I haven't read many parenting books. I'm not sure what that says about me except maybe I like to fly by the seat of my pants. Recently, though, my four-year-old son has had some issues at school. Especially when it comes to controlling his emotions and general boisterous behavior.
I heard about this one from Literary Lindsey, and I knew immediately it was something I should check out. The authors are counselors, and at least part of this book is broken down by age group and takes a close look at typical behaviors during those periods and how to cope with various challenges.
Maybe more than anything this book confirmed what I'd been grappling with. My son is a normal, active, aggressive young man who can be overtaken by his emotions. Check! The book also discusses how to institute natural consequences that are neither loosey-goosey or soul-crushing.
This book introduced the idea that sometimes boys just take direction better from the men in their lives. While that's not always realistic for our household--I do a lot of the driving of discipline because David is still settling into his stepdad role and Chuck lives an hour away--it did help me sort of mentally prepare for some of the challenges that will intensify down the road.
I guess my only real struggle with this book was in its scope. The authors were quick to provide examples from their own lives and raising their own boys, but I wanted more examples. From their practices, their congregations, case studies, whatever. I understand that they're experts, but I supposed I wanted a wider reach.
I also wanted more specifics. There's a section at the end of each chapter with tips and tricks for coping with the issues presented. So for instance, if a four-year-old struggles with aggression, do x, y, and z. In my opinion, those sections weren't long enough or in-depth enough, though I do understand that by tackling boyhood all the way from childhood to graduation day, space is a bit limited.
Overall, this book helped set my mind at ease that we're moving in the right direction, it gave me some basic ideas to institute in our household to make sure we stay in that right direction, and it gave me some things to contemplate in regards to the future. Winner, winner.
Note: the authors are both Christians, so if the inclusion of some faith-based opinions bugs, this might be problematic for you. Personally, I did not find it overwhelming or overblown.
Pub. Date: January 2009
Publisher: Tyndale House
Format: Trade Paperback
Source: Bought it!