Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons

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Boyhood used to be a time of freedom and fun-of catching bullfrogs, playing tackle football, and roaming the woods-but not anymore. Rambunctious, high-spirited boys-healthy boys-nowadays face an increasingly hostile world that doesn't value the unique gifts of boys, that discounts their masculine virtues, and that undermines what boys need to become mature, confident, and thoughtful men. In Boys Should Be Boys, Meg Meeker, pediatrician and author of the critically acclaimed Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters, unlocks the secrets of what parents can do to restore some of the magic of boyhood and help their son become the man they want him to be. Full of practical advice and examples from her own medical practice of more than twenty years, Dr. Meg Meeker reminds moms and dads that there is no greater blessing-and no greater responsibility-than raising healthy, strong young men. In Boys Should Be Boys, she shows you how.

Customer Reviews:

    This is a must read book. Dr. Meeker has highlighted the wonderful differences between males and females and the importance in maintaining those differences. This book is educational and inspiring! She praises male adolescence and gives great guidence for the parents of those adolescence....more info
  • Perfect for any parent with boys
    'Boys Should Be Boys' by Dr. Meeker has given me new insight on how to raise moral and respectable boys. It is very relevant to today's culture and provides solutions and suggestions for almost any parenting situation. Her personal professional and life experiences give such convicting evidence in how well thought out and helpful this book is and will be for any parent with boys. ...more info
  • Boys are wonderful!!
    I am a mother of two boys 9 and 12 and this book is helping me have adifferent attitude. yes, we are different. Both males and females think differently, act differently, and have different needs. It does not mean one of us is better. Very informative and easy to read. I read another book by this author and I think she explains concepts in a plain and understandable way. Great book for both mothers and fathers....more info
  • Mostly common sense advice
    I read this book because I have 2 boys. I read as many parenting books about boys as I can get my hands on. I found some useful nuggets of information in this book. However, I found much of it to be common sense stuff. Although I will keep it in my library of books for future reference as my little boys grow older. So far, Raising Cain is my favorite book on raising boys. ...more info
  • The Title Says it All
    Dr. Meg Meeker's BOYS SHOULD BE BOYS delivers a load of common sense, supported by research and experience, invaluable in a world in which "Common sense is not so common" (Voltaire). This refreshing read took me back to the carefree days of my youth, lived out in a small Midwestern town, when and where boys could be boys, and were encouraged to be boys, and usually succeeded pretty well at it.

    Meeker's book is a call to fight the good fight, to continually recommit to saving our boys from a culture that would corrupt or nullify them and sweep them away. In the process, we cannot help but change that culture into one that would bring out the best in boys, and in girls, and in us adults, as well. Meeker pulls no punches about the primary place of parents grounded in faith in effecting this transformation. Nor does she allow for the contemporary cop-out of replacing "quantity time" with "quality time." The family meal, essential to our Judeo-Christian tradition, is a good place to start--tonight, and tomorrow night, and for every night thereafter.

    For additional reading on this subject, I would strongly recommend Christina Hoff Sommers' THE WAR AGAINST BOYS....more info
  • Book for Parents with Boys
    I have given this book twice as a gift: to my daughter who has three sons, and to a close friend who has five sons. Both recipients said they gained valuable insights and ideas by reading the book. For example, my daughter commented that she found the advice about giving some positive praise to her sons every day a very helpful recommendation not only for her son's self image, but also for her relationship with him. Both women said that they knew some of the information, but it was helpful to be reminded and to be given new ideas for implementing them. From the feedback they have given me, I think any mother who wants to raise good sons would enjoy and find this book helpful. Girls are different from boys, and a mother starts with a "girl" perspective. I wish this book had been around when we raised our son....more info
  • Great book
    i bought this book for my son-in-law because he and my daughter are expecting their first child, a boy.
    I have taught for many years and worry greatly about how boys are treated in class. I was very joyful when I saw and read this book. It is an important book for anyone who deals in any way with boys....more info
    As an elementary school principal, I see boys who are being "smothered" and whose well meaning "helicopter mom" is crushing them. Our educational system is primarily female at the elementary level and these incredible educators need to know what boys are like. Boys are not disfunctional girls.

    This is a great book that brings together some of the most sound advice on helping boys become men....more info
  • Assuredness
    As a Social Worker, Teacher, and mother of a son, I highly recommend this book. In fact even those who don't work directly with boys should be aware of the important messages of raising boys in our society. Meg writes with such passion over how our culture is toxifying boys with media and violent video games,pushing aside the importance of human relations and even problem solving learning experiences.I also higly recommend her other book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters. Both books gave my husband and me assuredness towards the things we were doing that are right for our children; spending time with them, getting them outside, and bringing them to church. ...more info
  • An excellent guide to raising happly boys who become healthy and productive men
    As the father of three daughters, I really admired Meg Meeker's "Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters". Since I also have three sons, I was happy to read her new book "Boys Should Be Boys". Note that her first book had 10 secrets every father should know. This book has 7 secrets to raising healthy sons. I guess boys are simpler creatures.

    The main thrust of the book is that boys need to explore, test their limits, and this can often lead to scrapes, bruises, dirty clothes, and even a broken bone or two. However, in our obsession to protect boys from their natural tendencies, we cosset them in a toxic environment of video games, online pseudo relationships, sexual influences from TV, movies, and the Web, and give them everything but our personal time and attention. Then we wonder why they have ADHD, stunted emotional growth, and difficulty in transitioning to manhood. The point of the book is not to blame parents, but to alert them to the dangers, to what it is that boys need, and to help them realize the extra effort that must be applied to raising their sons in order to counter the awful societal influences that are drowning our boys.

    The book has twelve chapters and the first is an overview of this problem. The next seven go over the seven areas we need to pay attention to in raising our sons and grandsons. The second chapter discusses that we need to help our boys through the difficulties of peer pressure. While this is true in every generation, since our time is particularly toxic towards boys we need to be very careful about the influences and values being taught to them. The third discusses the natural tendency of boys to explore the woods, climb trees, play rough sports, and other `dangerous' activities. This is what boys SHOULD be doing. Meeker points out the health neighborhood games when teams are formed with boys of different ages and they have to work out leadership and test their limits versus the packaged formal team sports where every boy is the same age and the parents run everything including protecting the boys from winning and losing.

    The fourth chapter explores the dangers of boys getting lost in the world of electronics. While there is nothing wrong with computers, iPods, or other electronic devices in and of themselves, there are very bad influences there that they need to be kept from. They also must not be allowed to become addicted to them and the influences they can find there. Spending vast numbers of hours on video games, online `relationships', and who knows what else, is a very bad thing for growing boys. They need real world friends, experiences, and skill development - especially social skills.

    The fifth deals with societal animosity towards teenage boys. I know some will scream that this is not true because they are thinking of the kind of moody, depressed, and angry boy they have created and then want to fix. This kind of moody teenager is much more a media creation and now a societal reality than it should be in the real world. Yes, depression is very serious and should be treated by competent medical doctors, but if you raise healthy boys that experience healthy activities and friends, they will be much less likely to develop these problems.

    The sixth tells you the true way to build self-confidence and mental health. You encourage them at all times (praise should dominate criticism ten statements to one). You should also help them, train them, and show them activities they can master. The feeling of accomplishment is a powerful emotional resource builder. And you help them get into competitive experiences and especially those where they can taste winning more than losing. Viewing themselves as winners and knowing that feeling is also a powerful force as they move through life.

    The seventh chapter examines the role of mothers in a son's life and the necessity of the unconditional love a mother provides. She is his defender, will praise him when no one else will, and comforts him when he does feel defeated. The eighth is the strength a dad provides when he participates in a son's life in a real and present way. Providing an example of the virtues you want your boy to have is essential. Setting high standards for him that you model and support him developing (through encouragement, not criticism) is essential.

    Chapter nine shows us why so many men are just older boys. They never made that difficult step of transitioning from being boys to men. This is a stage they must be helped through and having a role model of a good man (the father) to emulate along with providing a loving expectation that they must make the transition is critical to supporting them taking that difficult step.

    Personally, I think chapter ten is one our society should pay very close attention to. Too many families stay away from Church. Oh, they may say they are of this or that faith, but they don't get involved as a family that makes their faith a part of their everyday lives. By helping your boy develop a strong faith in God you will help him build reserves of hope, an understanding of love beyond the erotic, the importance of truth, an understanding of repentance and forgiveness, and a security in the unfolding of his life. No, you can't just send them to church and think you have done your job.

    Chapter eleven examines the some other core virtues we want our men to have so they must develop them as boys. These virtues are integrity, courage, humility, meekness, and kindness. Just because we want the boys to be strong and confident does not mean we want them to be blustering bullies.

    Meeker ends the book with a chapter listing ten tips.
    1) Know that you change his world
    2) Raise him from the inside out (worry about his inner life and the outer life will follow)
    3) Help his masculinity to explode
    4) Help him find purpose and passion (other than being a video game master)
    5) Teach him to serve (this is where Church can come in handy)
    6) Insist on self-respect
    7) Persevere
    8) Be his hero
    9) Watch, then watch again (pay close attention to what is going on in his life)
    10) Give him the best of yourself (not just the leftovers)

    An excellent book that I highly recommend.

    Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI

    Here is her book on Fathers and Daughters:
    Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know...more info
  • Let's Hear It For The Boys!!
    Dr. Meeker does it again. In my early years I believed that boys and girls were pretty much the same, simply socialized differently. My first teaching job out of Grad school was teaching 2 & 3 year olds and the bubble was smashed (I think by a stick wielding boy in my class). I am now the mother of two teenage boys, wonderfully different from their female friends and cousins. Dr. Meeker's observations and anecdotes brilliantly express the challenges our boys face today (I cheered at her statement that parents, not peers, are their sons greatest influence...a sentiment recently expressed to me by my 18 yr old son). Filled with wisdom, heart,and a sincere desire to help us all understand our sons better. From one Mom to another, striving to raise healthy, moral,confident, fun young men...Thank you Dr. Meeker for another great read.In a time when our children are being grossly underestimated, you raise the bar and inspire us to reach higher in our understanding and celebration of these precious gifts we have been given.I just wish I could pick your brain over coffee some day........more info
  • a must read
    meg meeker's two books on parenting are the best i have read. both books are wise, practical, and loaded with the latest research. if you desire to be a better parent to sons or daughters, read these books. iam the father of 5 children....more info
  • good book
    A good reminder that boys should be allowed to be boys. (It's ok for girls to be rough and tumble as well.) Enjoy this author's other books as well....more info
  • She is a phenominal author!
    This is just what I needed to hear...I suggest this to every mom with a son! LOVE IT!...more info
  • Helpful insights on raising sons
    Boys Should Be Boys, by Dr Meeker, offers practical, spiritually based advice on raising boys to be healthy, compassionate, self respecting men who treat others with respect and kindness. A good antidote to much anti-male advice floating around, it shows how to harness the good inherant in young men to help them grow into great adults....more info
  • Helping boys grow into good, strong men
    Dr. Meg Meeker is the author of Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters and Epidemic: How Teen Sex is Killing our Kids. She has practiced pediatric and adolescent medicine for twenty years and is a fellow of the National Advisory Board of the Medical Institute.

    It's tough being a parent. It's tough being a kid. In our politically charged and politically correct society we now tell ourselves that boys and girls are really the same. And in doing so we silence our strong, boisterous boys and demand they be more submissive and cooperative. We're becoming social engineers. We're attempting to force children into being what they are not nor were they ever meant to be. Our boys are at great risk.

    Dr. Meeker says our boys need us, the parents. They need us to embrace and encourage who they are and celebrate it. We must ease their pressures and give them back their boyhood. Meeker says that any boy's life is built around three things: his relationship with his parents, with God, and with his siblings and friends. She discusses the importance of taking responsibility, love, discipline and the need for their fathers. Meeker attacks the sex and violence on TV, video games and movies and well, just gives practical advice on how to help raise the expectations we have about boys while taking back and putting the fun into boyhood again.

    This book, Let Boys Be Boys, focuses on the development of our boys and warns of the harm our liberal, feminized society. She reveals seven ways to help our boys grow into good, strong men.

    Armchair Interviews says: A must read for all parents, even those who have girls because your girls will be marrying our boys someday....more info
  • Great Author Does It Again
    Having raised three boys and one daughter, I find Dr. Meeker's latest book filled not only with wisdom and accuracy, but also timely and enjoyable. Boys are indeed a different breed. I find this to be true in my own family. Once again, Dr. Meeker hits the nail on the head with her practical and insightful writing. As a practicing pediatrician and mother, Dr. Meeker offers a unique perspective that most authors lack. A great read for all....more info


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