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105 Reviews
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107 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute "MUST READ" For Every Female
Rick's book was an amazing eye opener into the mind of the male gender. I found it thought provoking, captivating, intriguing and at times downright hilarious.
*Have you ever found yourself frustrated time and time again at the ridiculous, anti-productive conversations with the males in your life?
*Do you get angry at what you perceive as the laziness of your...
Published on August 5, 2005 by Dorinne Tye

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144 of 173 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst book ever written??
I, too, was excited after reading all the positive reviews on this book. What a disappointment!!! I think this could easily be the worst book ever written. Outside of personal experience, the author is uneducated on the topic. His view points are just that, personal thoughts with no references or research what-so-ever to back them up. Much of the book is for single...
Published on March 23, 2009 by MN Mamma


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107 of 112 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolute "MUST READ" For Every Female, August 5, 2005
This review is from: That's My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character (Paperback)
Rick's book was an amazing eye opener into the mind of the male gender. I found it thought provoking, captivating, intriguing and at times downright hilarious.
*Have you ever found yourself frustrated time and time again at the ridiculous, anti-productive conversations with the males in your life?
*Do you get angry at what you perceive as the laziness of your son, nephews, brothers, fathers, husbands or male co-workers, when you are sure they are perfectly capable of what is wanted or needed?
*Does it seem like the harder you try the more frustrated everyone gets as the communication gap becomes insurmountably larger? Does it begin to feel then like you are "nagging"?
* Are you ever shocked to see how busy, loud, defiant or mean your boy seems?
*Are you a single mother bound by guilt that controls your parenting?
*Do you ever ask yourself, "what am I missing here" or "what am I doing wrong" when it comes to busy, macho, daring and fearless boys/men?
If you answered, "yes" to any or all of these, this book is a must read for you. I couldn't believe that such a small book could so thoroughly cover all this and more.
Much to my happiness, I found some pretty simple but undeniable truths in this book that I have put to the test with my son. I am having dramatically different interactions with dramatically different results. I always knew my 14-year-old son, was a good man, I just did not know how to tap into it. I now proudly look at my young man and say, "That's My Son," and he's turning into a real man, a good man, a man of integrity.
Update: It's been quite some time since I wrote this review and felt I needed to update it. My son is now going on 16 and I'm still using the practical, simple principles in this book with AMAZING results!
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insight for mothers of boys!, July 5, 2005
This review is from: That's My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character (Paperback)
I'll say at the outset that I'm not a woman. I'm a man. And according to its title, this book is not addressed to me.

But I am a father of three boys (and a girl). I've also served fifteen years as a pastor and counselor, and I've become well acquainted with the frustration and grief of moms (especially single moms) trying to understand the seemingly incomprehensible: juvenile maledom. I've known many males--juvenile and adult--who have been raised by moms who couldn't (or didn't try to) figure them out. And I've known the deeply wounded wives, girlfriends, and children of these boys-become-men-who-remain-boys.

Thank God, moms now have Rick Johnson's book, That's My Son. Speaking from his own experience as a son, a parent of a son, and the coach and seminar teacher of hundreds (maybe by now thousands) of moms--Johnson offers wise, insight-filled, down-to-earth guidance for mothers of boys. He explains how and why boys are different from girls psychologically and spiritually. He shows what boys need in order to become men of strong, healthy character, and how even single moms can find ways to provide for these needs. And he gives practical steps moms can take to raise a boy well--how to communicate in a boy's "language," how to discipline a boy effectively, and several other areas of importance.

Johnson is a great story-teller, and he uses stories from his own experience and that of others, sometimes with humor, always with compassion. I highly recommend this book to any mother of a male.
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144 of 173 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst book ever written??, March 23, 2009
By 
MN Mamma (Bloomington, MN, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: That's My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character (Paperback)
I, too, was excited after reading all the positive reviews on this book. What a disappointment!!! I think this could easily be the worst book ever written. Outside of personal experience, the author is uneducated on the topic. His view points are just that, personal thoughts with no references or research what-so-ever to back them up. Much of the book is for single mothers or households without a strong father figure. The author spends numerous pages talking about how boys need positive male role models. I think we can all accept that as fact. There is no real mention of how mothers can bring strength to the family unit. I bought this book in hopes of learning pointers as to how to be a better female influence on a male child, and there was none of that. Lastly, although I am a Christian and believe strongly in the role of faith and spirituality in raising a child, this book is over the top in using the bible to reinforce points that are just opinion. I found it almost sacrilegious. In summary, this man has no credentials and I cannot imagine why in the world he wrote a book on mothering, which he clearly knows nothing about. Do not waste your time or your money.
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77 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE "ONE" BOOK EVERY MOTHER MUST READ, April 21, 2006
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This review is from: That's My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character (Paperback)
Being a full-time mom today is anything but politically correct. Our culture has reduced mothering to a side dish, a mere part of the meal. But, the truth is that motherhood IS a full-time vocation which requires more devotion than any career or pursuit. It is a job from which a woman never retires, a title which a woman will keep into eternity. And, today, who needs mothers most? Our young men. Boys in our culture are under attack like never before, and the men of the previous generation are failing as husbands, fathers and leaders.

If you're a mom and you're passionate about raising your son to be a man of character, a man of integrity, a man of virtue, a leader then you must read "That's My Son".

There are a plethora of wonderful Christian books about raising boys, from Robert Lewis' "Raising A Modern Day Knight" to Steve Farrar's "King Me". But, none of them are written specifically for the woman of the home, the mother. Mr. Johnson has filled that void and done it comprehensively.

There are only three parenting books that I keep in my library, to reference again and again. "The Mission of Motherhood" and "The Ministry of Motherhood" by Sally Clarkson and "That's My Son" by Rick Johnson.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Expected more facts, less religion, June 11, 2011
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This review is from: That's My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character (Paperback)
I'm expecting a baby boy come October and want to be at least somewhat prepared for this big event, so I decided to get some books about "boy-basics". However, "That's my Son" spends a majority of its 180 pages talking about how to turn your boy into a 'real man' that fulfills God's plan. Nowhere on the cover or in the reviews I skimmed did I see or read anything about the author's deep religion and how it impacts this book.

I'm not anti-religion by any means, but extensive talk about so personal a subject that many people have such different views on in a book about raising children caught me off-guard, and made connecting with this book hard.

He also often sounds condescending towards women, which I didn't particularly appreciate.

Apart from that, it is primarily directed at single moms and underlines the importance of a boy needing a father figure, or at least a male role model in his life. This I do not disagree with; but for one I am in a healthy marriage, and secondly I would have appreciated more tips for women past "find yourself a man to raise your child". Sure, there are some tips for new mothers in this book that are helpful, but if you do not share the author's traditional view of "women are mothers, men are providers" or are turned off by an abundance of religion or are not a single mother, I recommend a different book instead.

In fact, as an alternative recommendation, I greatly enjoyed "It's a Boy!" by Michael Thompson Ph.D. ( It's a Boy!: Your Son's Development from Birth to Age 18 )
While the author is also religious, he does not let this seep into his book excessively and you're presented with facts and reassurance as well as great tips and techniques to raise your son from birth to the age of 18. After reading this book, I feel like I have a much better idea of what to expect of my son (even though the author makes it very clear that each child is different from one another and that it's most important to spend enough time with your son to get to know him) and how to tackle the task of motherhood together with my baby boy.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but Basic, December 1, 2010
This review is from: That's My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character (Paperback)
In my school setting, I see a lot of single moms struggling with their boys who, at the middle school level, are raging into puberty. These moms' desperately need guidance because raising a boy is decidedly different than being a woman. Also, drawing from one's childhood as a girl will not help.

The author's credentials are certainly different from most books on parenting which typically come from doctors, counselors, or other professionals in the mental health field. Rick is a small business owner and a veteran of the United States Navy. This anomaly in the parenting book genre is not a liability because he is obviously passionate about his current business, Better Dads, a fathering skills program. Having read a lot of books on boys and parenting, I didn't find this one terribly insightful, although it was enjoyable. Rick admits to not being a counselor and being a counselor myself, I really look for that. However, his information is solid and practical.

The book is short and Johnson keeps it simple by laying out for the reader exactly what makes boys tick. There is no deep analysis that might bog you down. Just simple facts & thoughts that make you say, "I never thought of that" and "my son lighting fires makes sense now." This knowledge will do wonders for your sanity and your relationship with your son.

What I liked most about the book was that it was not politically correct. Political correctness is one of the biggest enemies of boys becoming men. Our society's desire to help women gain the rights that I believe they deserve may have caused us to go too far in the other direction, negatively impacting what makes boys, boys. Johnson addresses this and admits to speaking in generalities, but does not apologize. He writes from his Christian belief system, which I share.

A boy's desire to be adventurous and wrestle in the back yard is demonized by well intentioned mothers and ill-informed dads because they don't want their sons to get hurt. You shouldn't just let the boys duke it out, but you shouldn't make them feel bad for being rambunctious either. Johnson contends that a mother's desire to protect her son can actually impede his growth into manhood. Nurturing is her natural tendency but it is not her son's natural growth pattern.

That's My Son will help mother's see how their God-given role can do great things, but also how they may hurt their son's emotional growth. A family member of mine was in the E.R. at a local hospital. While there, a boy who appeared to be about seven years of age came in. He had a bad gash above his eye. His friend had accidentally hit him with a bat. I told the man that was with him, "There's dignity in that." He agreed. If he can overcome the cuts and bruises of today, he'll be better equipped for the bigger ones tomorrow that are physical, mental, and emotional. If he's overly protected, he'll only be a shell of a man who will not be able to affectively care for his family.

One area that many may take issue with is Johnson's stance on how boys can only learn how to be a man from other men. There's no doubt that women can raise good men. However, without at least a little influence from other males, your son will be missing something. Maybe he'll find it on his own, but if you, as a mother, can put your son into contact with male coaches, teachers, or Scout leaders, it will do wonders for him. Johnson is not alone in this as he quotes other authors on this topic. I'll throw my vote in as well.

So, if you're new to raising a boy and haven't read any parenting books about boys, mom or dad, this is a great place to start because as Johnson quotes, "It's easier to raise a boy than it is to fix a man."
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Insight to All Males--Not Just My Kids!, June 8, 2010
By 
Mom of Boys (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: That's My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character (Paperback)
I love that this book was written by a man. It gave me a lot of insight into my HUSBAND as well as my boys (I have three--and no girls, so there's a lot of testosterone around here!) Mr. Johnson does a great job of writing TO females ABOUT males. He uses specific examples of behaviors that frustrate most wives/moms, and then he explains them. You don't get the feeling that he is offering up excuses for boys. He explains, and then gives suggestions on how to use it to your advantage.

One example: He talks about how women want to have serious talks with eye contact, etc. That makes boys nervous and they shut down. He suggested talking to them while they are a little occupied. I started hanging out in the driveway with my 10 year old, rebounding his basketball shots, and I was amazed at the things he'd open up about. At first I just listened to whatever was on his mind at the moment, but quickly I would bring up things I wanted to talk about, and he'd respond!

There are a lot of things like that in the book. It is definitely worth buying--I've read it several times and made tons of notes to myself...I go back for a "refresher" once in a while.
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32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This Book Is Religious, November 1, 2010
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This review is from: That's My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character (Paperback)
The book might be great for people who want a religiously based book, with Bible verses and assertions about knowing what God's plan is for you as a mom. Just be aware that this is what this book is and choose accordingly.

Just thought the prospective readers should know what they are buying.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening experience* A must read!!, March 22, 2006
By 
Karin Jennifer Beatty (Virginia Beach, Va- USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: That's My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character (Paperback)
You know the old saying "there doesnt come a handbook with being a parent?" Well "That's My Son" is the closest thing out there to a parenting guide. Mom's we are raising men not boys, this book will have you saying " Oh my gosh, thats why he does/did that??". Rick Johnson gives all the "secrets" of manhood that we would of spent a lifetime trying to figure out had it not been for this book. A must read... give this book as a gift to all the moms of sons out there, whether they have little boys, teenagers or even grown men!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important book for all parents, July 12, 2005
This review is from: That's My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character (Paperback)
Rick Johnson has hit a home run with That's My Son! He helps us get inside the heart, head and soul of a boy. His sensitive portrayal of the essence as a boy is contrasted with a mother's natural parenting style. We don't know what we don't know. Rick gives us simple and gentle guidlines for skillfully raising a boy to have character, strength and honor. I look forward to reading more from Rick!
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That's My Son: How Moms Can Influence Boys to Become Men of Character
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