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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raising Real Men - a book review
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...
Published on March 24, 2010 by Epi Kardia Home Education

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8 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Good
Don't bother reading this book unless you are interested in raising violent, chauvinistic men. I like that this book is Christian themed. A great deal of good can come from raising children with religious principles. However, these people used misinterpretations of the bible to justify hitting their children, accepting the violent nature of boys and arguing that men...
Published 10 months ago by M. Tolles


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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raising Real Men - a book review, March 24, 2010
This review is from: Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys (Paperback)
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 end notes 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.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound Advice, January 2, 2011
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This review is from: Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys (Paperback)
I found this book full of colourful examples and principles pertinent to the raising of boys. As a father of four (two boys) and as an Anglican minister I would recommend it to anyone attempting the daunting task of raising homosapiens of the male variety in the Christian faith.

The writers are part of the home-education movement (which is much larger in America than over here in the UK) and many of the examples they give arise out of that particular culture. Nevertheless, the principles they are expounding are as relevant to Brits who send their children to state schools as the Yanks who don't.

If I could have made one Biblical critique it would be that of not assuming all our children are destined for marriage and children. There is much written on how to prepare your son for marriage, but no mention that God may call him to a celibate life and ministry (like Paul or Jesus). This is just a small point but I do fear there is a growing tendency in evangelical circles to make too much of the family (dare I say, approaching idolatry at times?) as an over reaction to larger society's family breakdown.

Good book. If you have a son, include it in your reading list.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, August 14, 2010
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This review is from: Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys (Paperback)
This is a much needed book for the times that we are living in. It's full of helpful information and stories. It reads like you're sitting having a conversation with the author. If you are a parent of boys, this book is a MUST-READ! It's especially helpful for dads also. But if your man is anything like mine, he doesn't like to sit and read. So, I got him the audio version that he can listen to in the car on his way to or from work. VERY helpful! And he likes the "book" a lot as well!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have for parents of boys, June 3, 2010
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I am extremely impressed with this book. The authors offer advice on a number of topics, ranging from discipline and authority to toy guns and dating. I found the material to be thoughtful and interesting. The Christian point of view was very genuine and they supported their advice well biblically . As a mom to three boys, I definitely can say that it was worth the money.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biblical insight on raising boys to be the men God wants them to be, October 20, 2010
This review is from: Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys (Paperback)
According to the back cover, this book is a "practical guide to equipping the hearts and minds of boys without breaking or losing your own." This book, written from a Christian perspective by the parents of six boys (and two girls), explores the differences in how God made boys and girls and in what He intends for them to grow up to become.

I found this book to offer new insights to me as a homeschooling mother. I quite understandably view the world from a woman's perspective, and I see that I've had a tendency at times to try to stifle my nine-year-old son's masculine tendencies rather than to encourage them or to appropriately redirect them. The son who bounds about the house endangering any breakable items (not to mention his family) does indeed need to learn self-control and thoughtfulness to others, but he also needs that energy rechanneled into something productive. It also made me recognize areas in which I believe my son needs further direction in order to grow up to be the man that God wants him to be.

Some of the topics covered in this book include.... A boy's tendency to look for heroes to emulate. Adventure and recklessness. Responsibility and then freedom. Violence and scripture. Learning to obey before learning to lead. Games and competition. Teaching financial responsibility. Developmental differences between the genders. Manners and chivalry. "Women's work" (with the authors disagreeing with the idea that boys shouldn't cook or clean). Sexual temptation. Finding a wife. College. And more.

The book is filled with Scripture references (NASB for those interested). But, it is not a dry theological treatise. The book is written in an engaging, conversational style and is replete with examples from the author's own lives. The authors are on the conservative side, not only on their views of headship, but also courtship, television/movie viewing, etc. I happen to agree with them on these matters, but even if the reader will not follow them in these matters, there is still plenty of other profitable material in this book.

While I didn't agree with the authors on every topic (we differ in our opinions of competition), I felt that they approached the topic of raising boys to be men quite Biblically. The book was filled with many rich insights. I profited from it, and have recommended to my husband that he read it as well. I would not hesitate to recommend this book to Christian parents of boys.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensible advice for parents of boys!, April 29, 2010
By 
Rachel Paxton (Tri-Cities, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys (Paperback)
Raising boys isn't easy. In today's world it seems anything goes as far as parenting advice is concerned. You can find any parenting philosophy to suit your needs. This book is for parents who want to raise their sons with a Christian, biblical world view. Some will find their advice to be overly conservative, but no Christian would disagree with Hal and Melanie's ideas about raising boys who have good character and solid Christian values. I appreciated their candor and honesty about how hard it is to always have the right answers. A great read!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Help for the Next Generation, February 22, 2011
This review is from: Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys (Paperback)
As a mother of three real boys for over 12 years now who has read her share of books on rearing the male species, I did not expect to be surprised by the Young's take on child rearing. But I was. From the moment my husband began reading aloud the introduction to me on the sofa, we knew this book was unique. Every night we didn't fall into bed exhausted from the challenges of constructively corralling our boys' energy for good use, we reached for this book to read and discuss yet another important point in raising them to be "real men." Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys has challenged us to change some of our daily practices and encouraged us to instill new traditions.

This book is Real. Hal and Melanie understand the chaos, turmoil, and destruction that is boyhood, and they explain what makes these qualities essential to becoming masculine. In Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys, they give Real principles regarding the importance of Real work in the shaping of these young men, including why they need chores and how to train boys to contribute to their family and society; the importance of responsibility and how consequences are a natural part of the learning process for boys; and why earning a living should be a natural goal from a young age.

The Youngs put great emphasis on allowing young men to learn from Real life. They encourage parents to gradually permit increasing risk, preparing the Real boy to deal with the Real situations of life when he leaves home. Such risk is coupled with stewardship principles, both financial and material. Real education includes shadowing the parent, at times, or learning to stand alone when appropriate. The goal is to produce men who are capable of leading their own homes when God calls them to do so, by giving them both the training and the experience they need during these formative years.

The strength of this book is its emphasis on the Reality of God. Hal and Melanie emphasize sound leadership principles from the Bible. Scripture reading and meditation is always foremost in their home study, and it permeates their teaching in Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys. That makes it Real discipleship.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Got Boys? Read This!, April 16, 2010
This review is from: Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys (Paperback)
Although the process of Raising Real Men is not always "fun", reading the book was a delight. As a mother of 4 sons (and 6 daughters), I was encouraged as over and over I caught myself saying, Yes!, to both the description of the behavior and wiring of boys and the proper biblical response and direction they need. If you've got sons, you should read Raising Real Men. It will help you understand them and their needs, so you can raise them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT BOOK!!!, March 24, 2010
By 
The Crazy Mom "Crazy Mom" (In a Secure and Undisclosed Location) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys (Paperback)
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. Things like no shooting other people teach them not only gun safety, but it also teaches 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 40's!) 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!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drinking from the fount of wisdom, March 10, 2010
This review is from: Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys (Paperback)
I highly recommend this book to any parent who has a son (or three). I cannot tell you how many times my wife and I, the parents of three boys so far, would say, "Man, I wish we knew someone with similar convictions as us that would allow us to pick their brain on raising our boys." Well, we now have that brain to be picked.

Hal and Melanie write as though they are sitting at your kitchen table discussing what they have experienced in their 20 years of raising boys and offer their experience to you. They make it a point to declare that "this is what we do" and not that it is the only way to do it. They maintain a humility (boys will do that to you) throughout the whole book.

To read this book once is to plant many seeds in the mind of the parent. To own it and have it at your disposal is to have a watering can with an infinite amount of water to water that seed. This will be a book my wife and I reference again and again.
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Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys
Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys by Melanie Young (Paperback - January 29, 2010)
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