So You Want to Raise a Boy?

By W. Cleon Skousen

Synopsis: This is W. Cleon Skousen's contribution to parenting literature, focusing on boys because they unfortunately have a higher instance of delinquency. Skousen draws on his experience from the FBI and police chief days, practical experience from his own child-raising, and some deferral to expert opinion in the field. Scriptural undertones are also present, but the book was meant for parents of all religious and social types. The book takes the reader through each year of a typical boy's life, from birth to age 21. Then it proceeds to discuss suggestions for discussing sex with your boy, dealing with common problems like alcohol and drug addiction, and has chapters about the ideal mother, father, and family. 

Strong Points: This is a good down-to-earth, practical source of advice for raising a well-adjusted boy. I like it because the average guy can relate to it and appreciate it. Being a successful father of five sons and having dealt with juvenile delinquency in his career, Skousen is well qualified to write a straight-forward book such as this. The advice is good and it is written with a dash of humor, too.

Weak Points: The last printing of the book was in 1995, and so some of the figures and such are a little dated, but no biggie. And I suppose with books on the subject of parenting you'll never agree on everything. For instance, I found W. Cleon Skousen to be surprisingly permissive in some respects when it came to certain boy-girl interactions. He said that if a 14 year old develops an interest in a girl, it might be acceptable to take her along on family outings, on a sort of "family date." My wife says that's not happening.

Interesting: 3/5

Must Read: 3/5

Overall: 3/5


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