Looking for answers on how to raise boys?
- • Why can’t he sit still?
• Is he hearing a word I say?
• Why is he angry all the time?
Boys are born to be wild. Their strong spirit, endless imagination, and hunger for adventure are only matched by their deep desire to be affirmed, esteemed, and loved. In their new book Wild Things, therapists Stephen James and David Thomas help parents and educators understand what exactly makes boys tick.
I have to admit I was a little hesitant to read this book. I have read books about raising boys before and have walked away saying “the author just does not get it.” There is just something different about raising boys. Boys are more active and sometimes as a Mom you feel like you have to speak another language in order to communicate. I am happy to say Stephen James and David Thomas GET IT! As soon as I read the story about Stephen’s wife calling and informing him that she walked into the bathroom to find her sons laughing and splashing while the commode was overflowing with poop and urine in the mix! I felt right at home!
As soon as it is announced “It’s a boy,” this book needs to be your first purchase. This will become your handbook. Stephen James and David Thomas give the same advice that I give all Moms of boys, boys need SPACE.
They need to be able to run, jump, climb, conquer, and yes destroy. If you do not take them outside they will do all those things inside your house. Please don’t expect them to sit and play quietly, it will not happen.
This is what Stephen James and David Thomas said about parenting boys versus parenting girls.
- Parenting boys in the first three stages is just so physical. Parenting boys in these years requires a great deal of physical energy—and a good back. Whereas parenting our daughters is so much more relational and emotional. Both are exhilarating and exhausting, but in different ways.
When I (David) engage my daughter, it’s in sitting in a neighborhood coffee shop talking about her day at school. My boys can sit at the coffee shop long enough to finish a chocolate chip cookie, spill their milk and then we’re kicking a soccer ball across the street at the park.
We talk a lot in the book about boys in motion and how to engage these active, physical beings. Girls need that too, no doubt, but not in the same way boys need it.
We had our families together the other day over at my (Stephen’s) house. At one point all the kids went out in the front yard to play: five boys and two girls in all. There were a number of balls lying around the yard. The boys started playing soccer with one ball and the girls started playing soccer with another. After a few minutes the boys were trying to kick the ball at each other and the girls were off to the side talking to each other. To me that is a great picture of the differences.
In Wild Things the authors discuss
The five key stages that a boy goes through on his journey to becoming a man.
How parents should discuss sex, homosexuality, and pornography with their boys.
The three most important factors in keeping a boy from experimenting with drugs.
The role of a father and the role of a mother in raising them to become a man.
The authors touch on how to communicate with your boy also. Girls like that face to face communication, it makes them feel valued and heard. When you are raising boys you will find boys will open up to you more while you are doing something, like driving in the car or completing a chore together. I highly recommend this book, in fact I emailed my sister in law who has twin boys (age 1) informing her this is a MUST read. It is the best book about raising boys that I have ever read!
You’ve gained some valuable advice, but there’s more! If you would like to learn more from these parenting experts about raising boys, you can order a copy of Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys through amazon.com.
Based on clinical research, Stephen James and David Thomas have filled Wild Things with practical tips and suggestions for parents. They guide readers through the five stages of a boy’s development, providing an overview and explanation of each stage, followed by a plan to put new principles into action. Pick up a copy today!
Stephen James, M.A., and David Thomas, M.S.S.W., are speakers, authors, and therapists who work directly with boys and their families. They also travel around the country, speaking on parenting and marriage communication, and they have been dynamic guests on CBN’s Living the Life, Good Day Atlanta, WGN Midday News, Moody’s Midday Connection, and other radio programs coast to coast. Learn more at www.stephenanddavid.com.