Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys

Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys

by Stephen James, David Thomas


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Playing off the themes in the Caldecott Medal-winning children's book Where the Wild Things Are, this informative, practical, and encouraging guide will help parents guide boys down the path to healthy and authentic manhood. Wild Things addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual parts of a boy, written by two therapists who are currently engaged in clinical work with boys and their parents and who are also fathers raising five sons. Contains chapters such as “Sit Still! Pay Attention!” “Deficits and Disappointments,” and “Rituals, Ceremonies, and Rites of Passage.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781414322278
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date: 01/23/2009
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 139,576
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Stephen James is a private practice psychotherapist in Nashville, Tennessee, where he provides individual, couples, and group therapy as well as organizational and leadership consulting. He has coauthored several books, including How to Hit a Curveball, Grill the Perfect Steak, and Become a Real Man.

David Thomas is the director of family counseling at Daystar Counseling in Nashville, Tennessee. He has coauthored several books, including Becoming a Dad, and is a frequent guest on national television and radio. He and his wife, Connie, have a daughter, two sons, and a fiesty yellow lab puppy named Owen.

David Colacci has been an actor and a director for over thirty years, and has worked as a narrator for over fifteen years. He has won AudioFile Earphones Awards, earned Audie nominations, and been included in Best of the Year lists by such publications as Publishers Weekly, AudioFile magazine, and Library Journal.

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Wild Things 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
BlondeBibliophile on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Early Reviewers Oh my. I LOVE this book. I repeat, LOVE. Receiving this book for free from the Early Reviewer program was like a little gift from God. This is one of the best parenting books I have ever read. So much wonderful information and advice. Sometimes I felt like the authors knew my son personally and had written the book solely for my benefit. Great book for ANYONE. Parents, grandparents, teachers, etc. There may be some information that not everybody will agree on (I came across a few things myself) but, all in all, it is quite educational.
kaelirenee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the classic children¿s story Where the Wild Things Are, little Max goes through the life journey of a boy in one night. In this book, authors Steven James and David Thomas describe the steps a parent must take to help nurture a son into the best man his nature allows him to be. They follow the general path all boys take from Wanderer toddler to Warrior man, giving mothers, fathers, and caregivers suggestions on what will probably happen, good ways to respond, and lots of ¿This too shall pass¿ assurances. These family therapists draw heavily on the ¿Love and Logic¿ parenting camp and rely heavily on anecdotal evidence for their work. Though they are Christian therapists, anyone who has some kind of religious belief can draw good suggestions from their writings (atheists, you¿ll just have to skip over any mentions of God-the book is helpful enough to do so). They are somewhat understanding in discussing homosexuality, but for the most part, eschew the topic. With that, their discussions of masturbation and pornography, I¿m sure there are plenty of people who will dislike this book, either because they are too conservative or too liberal. I think for a general parenting book, they struck a good balance. But, they also make so many points throughout the book to take what works for your son and ignore what doesn¿t, it doesn¿t feel like any of their suggestions on these topics need to be followed like dictates anyways.Their descriptions of how boys act are general enough for me to see both my 5 year old autistic son in their descriptions, and my boyfriend¿s normal 7 year old. But these general descriptions are also specific enough for me to find good suggestions for interacting with both boys.I was appreciative of their chapter on boys and their mothers. It is rare that I read something for mothers that I consider that understanding and honest without being insulting or reprimanding.Recommended for parents (foster parents, step parents-whatever) of boys, teachers, and daycare providers.
l4ou on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Overall, an excellent primer on raising boys. I have two of them, 12 and 3 and I have already found some helpful stuff from this book. It has also helped my wife to better understand how our boys (and males, in general) think.
shawse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although I don't have any boys of my own I thought "Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys" by Stephen James and David Thomas sounded interesting. I am glad I read it. The book is full of wonderful stories and I was frequently chuckling or laughing while reading. I learned a great deal about myself. The book is divided into three parts: The way of the boy; the mind of the boy; and the heart of the boy. Boys proceed through five distinct stages on the way to manhood: Explorer, Lover, Individual, Wanderer, and Warrior although they normally retain traits of the earlier stages. The writer's Christian background and influence is apparent (and admitted), which I appreciated, although not to a degree that would deter readers with differing religious beliefs. The authors did a wonderful job discussing difficult and potentially controversial issues while allowing for difference of belief among the readers. I greatly enjoyed the book and will be passing it around to others.
meteowrite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book wasn't really for me. Which isn't to say that it's not well researched, well intentioned or well written. It just wasn't my sort of thing. I'm about to have my first baby, and he's a boy, so perhaps I'm not quite the intended audience. I also didn't realize I was receiving a book with Christian parenting advice, either. Had I realized that from the get go, I would have known it wasn't for me. It was generally subtle, but just having the slight Christian overtones was enough. I also realized that in the "nature vs. nurture" continuum, my own understanding of human beings slides much more to the side of "nurture" than it seems to do for the authors of this book. Still, it was not without it's moments. I laughed out loud at the description of how best to give directions to young boys....namely, using as few words as possible. My husband has told me the exact same thing about how he'd like me to let him know when I'd like HIM to do something. So, I wish the authors well, and hope readers value the book, but I won't be purchasing any copies for friends or families.
bigdee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This isn't one of those books that you sit down and read cover to cover, it's a reference manual that you find yourself going back to every few months.I've found it useful not only in dealing with my 3-year-old son, but also with my husband, similar to the book "You Just Don't Understand" which is about the different ways men and women see things.
ronincats on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received this ER book in January, and have been slowly making my way through it ever since. In the interests of full disclosure, I am reading this book not as a parent but as a school psychologist with 30 years of experience in working with boys from preschool through age 13. This book is by two men who are both experienced counselors and fathers, on the topic of raising boys.It took me a long while to get into this book, reading it as I typically do nonfiction, a section of a chapter a night several nights a week. I feared at first it would be one of those pop culture type books, a fear nourished by the cute little labels the authors placed on the different developmental stages. I found it slow going through the first third of the book, when the authors were describing the various developmental stages. Looking back, I think this was because of my familiarity with this information--which would not necessarily be the case with a parent reading this.When the authors started Part 2: The Mind of a Boy, I perked up. This is my area of expertise, after all. And it was outstanding! The identification of common errors made in dealing with boys and strategies in working with them in brain-compatible ways on top of the descriptions (highly accurate) along with specific mini-sections dealing with major issues raised this book well above the average parenting book.When I reached Part 3: The Heart of a Boy, I had difficulty putting the book down. I have powered through this section in the last three days! The insight, the specific examples, and the strategies and game plan for nurturing boys to emotionally healthy men are simply outstanding. I now plan to order this book for both of my nephews and their wives because I value its advice for raising their young boys (one age 5, one still in utero) so highly. I also have found rich ideas for strengthening my own counseling interactions with boys in my schools. Two caveats: 1) the current formatting of the book as an ARC: the inserts about specific problem areas broke into the flow of the chapter text and were hard to read because of the different font. Hopefully, this will be addressed in the final published edition.2) In the final chapter of the book, "Rituals, Ceremonies, and Rites of Passage", where the authors talk about ways of integrating our boys into the larger society, they make explicit their spiritual connection to God as part of this. If you are an atheist, this may be an issue for you, but it only impacts this chapter and not the many great chapters before it. If you are a member of a religion or agnostic, you will have no difficulty, and indeed, much benefit in incorporating this dimension into your parenting.Of all the parenting books I have read over the years, and there have been many, this book is simply outstanding and receives my highest rating of 5 stars. I cannot recommend it enough to the parents of boys both for its insights and its suggestions.
jjkwiat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Yikes, books like these remind me why I am an athiest. While the book is filled with lots of cute and relateable references to movies and TV shows, it could have been written by the president of the National Rifle Association. The authors try and show us how young boys grow and mature and how we can help them along this journey. Now, this is listed as a Christian book, so I was not shocked at all the references to god, but I am an athiest so anytime you base your premise on the existence of a fictional character you are going to lose me. Many alarming things were mentioned: Pornography is evil, masturbation ruins your sex life, homosexuality "might" be wrong to name a few. But the worst was saved for the end, when a few of the tips they suggest to bond with your teenage son were to buy him a pocketknife and go shoot a gun with him. An actual quote from this section was "Nothing says power like firing a weapon." Hmm. Actually I would say that nothing is more dangerous than a religious nutjob with a weapon who thinks that the afterlife is the ultimate goal. Churchies should love this book, those of us with logic and common sense should make sure to avoid it.
csanderf More than 1 year ago
Great book! Parents of boys Need this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book, very well written. The author uses examples of his own or others experiences which I feel is very helpful. As I am reading this book I can relate to it when I think of my two boys and my three nephews...sometimes even my husband! ;o)
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Janna6 More than 1 year ago
I have been reading "Wild Things" and being the mother of 3 boys myself I am very impressed by what I have read so far. The book is broken down into different age groups of boys and I have Stephen in The Lovers group (5-8 years) and Philip in The Individual group (9-12). They nailed Stephen to a tee and Philip is pretty close (he is also not your typical boy). Each age group is then broken into:
1) The Way of a Boy
2) The Mind of a Boy
3) The Heart of a Boy
And then there is a Hot Topics section toward the back and I don't agree with everything in the Hot Topics section, but that would be why they are Hot Topics, right? The only thing I have personally disagreed with so far is that "Love and Logic" is recommended by the authors and I don't agree with Love and Logic methods. So like most parenting stuff out there, you have to take some of it with a grain of salt. But overall these guys got it right, especially when it comes to helping you understand your sons by breaking them down into age groups and heart, mind and behavior. I would recommend this book - I'm actually considering putting together a mom's book study on it because I think it is so beneficial.