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Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  1,525 Ratings  ·  262 Reviews
In "Boys Should Be Boys," critically acclaimed author Dr. Meg Meeker helps parents restore the delights of boyhood and enable todayOCOs boys to become the mature, confident, and thoughtful men of tomorrow.
Boys will always be boysurambunctious, adventurous, and curious, climbing trees, building forts, playing tackle football, all part of the rite of passage into manhood. B
ebook, 285 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Not Avail (first published January 1st 2003)
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Jun 01, 2012 Audra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I have read parenting book after parenting book after parenting book this year, and usually end up 2/3 from the end, slogging away and hating myself, the author, and anyone else who crosses my path. Most of them - the Christian parenting ones included - tend to make me feel woefully inadequate, and introduce a spate of "do this" charges that I must needs implement immediately (!) if I am to have strong, godly, intelligent boys.

Not so here.

For the first time ever, I came out of a pare
Jun 24, 2010 Brandy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes, but it fell short. The things she had to say didn't resonate well with me and I got a very conservative undertone. She was very essentialist, meaning "Boys are essentially X. Mothers are essentially Y. Fathers are essentially Z." After 300 pgs, I had the prototypical image of ONE boy in my head; there wasn't much room for range or individual differences. It's ironic, actually, because I had been searching for books that would lead me a bit into the biological development of boy ...more
Sam Choi
Aug 11, 2011 Sam Choi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A great book if you're a reactionary, feebleminded, conservative dolt who hasn't yet heard or intuited that you should be there for your kids, encourage them instead of criticize them, and watch out for issues of violence, porn, or destructive behavior in mass media. Holy crap, why did I think a pop psychology book would have anything interesting to say?!? This book took advantage of my neurosis about raising my son to sell me a bunch of crap about religion, the dangers of pornography, and need ...more
Nov 28, 2011 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read about raising boys to be men. Yes, for all those negative reviews that stated the book had conservative undertones, I believe Dr. Meeker was obvious about her intentions. She is looking at the "men" in our society and saying that many of the changes made in raising our boys have not been for the better. She advocates a return to a strong family unit with clearly defined rolls where boys are raised to be men unapologetically.
There is very little earth shattering information in this b
Renee Reynolds
Mar 23, 2011 Renee Reynolds rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As seems to be the case these days with the wealth of books, I thought this one would have been better served with a more fitting title, such as "Boys to Men," especially since the book did not outline "seven secrets to raising healthy sons." That nit-picking aside, the book was quite straightforward, easy to read, and extremely helpful about boys, their general disposition, and what they most need to mature into wise and compassionate men. Not surprisingly, their needs are simple, they need les ...more
Jul 04, 2014 Pj rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
Conservative and elitist. There are some valid points here but the book is coated in such a condescending tone that it was extremely frustrating to read through. It's delusional in its nostalgia of parenting in the past as if parenting challenges began only in the 21st century. Yes, parents need to spend more time with their children, parents need to model the ideal of what a man should grow up to be, and parents need to spend less time putting their children in front of a TV, iPad, etc. All imp ...more
Jan 28, 2012 K. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents, adult mentors of boys
Recommended to K. by: Ryan & Heather Moller
Shelves: parenting
Notes so long because I don’t own the book and want to remember some key points.

Great book from the same author of another important parenting book: “Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters.” These are two books worth reading if you parent or plan on parenting (or grandparent, or mentor) children, boys & girls. While many of the things in these books seem like common sense, I realize that in many places this may not be so.

I find the author’s honesty and willingness to call some things by their ri
Jun 06, 2009 Jonathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
A great book for any dad with boys. Everyone should at least read the last chapter, Ten tips for making sure you get it right.

1. Know that you change his world. - Fathers are larger than life to your boys. Parents are the number one influence in a boys life.

2. Raise him from the inside out. - Imagine the man you want him to be (with regards to character) at 25. Then spend your energy teaching him these character traits.

3. Help his masculinity explode. - Teach a boy how to be a leader and a prote
Dec 02, 2009 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family, 2009
This book was quite good and I would like to give it 4.5 stars.

The reason it lost 1 star
There are a few places when I think the Author is a little heavy handed with the perils and dangers facing our sons.
also I think she puts a little too much emphasis on the differences between boys and girls. There are certainly some real and siginficant differences but really I think 90% of this book is good for parents who have daughters too.
And finally this book was very centered on Dads. She has a chapter
Mar 01, 2011 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the book had excellent insight into the minds of boys. Having two sons of my own and having grown up between two brothers, I see the action and adventure side as well as the tender loving side of my boys. This book does not try to categorize your boy into a certain pigeonhole of shoot everything you see to be a man, but instead, real stories from acrossed the spectrum to identify with the nature of boys.

The author deals with a perspective that can be respected taking her twenty years
Jun 13, 2010 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-book-list
I highly recommend this great book. Dr. Meeker's book on daughters is just as compelling.

Here are some take-aways:

"In my experience, every good parent intuitively knows what is good and not good for his sons. The problem is, we ignore our intuitions and jump on the train loaded with mothers and fathers pushing their sons to outshine the others. Get off that train.

Time, attention, affection and approval: they are what every boy needs in abundance from his parents.

Your sons don't need more act
Chris Munson
Aug 15, 2012 Chris Munson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting
As a new father, I'm looking for ways to make sure that my son grows up to be a well-adjusted, confident, charitable and responsible (if he's still living with me when he's in his thirties I will have failed as a parent) man. Dr. Meeker's book "Boys Should Be Boys" is a great overview of how to accomplish just that. Filled with wonderful anecdotes, stories and principles based on her decades-long career as a pediatrician, it provides a great framework for raising boys. Meeker does a great job of ...more
Mar 04, 2009 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am buying a copy of this book to keep. It had so many practical things we should be doing with our boys, and specifically what dad's (or another male role model) should be doing to teach boys what being a boy and, eventually, a man, is all about. Things from courage, to standing up for what is right, self-respect, how to treat a girl, to serving others and showing compassion. It helped me as a mom, understand why boys act out certain roles in pretend play and why those roles ARE necessary for ...more
Jan 11, 2013 Kelsey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm of the overly-generalized opinion that if you want to be a good parent, stop reading parenting books. Generally, I find parenting books to be guilt trips that stress parents out and fill their heads with all sorts of "should-be-doings" that inhibit their natural God-given instincts about their children. I did not feel that way at all about this book. Basically, this book is void of pop psychology and full of common sense that our society has all but pushed out. Although I already knew pretty ...more
Jul 21, 2012 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenting, audiobook
This book is a very common-sense approach to raising a boy. Meeker has many excellent insights into the psychology of boys, even though she is a pediatrician and not a psychologist. The book is intended for both mothers and fathers, but the focus is definitely on fathers. The main message is that the best thing one can do for your son is to spend more time with him. Meeker believes that it does not matter very much what you do with him--just spend time so that he sees you, regardless of the acti ...more
Nov 06, 2009 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
"Being a Mom isn't a competition. It's a state of being." (Or something like that...I listen to it as I run so it is hard to go back and re-read a certain phrase over and over.) I really liked this book. While it is directly geared to raising strong, healthy, happy, meek, great boys, it is also applicable to my daughters as well. I highly recommend it.

Through this book I am learning more about boys and how they work. I don't know, however, if I could be comfortable with allowing boys just to run
Aug 13, 2009 Shauna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very enjoyable. Since I have 3 sons I occasionally like to read books about boys. I can gauge what the experts say against how I am raising my sons. Meg Meeker says there seven keys ro raising great sons. One is encouraging your son without spoiling him, and not being too harsh so you lose communication and destroy his self-esteem. second, is understanding what your son needs and it is not more stuff...its time with their parents. Third, boys need rules. Fourth, virtue is not just ...more
Mar 14, 2010 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is A MUST READ for anyone who is raising boys! I think Dads should read it too!

I got so much out if it that i feel like you need to read the book to really get the important points. But I was reminded that time together is the most important (and to make sure it is happy time), that boys need time to be bored and let their imagination go wild (it reinforced my views on TV and video games and reminded me not to get caught up in comparing with others and not over scheduling), and that a
Jul 08, 2016 Jenny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't realize until I had finished the book, closed it, and looked back at the cover that I had no idea what the "7 secrets" were. I looked at the table of contents and didn't see a clear list of 7 delineated there, either. Flipped through the book, and still no clue what the 7 were. I think the publisher just added the "7 Secrets" subtitle after the book was written, frankly.

That aside, the book was alright. Nothing earth-shattering, but some good principles to keep in mind when raising chil
Dec 01, 2015 Kristine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't read this whole book - in fact I had the audio version. I just listened to some certain sections I was interested in. I liked the author's perspective at the end of her career of working with kids, and how it has changed with the Internet and technology. For the most part it was affirming to me that strong family ties, faith, and nature are the best things for boys, both for happiness and growth and as a shield against peer pressure. Her stories and statistics were really interesting ar ...more
Oct 30, 2011 Amberli rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved this book. the author is just good at saying things in a down to earth, realistic way without sounding condescending or guilt tripping the reader. love her old fashion values while being realistic about today's trends, technology, etc. i'll have to reread this book occasionally over the years to keep a better perspective on what my boys need from me. i also recommend her book on motherhood and i'm planning on reading her book about strong fathers, strong daughters.
Jun 16, 2009 Megan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must read if you have boys! But caution, it may make you want to throw away your tv and go outside to play. Would make a great Father's Day gift.

PS- She has an equally wonderful book for girls, "Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters."
Feb 12, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jan 05, 2017 ausont rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was assigned for my Family Relations class. Back then we had to draw an evaluation out of a parenting experiment based on this book on male children, along with Battle Hymn of Tiger Mother by Amy Chua on female children. Both books, for me, are more of a personal experience rather than a set social standards. We actually applied the "secrets" of this book on male children, it didn't really yield much productive results, especially when they didn't do anything wrong, but felt like they ...more
Dec 08, 2016 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book about raising boys and letting them be boys instead of the wimpy, politically correct emasculations that many social scientists and educators advocate. Meeker balances her experience as a renowned pediatrician with her motherhood to sons of her own and debunks the notion that science is supreme – “boys are just wired that way” – as the end-all.

Instead, we as parents have responsibilities to be aware of our sons and to give them what they need most – us. Meeker also advocates – wit
Shelbey Neil
Dec 19, 2016 Shelbey Neil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I give this book 5 stars on ideas and 3 on writing. This book is basically an overview of extremely important principles to keep in mind when raising boys (most of which apply to girls, too). I'd recommend it to any parent of a boy!

Unfortunately, the people to whom the ideas in this book will be a revelation probably will never pick it up (parents who care enough to read a book are probably already doing a decent job [although that's not always true]). This book is not very specific in its presc
I felt like this book could have been much shorter. It seemed to be quite repetitive. Chapter 11 on virtues was the best chapter of the whole book.
Skylar Burris
Much of this book involved stating the obvious, and her heavily anecdotal style, which involves introducing every point with a long story about a particular child who may or may not have anything in common with my child, grew tedious. However, the advice seemed fairly solid. I think it would have been helpful to have more specific and detailed advice on raising boys and interesting to have more evidence along the lines of research and statistics (rather than primarily anecdotes).

Her advice seem
Jun 17, 2011 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Carolyn by: Christina
Shelves: parenting
I started this book skeptical of Meeker's right to give me advice. How does being a pediatrician make her an expert on raising boys? Was she just going to tell me how to raise an "old-fashioned" boy (ala John Rosemand)? The early apocolyptic language about "Boyhood Under Siege" and a chapter on the importance of outdoor play didn't help. BUT, by the end, she had won me over. Here's why:
1. She does cite lots of research and surveys, using facts, stats and stories to support most of her claims.
Apr 22, 2014 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have Updated my review, "I just had to let out some steam after reading previous reviews--now I can write a decent review :) "
Meg Meeker, a 30 year veteran in Pediatric medicine, combines her unique experiences as a doctor with those of being a mother to her own 3 boys and 1 daughter, and creates inspiring and uplifting dialog in raising a boy to be a man. I was instantly drawn in and captivated by her language and passion for the masculine nature of our boys. She is a champion in our society
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Full name: Margaret J. Meeker.
More about Meg Meeker...

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“More important than succeeding at work is succeeding with your family.” 2 likes
“We hyper-conscientious parents reel with a constant thought stream regarding what else we should be doing. We should get him a tutor, we should make him have a job at fourteen, we should.... You fill in the blank. This is what we do best—fret over what else we can do for our sons. But that is exactly the wrong way to look at it. It’s far more important for parents to be, as in be around, and far less important for them to do, and certainly to buy, anything. In fact, what we should usually do is schedule fewer activities for our children (and fret less as well).” 0 likes
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