Thursday, June 21, 2012

Six Ways to Keep the "Good" in Your Boy by Dannah Gresh {Book Review}

I was privileged to be asked to review the book "Six ways to keep the "Good" in your boy" by Dannah Gresh. When I said "yes" to reading and reviewing it I had no idea what this book would be like. Some parenting books I find very shallow and some I simply don't agree with - this one I really enjoyed, found it encouraging and helpful and I recommend it.

  Reading this one was perfect timing for me as I have boys ages 8 and 10 and this book is to help you with "guiding your son from his tweens to his teens". This book is not just written by Dannah but also her husband Bob. They realize the very important role that a dad plays in the life of any child but especially sons and so they both give there input.

  For the first while in the book they talk a lot about having a connection with your son and how important that is. She points out that the Bible emphasizes connectedness- check out Duet. 11:18-19 where it talks about teaching them, walking and talking and spending time together also Prov. 22:6 where we are instructed to train our children. Research shows that your child is less likely to experience at-risk behaviors if they experience parent-child connectedness. They also will be more likely to experience positive, pro social behavior.

 To connect with our son important things are: Physical touch, communicating, having fun together and sharing experiences. I am sure there are more but that is some of the things that I remember right now. I do feel blessed to feel quite connected to my boys (and my girls) but I think I can always work to make that relationship better. My being at home with them and homeschooling them is a huge help but I could do that and still not have a good connected relationship. That we have to work on. One thing that we do that I believe has really contributed to feeling connected is our habit of me reading aloud to our kids every day. We all sit on the couch together where we are physically touching and close, I read out loud and we learn together, we laugh together and sometimes we (well me mainly) cry together if something is touching. We also end up getting into lots of discussions (It might be the Bible that prompts discussion or other books we are reading like our current book "The Hiding Place") which cause us to know one another better. Camping as a family has been another great way for us to form connections.

But I had better stop talking so much or this post will get super long! I will briefly share her six ways to keep the "good" in your boy and then if you have boys I really recommend you finding this book and reading it for your self.

Way #1 : Get him outside to play.
With this I heartily concur as boys need some wilderness (perhaps just the woods behind your house) to concur. They can learn a lot about life from the outdoors. They can release some of that testosterone that needs some outlet.  Outdoor play is something I have long encouraged and my boys truly love so this one is an easy one for us.

Way # 2: Give him a book so he can discover a real "Call of Duty".
In this section she stresses the importance of reading to help him out in school and in life. She also talks about the danger of gaming which has become very popular in our current times. She encourages us to give him books that push him to be more than he is. If you look there are a lot of books that do this. We have been privileged to read several lately and we have been blessed because of it. This is another easy one for us as we LOVE books and decided not to bring gaming into our house quite some time ago.

Way # 3: Host wing nites and fantasy football parties.
This section is about boys need to have adventure and do "manly" things and how important it is for boys to have their dads in there life (and if a dad is not available make sure there is someone how can take his place is some ways at least.)
This was a good section and reminded me of how thankful I am that my boys have a dad that is very involved in their lives as well as having a Grandpa nearby that they get to spend a lot of time with, a Granddad who though he lives far away tries to see them and visit with them and spend quality time with them when possible as well as many wonderful uncles and other great men at church who spend time with them. They are indeed very blessed!

Way #4: Celebrate his entrance into manhood.
What they talk about here is the importance of talking with them about body changes, sex, and the challenges that society will present in that area. Talking about the importance of purity and doing things God's way. She stresses that it is very important to talk to them before somebody else does.
This is something that we have done some but honestly I don't find it easy and neither does Ken. This is something that we need to work on. Talking about things like this has come up pretty naturally at times when we see things in our society that aren't right - we don't try to hide what is in front of their face (people living together before marriage for example) but rather discuss what the Bible does say about those things. Reading the Bible together also gives many opportunities for discussions.

Way #5: Unplug him from a plugged in world.
Her main discussion here is concerning the danger of pornography online but she also just encourages us to make sure that they aren't living in world made basically only up of screens where they don't spend that time with God, you or others like they should. She also talks about the importance of Internet filters. Our kids spend very little time online - the only option they have is our PC and that use is very limited so this isn't a big issue for us but I do think it is an important one. One thing that I did think about more after reading this is the importance of having a better filter system so bad things don't just pop up.

Way #6 : Let him open the car door for you.
This is about teaching your son to be a gentlemen. Some good thoughts here!
I can learn from this.

Have you ever read this book before? What were your thoughts?

I would love to hear your thoughts in general on what I wrote here, what you have found useful in raising good boys and more. I look forward to hearing from you!

Disclaimer: I received this book free for purposes of reviewing. The thoughts written are my own and I was not paid for writing this.

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