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Monday, July 2, 2012

New Review!!! Raising Real Men!



Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys

Raising Real Men:  Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys

by Hal and Melanie Young

Retail Price: $15

I came across this book one day, I don't even remember how, but I just HAD to have a copy.  So I asked for a review copy and was fortunate to receive one.  (Initially they told me it was only for "big time" bloggers.  Well, I hardly qualify for that, but I also told them I have SIX boys, so they gave in!  LOL)

Anyway, the Young family is a lot like a certain other family I know with six boys, and two girls.  Namely mine!  (Actually I see myself as the mother of 14 because, in my mind, boys count double!  LOL  Well, mine do anyway.)  If you have even one boy, you know they can be a handful.  Sure, there are some quiet, studious, thoughtful boys, but they tend to be the exception, don't they? 

To be fair, two of mine are also fairly quiet, but they still like to do wild stuff like ollie off the porch.  This basically means you run out the front door, jump onto a skateboard, ride off the porch, land back on the board on the sidewalk, and keep on going.  (Before you freak out and call Social Services, this is my 18 year old doing this.  And, no, I did NOT know about it until I saw the picture!)

Well, anyway, raising boys is kinda LIKE doing an ollie off the porch.  You gotta start off running, take a leap, and then keep on going even after you've safely landed, only to do it all over again.  That's what it feels like anyway.  Some days I don't land on the board, some days I'm afraid to take that leap, and some days I can't even get up and running!  But somehow I still manage to keep on going.

This is one of those books I could have written myself.  I agree with just about everything in it.  The Youngs are very balanced people.  They don't seem to take one extreme side of any issue.  Take gun play, for example.  They don't outlaw it in their homes, yet they have made very specific rules about how the boys are to play.  Rules like "no shooting other people" teach them not only gun safety, but also the spiritual lesson about "avoiding the appearance of evil."

The Youngs also discuss many other areas of "controversy," such as homeschooling, courtship, and discipline.  But no matter what the topic, they keep in mind that boys are simply men who haven't grown up.  (I know a few of those in their 40s!)  There is a tendency in our culture to make boys into sort of a boy/girl hybrid.  They are told to sit all "nicey, nicey," and are drugged when they don't.  (Yes, some kids really do have ADHD, but many who don't, I truly believe, are drugged just to make life easier for their parents and teachers.  And to say the thought of drugging my own boys has not crossed my mind, would be a lie!)

The book is laid out so that the first half attempts to explain male behavior.  I say attempts only because, while they do an excellent job explaining all about boys and their ways, us women folk will never quite understand them completely.  I imagine there are times when Melanie is still left scratching her head at some of the things her boys do.  (And dare I say at some of the things Hal does?  LOL)  Okay, to be fair, I'm sure Hal and the boys sometimes scratch their heads at some of the things Melanie and the girls do! :)

The second half of the book basically gives instruction on how to raise these wild, untamed creatures of the male species.  From what they share about their older boys, they have done a fantastic job!  (Would YOU send your 17 year old off to China as a tour guide?  You'd have to be pretty confident in the young man's maturity level, would you not?)


I don't want to tell you too much and give the whole book away, but I do want to tell you about one piece of advice that I have taken to heart.  Let the YOUNGEST child who is able do the job.  The absolute biggest mistake we've made is to rely on our two oldest boys to do most of the work.  Once they were trained it was hard to let the third and fourth take over as it meant re-training.  Who wants to do that?  Well, YOU do if you have more than one or two, or you will find that the others tend to get lazy and even resentful when you DO ask them to do something.  That's how it is around here anyway.  So I have been really on the younger kids to pull their weight around here.  When a job is to be done I now consider the youngest first.  Absolutely great advice.

I really enjoyed the book.  The family reminds me so much of my own, except somehow they seem to have pulled it off so much better than we do!  If you have a boy, I would highly recommend this book.  I could write so much more, but right now I have to go ollie off the porch! 

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Check out the Raising Real Men Facebook page here.

Find out how to get your own copy here.

Check out the 
Table of Contents. Sample Chapter: Racing to Win

ISBN: 978-0-9841443-0-3
256 pages. 6×9 trade paperback.


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