36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
As a father of girls, I was interested to examine what this book would provide parents of boys. What sage wisdom they would share to help boys become men. This book, though broken down into five main conversation topics is broken down well into 17 chapters. The chapters were easy to read and follow and they go into quite a bit of depth about how you can help your boys become men that you and they can be proud of.
The book tackles some important topics from humor to sex, to hormones and self-control, this book has a bit of everything within it. Not only does it talk right to the reader, it also shares a plethora of resource for any parent of boys. If you are a parent of boys and have felt concerned about how best to aid them in their development, I highly recommend this great book!
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2011
In an age where being a man is probably the hardest it has ever been, this book is a refreshing guide to Christian parents seeking to raise Godly sons in an ungodly world. It's goal is to help parents tell their children the truth about life before they believe culture's lies. In the book, Courtney describes some of the challenges she faced in raising young boys to become men. She often told her sons, "My job is to act as the frontal lobe in your brain until yours is fully developed." While this book won't solve all the problems the culture has thrown at parents, including early and frequent exposure to sex, feminist ideologies, and the Peter Pan mentality, it will guide parents in having conversations with their sons about what it means to be a godly man.
The five conversations are listed below:
Conversation 1: Don't define manhood by the culture's wimpy standards. It's OK to be a man!
Conversation 2: What you don't learn to conquer may become your master
Conversation 3: Not everyone's doing it! (And other naked truths about sex you won't hear in the locker room.)
Conversation 4: Boyhood is only for a season. P.S. It's time to grow up!
Conversation 5: Godly men are in short supply. Dare to become one!
While this book is written by a mom primarily to other mothers, it is useful to both mothers and fathers, as well as youth leaders, children's ministry leaders, and anyone else who has influence in a young man's life. For those in ministry, this book and it's counterpart, 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter, are two books that should be in your library!
I received the galleys of this book from NetGalley.com for the purpose of this review.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
This book is a good resource for parents as they engage in meaningful conversations with their sons to help shape them into the men God designed for them to be. For the most part, the book is valuable because Courtney pulls some excellent research and quotes from others so you don't have to read another dozen books to get the same information. I do have one small problem with the book - Courtney's son goes off to camp and writes home about his incredible accomplishment of winning the "tooting" competition in his cabin. Seriously? Listen, I'm all in on the concept that we need to encourage our boys to be boys - to play outside, to get dirty, to have adventures, all that stuff - but I think we need to balance that stuff with self-control, responsibility, chivalry and decency at the same time. I know this is such a minor point - and I suppose that everyone has something different that they find rude, obnoxious or offensive. I'm just not a big believer that passing gas and belching are rights of passage to manhood...sorry.
Courtney's biggest appeal, I believe, is her transparency...and, well, her honesty that parenting is difficult and she isn't perfect. She tells stories of their successes and failures as parents - and we can all relate to both! The book is a good read, a useful tool for parents looking for resources and information as they navigate parenting boys in a world that has lost its way on what true manhood is.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2012
Vicki Courtney does not describe herself as a teen expert. She does not have a degree in childhood development. These aside, however, her experiences as a mother gives her the motivation to learn and share, making this title an authentic read.
Most people do not go through parenting training before having a child. There are certifications for handling food, driving, teaching, and even training for employment, but parenting does not have any prerequisites. Maybe this is a mistake, but moving past that point, every parent, as a result, has to go through the experience of learning how to be the best parent they can be – or at least that’s what every parent should do.
Raising boys and girls are two different challenges altogether. They are practically different species in how opposite they are. Courtney uses practical humor in her writing of this book to help illustrate the challenges parents, and specifically moms, face raising boys. But despite those challenges of testosterone and crazy stunts, the issue isn’t the little things that make the experience worth living, but rather making sure your boys know the truths about life before the culture can influence them with falsities.
What lies need to be addressed? In this book, five simple ones: (i) do not define manhood by society’s standards, but know that it’s okay to be a man; (ii) learn how to conquer issues so that they don’t master you; (iii) not everyone is having sex, (iv) learn how to grow up, and (v), how to become a godly man. Each of these five sections are broken down to several chapters that clarify the discussion for parents.
Courtney’s writing is well-versed and humorous, laced with strong truths that I find highly important for parents to know as well. Good parenting requires learning, even if you’re already underway. As for my and my wife, we have a four year old and a one year old. Luckily, this book will help us before we have to directly encounter the issues she has, but even for those who have moved past those stages of growth, I’d still recommend this read….
Disclosure: I was contracted to write an honest review in exchange for a reviewer copy of the product. The opinions stated in this review are solely my own.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2015
In this book, the author focuses more on the reasons why you should cover these particular topics with your sons, and less on how to actually do it. The conversations are: 1. Don't define manhood by the culture's wimpy standards; it's okay to be a man! 2. What you don't learn to conquer may become your master. 3. Not everyone's doing it! (And other naked truths about sex you won't hear in the locker room.) 4. Boyhood is only for a season. P.S. It's time to grow up! 5. Godly men are in short supply-dare to become one!
I thought that the first conversation was totally unnecessary, and even offensive. It focuses on gender roles as specifically defined in America (Be rough and athletic! Skinny jeans are too androgynous! Lattes are for women!), and does not have much to do with God’s design for maleness and femaleness.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2012
I truly enjoyed reading 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Son, it's a must have book for every mom of boys. Dads, you should read this too. Vicky Courtney does an outstanding job in addressing the social and spiritual issues that boys face. She uses real life examples, biblical quotes, and quotes from other books. She brings an excellent Christian approach to it.
The main focus of this book is Courtney address the importance of raising boys to be Godly men. She helps mothers understand the world of boys; boys are adventurous by nature. They are naturally more energetic; hence TESTOSTERONE!!!
She offers a quote from Wild Things, a book by Stephen James and David Thomas - "The male brain has more spinal fluid in the brain stem, which makes boys more physical than girls. Add to that high level of testosterone in a boy's brain, and it's easy to see that he is programmed to be more aggressive than girls and more of a risk taker."
As mothers, we have an important role in communication with our boys. It is a necessity to start taking to them as soon as possible ( pre-teen years ). As parents we must be aware of all the issues that boys face. We must put an effort to talk with them, and be their primary teachers on the topics of sex, spirituality, and so forth, before they choose an alternative that will lead them to the wrong path.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (KJV)
"And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes."
From the cradle to college, tell your sons the truth about life before they believe the culture's lies. For parents with boys newborn to eighteen, the book 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Son is as essential as those Legos you're still finding under the sofa cushions and the garage full of sports equipment. Award-winning youth culture commentator Vicki Courtney helps moms and dads pinpoint and prepare the discussions that should be ongoing in their sons' formative years. The book also offers invaluable tips on having these conversations across the various stages of development: five and under, six to eleven, twelve and up.
To fully address the dynamic social and spiritual issues and other influencers at hand, several chapters are written for each of the conversations, which are:
1. Don't define manhood by the culture's wimpy standards; it's okay to be a man!
2. What you don't learn to conquer may become your master. (PORN)
3. Not everyone's doing it! (And other naked truths about sex you won't hear in the locker room.)
4. Boyhood is only for a season. P.S. It's time to grow up!
5. Godly men are in short supply--dare to become one!
* * I was provided a digital copy by B&H Publishing Group.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 13, 2011
The author of this book writes that there are five essential conversations that every mother should have with her son. These conversations cover what parents (especially mothers) should give to thier sons in the way of advice on how to make it in the world. The advice includes information on what the mothers should do to promote independence in their boys. I like the fact that the advice to the reader includes advice to the mothers on how to let the boys develop naturally into men. Boys need to love and respect their mothers, but not be smothered by their mother's over protective ways.
Each chapter is aptly named for a "season" in the boy's life, and the chapters are organized into the five conversations which include themes such as: growing up, being a good role model, sexual intelligence, managing one's emotions and defining manhood. Also within the chapters are pull outs which feature statistics on teen behavior or information for parents interested in providing the best support for their sons as they grow to adulthood.
This book is highly informative and can be a conversation starter for mothers interested in developing a new relationship with a son as the boy begins to mature into manhood. The book offers new ways to approach important topics such as sex education, the influence of parental controls and decision making, faith-based family structures and the physiological changes that accompany a boy's body as he matures into adulthood. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with a son, or anyone who is in the position to help a young man grow up into adulthood.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2011
Vicki Courtney's honesty and sincerity make this book a wonderful read rather than a finger pointing, you could do better book. While the conversations aren't always easy ones, they are all necessary. I found myself identifying men that lived lives that either demonstrated they had needed a few of these conversations or that their parents had given them.
Courtney gives real life examples of both the good and the bad, even including her own boy's lives at times. She makes sure the reader understands that these aren't one time only things, they are lessons that need to be repeated and that parents need to show in their own lives. I love that she gives pointers for the mom's when dealing with "guy" topics in case dad isn't around or just isn't comfortable with it. I also enjoyed that there were special pages just for dad and that there are links included with each chapter to view more resources online.
This book is for parents of boys, no matter what the age, for each stage has a lesson to be learned.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2011
As a mother of two boys and a big Sis to three other boys, I know that teaching a boy to honor and respect women and to be a 'man' (you know the kind that is caring and respectful but still 'wears the pants') is a scary but necessary task. I really enjoyed the time I spent in this book. Reading this was like discussing with other mothers of boys what I'm missing, where I need to go, and obtaining new ideas to see if what I've done actually sunk in.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2013
I thought this book had some good ideas/suggestions, but a lot of it seemed like a given. 5 Conversations You Must Have With Your Son was an easy read with a lot of good concepts and if you are in need of ways to reach your son(s) or just to get closer to them you should try this book. You've got nothing to loose and everything to gain. Just remember to keep talking with your kids.