very practical suggestions – even down to the way we talk to our boys.

    Thank you both for taking the time to comment!

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    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Faye Kepner. Faye Kepner said: Read a review of a GR8T book 4 parents of boys!Raising Real Men:Surviving,Teaching and Appreciating Boys-check it out! http://ning.it/dnlx7f […]

  • Trena | Mar 24, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I have been looking at this book and your review further encourages me that I need to purchase it…. sooner rather than later! But more than purchase, I need to read and apply it to my soon-to-be 5 yo boy (who has 2 sisters… one older and one younger). I’ve seen in so many instances how he is “programmed” different than my girls. Personally, I only had one sister so I’m pulling my hair out in dealing with a little boy.

  • Beth Hempton | Mar 24, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Excellent review, Dana. I’m with you…I wish I had seen it before now. I have found that raising John Paul is a whole new experience compared to bringing up Ally. The cultural influences cannot be understated nor ignored! Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

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