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Book Review: Raising Real Men

Submitted by kim on Tue, 06/19/2012 - 20:36 in Parenting

Children don't come with instruction manuals.  But sometimes, one reads a book that almost seems like it could pass as a manual.  Such is the case when I read Hal and Melaine Young's Raising Real Men, Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys.

The Young's are raising six "real men." In chapter one, they outline what I felt was a dominate thesis of the book, "Convenient is not part of the job description of parenting, nor of boyhood."

In the following 250 pages, the Young's call parents of boys to a high standard.  They outline what it takes to keep up with active boys of today, the patience needed to homeschool boys, and how to prepare young men for the world. And in the process, they outline some outstanding biblical principles for raising boys.

For example, sharing about giving boys responsibility, the Young's write, "We had a plan: give the boys as much responsibility as they could handle as soon as they were able and give them more as they showed themselves faithful."  Sounds an awful lot like the biblical mandate in Jesus' Parable of the Talents.

The Young's are also down to earth practical.  They don't shy away from real issues facing parents and boys today.  I found their counsel on helping boys handle sexual temptation and immoral thoughts memorable. We review this issue in our home often, and I suspect our boys will appreciate the simplicity of the Young's five tools or  "A Fist to Knock Out Temptation," to help them win this battle.

If I were to pick one word to sum up Hal and Melanie Young's book, it would be "balance."  They offer an even handed approach to all topics from handling kitchen and laundry duty to why boys are loud. (And what Mom can do about that loudness!)  After raising six boys myself, I would say balance is the thing I lacked most in the early years.    It's hard to have the perspective of a seasoned parent when just starting out.

Whether you're raising an entire household of sons or just one, pick up Raising Real Men by Hal and Melanie Young. (Use the link to the right!)  Keep it handy through the years, I promise you'll come back to it over and over again.