Thursday, September 9, 2010

Book Review: Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys

Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys
~Book Details ~
Title: Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys
Authors: Stephen James and David Thomas
2009, Tindale House
ISBN: 978-1-4143-2227-8
Genre: Family & Relationships/ Parenting

~From the Back Cover~
Born to Be ... Wild!
A boy's endless imagination, hunger for adventure, and passionate spirit are matched only by his deep desire to be affirmed, esteemed, and loved.

Yet over the past few decades, our culture has adopted a model of parenting and educating children that doesn't affirm, celebrate, or embrace a boy's hunger, passion, or wildness but rather seeks to tame it. As a result, many parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors find themselves frustrated, confused, and wearied by boys' behavior.

The truth is, boys don't need to be tamed - they need to be understood, loved, challenged, and encouraged.

Wild Things helps parents, teachers, mentors, and others understand and explore the hearts, minds, and ways of boys and the vital role that parents and caregivers play on the journey to manhood.

Based on clinical research and filled with practical tips and suggestions, Wild Things gives fresh insight and much-needed encouragement on the road to raising boys.

~My Review~
Wild Things was a wonderful book filled with lots of interesting information on the way a boy's mind and body works and what we can do as parents and mentors to help boys grow into well-adjusted men. It bases each section on an excerpt from Marice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.
Part 1 - The Way of the Boy breaks down his development into five stages:
The Explorer
The Lover
The Individual
The Wanderer
The Warrior
 In this part, the authors explain what a boy is going through emotionally and physically during each developmental stage to help us see why he is the way he is, what he's probably feeling during that stage and things he's most likely struggling with.

Part 2 - The Mind of the Boy I found very interesting because they talk about how a boy's mind (and body) is physically different than girls. This chapter talks about learning styles, why boys have a hard time sitting still and how to help him learn, in school and at home, in the  best ways possible.

Part 3 - The Heart of the Boy has separate chapters on a mother's role and a father's role and also talks about rites of passage for a boy into manhood.

Each part talks about these things in depth, the authors speak plainly and use anecdotes from their own families and clients in their practices as examples. I also liked how they gave practical tips and examples at the end of each section on how to apply the things they were discussing.

I think this book is a must read for anyone who is either living with or working with boys ages 2-20. Even if you don't agree with everything they say, there is so much good information on their development and how they are wired that I think it is beneficial. I found myself reading excepts from this book to my mom and my husband on numerous occasions as I found many parts very enlightening! I borrowed this book from the library, but I am thinking I may want to refer to it when my Little Guy gets to the next stage, so I may need to get a copy for my own library!

The Two Savvy Sisters


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