Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Raising Boys by Design by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD and Michael Gurian

Boys. If men are from Mars and women are from Venus...where exactly are boys from? They are definitely a type of their own, right boy moms? I have read many books concerning boys and raising them and shepherding them and teaching them and disciplining them. I'm well-read (and getting to be well-experienced in the 0-6 age group) about boys.

Having read so many books, I will say that "Raising Boys by Design" by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD and Michael Gurian is probably the most boring I've read. They have the right idea with the subtitle "What the Bible and Brain Science reveal about what your son needs to thrive." But the actual writing in the book did not hold my attention well.

Here are the few things I gleaned from this book. When boys are at rest or zoning out, their brains mostly are in a resting state. Girls' brains, in opposition, still have much activity even in a resting state. My question to this is then, is it possible for boys to obey right away like we expect our children to do? I believe it is but we must be compassionate and gentle in making sure they hear us (eye contact!).

One thing I completely disagree with the authors on is waiting to diagnose ADHD/ADD, autism, etc until age 7. Oh my, you would lose such ground waiting so long that you wouldn't need to if there was early intervention. I am all for early intervention as I've seen it play a big role in my children's lives. Now, in regards to medicating children, I say wait. I agree with the authors highly on that - children today are overmedicated (not to say that there aren't children who need medication but we should be very sure that they are not just rowdy. There's a difference!).

I also agree that the educational system is not set up to benefit boys as well as girls. Now there are some boys who are good at sitting still for long periods of time and doing busy work like worksheets and coloring. My boys are not those types. I know it's difficult for them. I also know that having no order would make schooling impossible for our under-paid over-worked teachers. I do see benefits in kids sitting on balls, having wiggle breaks, and things like that. The authors make some good suggestions if you see your educational system being too hard on boys (in the principal's office ALL the time and getting into trouble for...really just being a boy).

While this book was not my cup of tea, I always think there are things to learn from anything. Give it a shot if you wish; if you want something a little more...not so boring, read Bringing Up Boys by James Dobson.

Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. Others may or may not share my opinions.

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