I love being the mom to four boys. They light my life in ways I can’t describe. I mess up often and know that I don’t do everything right, but these four guys are perfectly made for me.
In my quest to be the best mom to Hayden, Carson, Bailey, and Parker, I read. A lot. Some books I read over and over. A few weeks ago I placed an order on CBD and five of the books were specifically geared toward raising boys. I probably annoy friends when I say, “You know, I read somewhere…” because I often can’t recall which of the books said what.
I also subscribe to HSLDA, which is an association of attorneys whose life mission is to defend the cause of homeschooling and to literally defend those homeschoolers who are inaccurately accused of child neglect because they don’t send their children to a formal school. Included in my annual fee is a paper magazine. (Remember those? They arrive in the mail and you can hold them and carry them around, dogearing corners of important pages rather than simply reading the text on a computer screen.) Once when reading through this I saw an ad that hit me squarely in the heart. It was telling the readers about a book called, “Raising Real Men.” The authors’ description mentioned that they are raising six boys and that they wanted to share Biblical insight into the ways boys should be raised. I set a reminder to order this book, but before I could do so, I got an invitation from Timberdoodle to review it. Upon accepting the challenge to review the book I was immediately sent a copy, which arrived many weeks later (APO works on its own time frame).
I sat down to read my treasured copy of a book that promised to show me how to take my children from boyhood into manhood. I felt like I was holding a precious gift. I want my boys to be respectful, mature, self-sufficient, and independent men. I don’t want to raise them from child hood to adolescence, then send them from that stage into the world to remain in an extended state of adolescence for many years. I don’t want to have a 25 year old son who acts like a 16 year old. I don’t want to have a 45 year old son who acts like a 21 year old. I want them to be real men.
I could be embarrassed by the story I’m about to share but instead, I’ll tell myself that it’s in an effort to share with you just how touching this book was. On page 19 I underlined the last sentence that says,
We think that as you…begin to look past the untied shoes and jeans he’s been wearing for a week and see the man he’s trying to become, that you’ll gain a new purpose, patience, and joy in your sons.
In the space below that sentence I wrote: “I’m in tears right now as I am thankful there are Godly people out there who love raising boys as much as I do but who are further along than I. So comforted by this introduction.” Really. Who cries in the introduction?!? So glad the Youngs shared their wisdom in this book.
While reading this book I underlined things I felt to be of great importance, dating along the margins because I love to see what was important to me at certain times in life. I’m sure I’ll read this again (and again) and mark those dates. What hits me as important now with boys at the ages of 10, 8, 7, & 1 will look vastly different when they’re 16, 14, 13, and 5.
The authors, Hal and Melanie Young gave several gifts between the covers of this book. Among those gifts they gave me were:
- hope that the teen years do not have to be turbulent;
- proof that teaching boys to do chores will help them into adulthood;
- excitement that the friendships between brothers can be among the tightest on earth;
- challenge to teach them even more about history and geography;
- confirmation that I am teaching them well about finances and money;
- a reminder that chivalry is not dead and that they will benefit greatly from having been taught;
There are many more gifts the authors gave me and I underlined something in every single chapter. I was reminded of why I taught the boys to do their own laundry at age seven and why I make them do the “woman’s work” of cleaning the bathroom, sweeping, and picking up around here. Their wives will love me for it (and in return, possibly grant me the joy of having grandchildren!!! Thinking of the future, here, peeps!).
I highly recommend this book and found almost nothing to disagree with. The only thing I could list as a disagreement was that they recommend teaching older children to use credit cards safely so that when they grow up they are not tempted by the little plastic keys to debt. I prefer to teach my children that credit cards are a very tempting way to purchase more than you can afford and that they need to stay clear of them, never touching them. (If you want to discuss the, “you must have a good credit score to buy a house or a credit card to rent a car” topic, I’ll happily do so. We don’t have credit cards and travel all over Europe using debit cards. They work the same way as credit cards and we come home from vacation and only the pictures follow us home… no credit card bills!) The Youngs teach that children should be taught how to use credit and pay it off at the end of a month. I prefer to just teach my sons to save up and pay for the things they need. This is the only real topic I disagreed with.
I do hope that those of you raising a son, or multiple sons, will pick up a copy of this book. You can find it here on Timberdoodle’s website! Timberdoodle also has a section on Parenting Helps and Boy-friendly outdoor learning. Enjoy reading and may you find joy in raising your sons.
I just have to share this picture:
Disclosure: I am honored to be a relatively new member of Timberdoodle’s Blogger Review Team. I received a free copy of Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys in return for my honest review of the book. I am not afraid to mention the things I don’t like, while sharing the things I do. I have not, nor will I be, compensated for my review. You can find Timberdoodle on Facebook by clicking here. They sell homeschool supplies as well as homeschool curriculum. The reviews they receive are in an effort to provide their customers with the best possible products available.