Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Boys Should Be Boys

Boys Should Be Boys by Meg Meeker, M.D.
I saw this book at the same housecleaning client’s home as The Six Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make. They read good things!
I read this book because I don’t know boys. I was raised with all girls: two sisters, all but two girl cousins, and a plethora of aunts. Then I had a son and no husband around for teaching all of those man code things!
Before reading this book, I felt lost about how to raise my precious little Fred!
After reading this book, I really feel empowered! I feel like I can actually do this! Actually raise my son into manhood!
There were a couple of key items that were major AHA’s for me:
1.       That boys must be transitioned into manhood;
2.       And that boys need organized religion.
Dr. Meeker says that the Number One Mistake parents make in raising boys is that they do not transition boys into men. This is why we have all of those man-boys running around out there. (Oh yes, you know what a man-boy is! You know; those men who are never truly responsible, independent or generally mature!) Boys will not transition themselves into manhood; they need their parents’ guidance in order for it to happen at all, not just effectively, and pretty much past the age of 25 if it hasn't been nurtured into happening, it never will. She gives all kinds of suggestions for making this happen from service projects to managing their own money and chores around the home.
Dr. Meeker feels organized religion is so important that a huge portion of the book is dedicated to the topic. She says it does not have to be one specific religion; it can be anything: Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, or even Islam. What matters is the moral compass that organized religion provides for a boy. It isn’t that the parents cannot also teach religion, but religious teaching within a church, synagogue, or mosque can provide role models and more than just what can be taught at home.
As the title suggests, Meeker does also spend a lot of the book talking about giving boys the opportunity to run, play, and imagine while they are playing outside or roughhousing or just being boys! It cannot be underestimated that boys just need time to be boys.
This is another highly recommended book, especially for parents of boys, teachers, or anyone who works with children.

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