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Review: Raising Real Men

Raising Boys

Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching, and Appreciating Boys by Hal and Melanie Young has been praised by people like Tedd Tripp, Douglas Wilson, R.C. Sproul, Chris Klicka, Scott Somerville, and John Rosemond.  That was enough for me to want to read it and, having done so, I’m adding my humble voice to the approving chorus.

Hal and Melanie Young are the busy parents of six boys (and two girls), so they know what life is like with a house full of rambunctious energy.  When Melanie was asked to share their family’s perspective on homeschooling and raising boys, they were startled by the positive response…and eventually this book grew out of that experience.

The Youngs recognize that God made boys and girls to be different.  Instead of trying to squash those differences as is often done, they aim to train their boys to be the men God intended.  This book outlines the things they’ve learned, their mistakes, and some of their successes.

Raising Real Men contains no self-pitying handwringing at the daunting task of raising boys, but rather a cheerful acceptance of a challenging mission:  raising real men for God.  Real life stories and personal examples abound, always contributing to the topic at hand. The Youngs candidly approach “the things boys do naturally that drive us crazy…unless and until they are molded and shaped into the manly virtues.” Then they tackle “the things we want boys to do that drive them crazy…unless and until we help them see the purposes, the goals, and the principles involved.”

From a Biblical standpoint they discuss heroes, boldness, risks, violence, modern media, competitiveness, and servant-leadership.  They also include insights into finances and stewardship, homeschooling, manners and chivalry, household chores, love and temptation, college, and growing up.  In fact, they pretty well cover everything you’d ask as a parent of boys.

Not only do the Youngs discuss gritty, muscular, physical things, but they also point out that determination and strength are required for endeavors such standing up for what is right, financial self-control, and intellectual and artistic achievements.

The positive tone of Raising Real Men is very refreshing.  Children are a blessing.  Boys are a blessing. Since the misguided people who think differently have great influence in our culture, we do actually need a book to remind us of this.

The only problem I have with the Youngs’ viewpoint is the suggestion that girls are easier to live with and more saintly than boys.  Since I’m in the midst of raising four girls as well as a boy, and having been a girl myself, I chuckle at that idea.  In fact, many girls share the foibles and strengths that the Youngs attribute to boys, often adding in a few extra as well.  I think Raising Real Men will also help parents to raise their real little ladies.

If you have boys, you probably need this book.  Even if you have girls, your family could benefit from it for two reasons:  the realistic child-rearing philosophy is Biblical, and girls share many of the characteristics discussed.

Note that although Raising Real Men was written by homeschoolers, the majority of its insights can be used by any family, homeschooling or not.

For more information, including a sample chapter and a free monthly newsletter, please visit the Raising Real Men website.

Disclosure:  I received a review copy of this book from Hal and Melanie Young in exchange for my honest opinions.  I am not compensated for my reviews.

Linked to Works for Me Wednesday.


  1. […] Go here to read the rest: Review: Raising Real Men ? Tea Time with Annie Kate […]

  2. LarabaK says:

    Sounds good! I’ll try to get a copy.

  3. Annie Kate says:

    Yes, this is a book you’ll love, Laraba!


    Annie Kate

  4. Stacy says:

    Sounds like a good book. However, I don’t think I’ll read it since I have a dd. Hmmm…….would it work for dh? LOL!

    Our temps are way above normal right now. Highs in the 70s. I’m taking dd to see the We-Care Christmas trees at the mall tonight. That will seem weird, w/it being so warm. The trees are auctioned off this weekend and the proceeds go to help the needy at Christmas. It’s a huge thing here in our city. They actually have a weekend auction on TV of items that have been donated by people, businesses, etc.

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Well, you wouldn’t want to be raising him, but it might help you understand him!

      Annie Kate

  5. 'Becca says:

    Thanks for the review! I’m a developmental psychologist and mother of a boy almost 6 years old, so I’m always interested in books about boys, girls, and kids.

    Have you heard about BAM! Groups? I read their book and was really impressed, and my son loved hearing about the activities and wants to know when he can join a group like that!

    1. Annie Kate says:

      Given your background, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book.

      No, I’ve never heard of BAM! Groups, but I’m off to check them out.


      Annie Kate

  6. […] presents Review: Raising Real Men posted at Tea Time with Annie Kate, saying, “This parenting book, recommended by the […]

  7. […] and Melanie of Raising Real Men. Speaking of Hal and Melanie, did you know they wrote a book and Annie Kate wrote a review about it? And now for a tip from Maureen at Homeschool Mo. She found the top writing contests for […]

  8. […] If you want to read a worthwhile book about raising your sons, I suggest you check out my review of Raising Real Men by the Youngs and consider reading Future Men by Douglas […]

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