Read Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by StephenJames David Thomas David Thomas Online


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 witPlaying 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.”...

Title : Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781414322278
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys Reviews

  • Catherine
    2019-05-25 04:21

    This book scared me a bit. Okay, a lot. According to the authors, I (and my boys) have so far survived the Explorer phase and they're currently in the Lover stage...but I still have the Individual, Wanderer, and Warrior to get through. Having worked with adolescent boys, I know those years can be. Luckily, this book does give a lot of good ideas for making those years tolerable. I wasn't crazy about the religious bent of the book, but I was able to skim through most of the blah-blah-blah. The authors make some valid points about raising happy, mature men, but some of their language was a little overly dramatic for my taste. What I take away from this book: I need to keep loving my boys even when they seem unlovable, force them to spend time with me (and my husband), especially time in nature (which is a big thing for our family already), and maintain my slightly crazy sense of humor both as a way of interacting with them and as a method for coping with their hormone-induced insanity.

  • Janna
    2019-05-15 12:24

    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 Boy2) The Mind of a Boy3) The Heart of a BoyAnd 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.

  • Jesscia
    2019-05-18 06:23

    This is my FAVORITE book about boys. It comes at the subject from several angles including light neuroscience, social issues and the practical how-to handle issues. Since I read Wild Things the first time I have used what I learned there every day with my own two boys. For example, I know that my * year old is deep in the Lover stage of his development and is very difficult to manage AND very delicate. This book has helped me be gentle with him and we're both better off for it. It's a must-read for anyone working with kids. I'm reading this book for a 2nd time. I loved it the first time a few years ago and recommended it to my friend Emma. She couldn't get through the first 10 pages because she was annoyed by a Christian (DON"T STOP READING! THERE"S MORE!) theme I did not detect. I saw the authors addressing the physical, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of a boy as necessary to their message about how to create a whole boy.

  • Claire Johnson
    2019-05-10 12:41

    I loved this. Feeling completely clueless on how to love my boys most days, this gave me so much insight. Maybe I’ve just been living under a rock? But I’m so glad I own this book so I can come back to it to reference how to nurture my boys & not squash them. There are practical steps at the end of each chapter that we can take - which I really appreciated. I have to admit that I skipped the few chapters that didn’t relate to where my boys are yet. I’ll cross that bridge when we get to it!

  • Andrew Brooks
    2019-05-24 07:43

    MUST READ FOR ANYONE INVOLVED WITH BOYS. I will read and refer to this book again and again. Stephen James and David Thomas go into great detail about each stage of a boy's life. Looking back on my childhood and now having 2 boys of my own there were times I felt like they were describing me and my boys to a T. This isn't a "How To" book, which I appreciate. They explain the stages a boy goes through, offer insight, but leave the parenting and leadership up to the reader. So good!! This has become my favorite non-fiction book.

  • Abigail
    2019-05-27 08:41

    I loved the first two parts about boys from 2-4 and 5-8. You could tell the authors had boys in these age ranges. When they started addressing bx and issues in older kids, it stopped being personal and quickly became "studies show..." and "the majority of..." and even "the movie _____ shows the struggle of a boy going through..." YIKES! I had to keep reminding myself that all the horrible and terrifying things they reported my 12 year old son would say or do were taken from their experience with kids that come to their office for counseling. To me, that is not your typical sample pool. My husband quickly reassured me that I was right. I was also disappointed by the lack of Biblical basis, since I thought this was written from the Christian perspective. They mention guiding your son spiritually and morally, but in a very timid manner. More direction is taken from "Where the Wild Things Are", "Catcher in the Rye," and "A Christmas Story" than, say, the lives of Jesus, Samuel, Daniel, Timothy, David, etc.

  • Dalaina May
    2019-05-27 11:41

    I have 4 boys, and this book has been a God-send. It's another to re-read as my kids get older. In Wild Things, counselors James and Thomas explore what exactly it is that makes boys who they are and how best to parent them. They break down boyhood into 5 stages and explore the distinguishing characteristics of each stage from many standpoints - a boy's neurology & physiology, a boy's emotions, cognitive development, and spiritual life (yes, this book is written by Christian authors from a Christian perspective). As parents of boys themselves, the authors sprinkled hilarious stories from their own families and practices to illustrate their points and to remind other parents that their "wild things" are, in fact, normal. Above all, the book is intensely practical and discusses everything from rites of passage to discipline to ADD to masturbation. As a mom of three boys, I cannot recommend this book enough

  • Kw
    2019-05-25 06:15

    I only wish this could be "required reading" for all parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbors, teachers, friends - - - well, you get the picture. It is excellent. My other wish is that we'd had it four decades or so ago! ;-))

  • Courtney
    2019-05-08 07:31

    This is my second time reading this book up to the ages of my now three boys. It is interesting to see them all at different stages. There is so much information that it's more of a resource book to be examined rather than read all the way through.

  • Maya
    2019-05-05 04:35

    This is the best parenting book I have read to date (and I've read a lot). Obviously it's focused on those that have boys and how us as parents can bring them into manhood. It made me feel normal as a mother of boys and realize how the things I think are weird are part of them growing into men. What I love about the book is its focus on the boy's heart. It's not about discipline, to-do lists or methods, it's about how to reach our boys' hearts and guide them as they go through the stages to manhood. When they talk about the heart they mean "the core being of a boy - the feelings, needs, desires, longings, and hopes that are bound up inside each boy. A boy's heart is the essence of who he is created to be."The book goes into detail about each stage of development of a boy into manhood. The stages of the Explorer, the Lover, the Individual, the Wanderer, the Warrior are laid out in a fashion that is so easy to understand. First the authors describe each stage, go into the "lay of the land" for each and give specific details of what boys are like during the stages. They then talk about what boys need and how to put those principles into practice with tips for each stage. This layout makes it easy to go back and reference when you hit a new stage in your boys' life and want a refresher. The next section of the book covers how boys' brains function and develop, which is eye-opening when compared with girls and their development. The authors touch on education and how boys have such a difficulty of sitting still and how parents can help their boys in the area of learning with more hands-on, real life situations. The chapter on deficits and disappointments is brilliant in helping you understand how personally boys take things when their confidence is shattered and how allowing a boy to fail in his weaknesses, rather than covering up for him, teaches so much. It then goes on to talk about the specific relationships with the mother and then the father - how each is unique, brings about different character development in a boy and how he especially needs his father or another positive role model as he develops. Rites, ceremonies and rituals are discussed next and how in our Western culture we have not included this as part of coming into manhood. They give wonderful ideas on how to have this part of your boy growing and how meaningful it can be. The book ends with "hot topics" which include everything from sex, pornography, money and substance abuse. The short synopsis on each of these topics gives you a good base to start conversations with your boys. I feel as though I understand my sons more after reading this and it truly gave my husband and I great ideas on how to help them develop into honorable men. We will be referencing this book throughout their development. Some favorite parts (hard to narrow these down):- Boys need us first to recognize who they are. Then they need the help of wise and committed adults in navigating their way from boyhood to manhood. - ...whenever boys are in the equation, you may have to broaden your definition of normal. Once you have a boy in your life, things you never dreamed of become normal. - One of the most difficult - and yet beneficial - things we can do as parents is to sit with our boys while they are in pain and let their suffering soften our hearts as it softens theirs. - This is a journey of the heart, a journey that will either confirm him as a man or leave him trapped as a boy in man's body. - If they boys we love are going to keep their hearts, they will become targets of cynicism and sarcasm. They will be scorned for hoping, and daring to reach out, and being guided by the vision of who they are meant to be. And they will be ridiculed for having dreams that seem silly, unrealistic, idealistic, impractical, and unlikely.

  • Jill
    2019-05-20 07:31

    You know how we always lament that becoming a parent is a challenge because our children don't come with an instruction manual? Well, I think this book comes pretty close when it comes to raising up boys to be the best version of themselves. The authors do a great job of citing research and providing anecdotes to illustrate their key concepts and unpack all that goes into the turning of a boy into a man. I so appreciated learning about all of the stages a boy goes through as well as some specific focused topics on their heart and other issues pertinent to boys. The end of each chapter has great tips for putting into practice the concepts to help our boys flourish. A lot of the tips were fantastic, but I still recognize that how and when to implement some of those great ideas will depend largely on when our boys are ready. And knowing when our boys are ready will fall squarely on our (and our hubbys') shoulders. Which I guess is the main point of the book--be on top of who are boys are and what they need. Study them, engage with them, and remember they are their own person, created by God.....I also felt the theme of needing other significant adults in their lives come across loudly and clearly. I'm going to fervently start praying for those relationships for both of my kids (I do think girls need that too). Thankfully, a few folks have already stepped up and started reaching out to my kids and I feel very blessed by that.I do have to admit though, I'm a little unnerved by the fact that the significant adults that are necessary for boys to become the best versions of themselves, are also the adults most likely do to them harm (you know, in the sexual abuse department.) I guess this is where fervent prayer, wisdom in steering our boys toward respectable adults and keeping in good communication with our boys about their other adult relationships will be key.Overall, this book gave me lots of great tips and further confirmed that parenting is the ultimate spiritual and character building experience--for our children--but also for us!

  • Matt Willden
    2019-05-13 09:44

    Where has this book been all my parenting life? Fantastic insights into boyhood and what it means to love and treasure boys' uniqueness in a world that has ceased having patience with them. It demonstrates how so much of the environment we require boys to succeed in (particularly academic) can unwittingly predispose them to fail. Indeed it illustrates in countless ways how (spoiler alert!) boys differ from girls, and should not be forced into the girl mold. Many times in reading I found myself with these two reactions: 1) How do they know my sons so well!? And 2) [sigh] my sons aren't in need of dozens of medications--they're just boys! I find myself much more patient and understanding with behaviors that used to do nothing but raise my blood pressure. I apply their ideas constantly. Highly recommended!

  • Rhoda
    2019-05-17 11:31

    I really enjoyed this book! It is the first book I have read about boys and there have been many. It was an easy read and very applicable to both my teaching world and my personal world. The book is divided up into three parts. The first part highlights the various stages a boy goes through. The second part discusses the way a boy's brain works, the expectations boys are subjected to in school settings, and the benefits of disappointments in a boy's life. The final part takes you through the heart of the boy and highlights how the interaction between a boy and his mother and a boy and his father have a huge effect on the kind of man the boy will turn into as well as mentioning the importance of ceremonies or rites of passage for a boy.

  • Bugladynora
    2019-04-28 04:21

    I bought this book on a recommendation from a friend that had seen one of the authors speak at a conference. I LOVED this book for many reasons. It is full of practical advice on many topics in raising boys. I like the way it is arranged in sections based on age, and then again if for moms, dads, single parents and sections on discipline. I have two boys, one who is more typical and one who is more challenging and it was chock full of things to think about for both. It was encouraging and challenging, funny and poignant. I laughed and cried throughout the book. Honestly cannot recommend it enough, my friends are sick of hearing about it.

  • Amy
    2019-05-02 04:29

    Skimmed several books on raising boys in today's world and this was the one I settled on reading through. Authors are Christians (or so it was advertised on Amazon) and children psychologists and, most importantly fathers to boys, but their sensitive, practical, easy-to-understand science, not heavy-handed with the religiosity and not unrealistically Christian fundamentalist (like Dobson's Raising Boys which I did NOT care for) approach was ideal. Will be the book I recommend to other moms searching for something in this genre.

  • Laurie
    2019-05-02 10:22

    First book I've read specifically about boys, and it gave me relief! It sums up all of the roadblocks we've come to so far with our son. I will now employ the "I notice that you seem fidgety. Let's we how many times you can climb up and down the stairs in two minutes." approach. Gives good insight into boys minds - if you weren't ever a little boy how would you know? I'll come back to the book as the years go on because it spans the whole childhood range. Just enough advice on key topics to be an easy, informative read.

  • Ashley
    2019-05-18 07:29

    I don't know guys. I just did not like this book. I wanted to. I truly know there are differences between boys and girls because I have one (or more) of each. But something about this book came across as SO sexist to me. So I had a hard time really enjoying it. There are some interesting facts and truth in this book, but overall it didn't help me feel less stressed about raising boys. It actually left me feeling more anxious.

  • Virginia
    2019-04-27 08:30

    I kinda just skimmed over the book. I really like how they broke it down by ages and more than anything it was reassuring what's typical of boys at each age. It also made me realize how great boys can be and to try to take the things that drive me crazy about them and turn them into positive experiences. A lot of the suggestions I had heard before and it does have a Christian influence which I liked. More than anything it was just reassuring for me.

  • Lauren
    2019-05-05 10:27

    This book had so much practical advice for me as the mom of two girls and one boy. I learned that so many of my challenges with my youngest were completely normal and to do with who he is -- physically AND emotionally. I appreciated the book being broken down by age and topic. I've recommended this book sever times already!

  • Tom
    2019-04-28 06:25

    This book is very helpful for anyone who has son(s) and/or who is in a position of influence in the lives of boys. For me, it was helpful, and I plan on re-reading it. Only 3 stars because I disagree with the authors' basic assumptions about knowledge and development, but really, not a bad book. Filled with practical advice.

  • Deetz
    2019-05-25 12:18

    I felt the authors painted boys with a pretty broad brush, ie all boys are impulsive, active, loud, etc and I have taught long enough to know that isn't always the case. However since I am reading this because I do have a boy who is impulsive, active, wild, and loud the information was helpful for me.

  • Gina Varga
    2019-05-01 04:26

    Love, love, love this book. Down to earth, written from experience, funny, easy to read, immensely insightful. I recommend this book to anyone that has a son, or that works boys. I've read a lot of books about raising boys and this one is my favorite.

  • Vanessa
    2019-05-02 08:16

    I listened to this as an audiobook and it was great! I plan on getting it in hard copy. I'll definitely be referring back to it as my little guy grows.

  • Corissa Nelson
    2019-05-20 10:32

    This book helped me understand the how and why when it comes to the behavior of my little boys. It makes me smile.

  • Erin
    2019-05-05 07:45

    my favorite boy raising book! written by men who are fathers of boys who are believers and professional counselors of boys/men, so they provide a well-rounded perspective (which was a nice balance to all the mom voices I've read). I especially like that some of the chapters are based on ages/stages of development so you can pick up and read whatever chapter is pertinent at a given time. I also like the balance of psychology, spiritual, and practical advice/application. highly recommend to fellow boy moms ;)

  • Aga Artka
    2019-05-19 04:17

    I enjoyed the first half of the book the most. The differences between stages of development in a bay...what they need the most to age. I could do without the heavy God references, but overall...good read.

  • Christina
    2019-05-09 11:41

    This is an awesome insight on the many "tiers" of boys. I learned so much from this book. It is laced with humor and realistic stories of how to handle them in every stage. I love my boy, and now I can understand him better.

  • Laura
    2019-05-13 06:42

    Recommended by Heather McFadden

  • Dana
    2019-05-10 05:40


  • Mama.Keiki.Reads
    2019-04-28 06:28

    To understand my sons better, I borrowed Wild Things: the Art of Nurturing Boys, by Stephen James and David Thomas, from the library. And I’m glad that I did.The book is divided into three different parts. The first part describes the five stages of boyhood and adolescence—the explorer, lover, individual, wanderer, and warrior—and offers suggestions for how to handle boys at these stages. The second section analyzes what is going on in the brain of a boy and how that affects his learning spiritually, relationally, and cognitively. In the third part, which may be my favorite part of the book, the focus is on the heart of a boy and the roles his mom and dad have in raising him.While the focus of Wild Things is on raising boys specifically, I thought the book was a great parenting book, and many of the tips for raising boys could still be applied to raising girls, too, I believe. For me, this book was very useful in understanding the mind of a boy and why my boys are so physical and never seem to run out of energy. It also helped me to understand better that boys have difficulties in understanding emotions and that socially, they’ve been told not to show emotion. These little glimpses of being a boy gave me a little bit of relief that my sons aren’t the only ones doing crazy (mindless) things. It made me reflect on what kind of parent I am now and what I can do to help my children become the people they are called to be.