I always go into books about gender with a certain amount of trepidation because so much junk has been published out there about boys roles and girls roles. Especially in the Christian culture, this junk has a voice and I think it is one of the biggest problems holding back the church today. So, when reading Raising Boys By Design: What the Bible and Brain Science Reveal About What Your Son Needs To Thrive by Gregory L. Jantz and Michael Gurian, I was holding my breath, unsure of what to expect. I'm happy to say that this book was a pleasant surprise and one that I'll be referring back to often as I raise my own son.
While this book is Biblical and I would definitely consider it a Christian parenting book, most of the information in it is based on developmental and psychological research. Having studied child development in college, many Christian parenting books sidestep obvious child development research in an effort to spiritualize parenting. I saw none of this in this particular book. It is mainly centered around helping your son grow to be HEROIC, which stands for honor, enterprise, responsibility, originality, intimacy and creativity. The authors do an excellent job describing these characteristics and explaining how both mothers and fathers can nurture them in their son's life. What I appreciated most about the book is that it left enough leeway for every well adjusted male to fit into the model of being HEROIC, whether it is a shy, introverted, artistic child or a rambunctious, athletic, aggressive child. It puts true Biblical masculinity in a healthy, true light.
I recommend this book to all parents who are raising sons or anyone that works with boys in any setting. Unfortunately, in this culture, it is the teacher, Sunday school worker, the coach or the boy scout leader that fills the parent role for many boys. This book would be extremely beneficial to you as well.
I was provided this book free of charge from Waterbrook Press in return for my honest review.