I think dads would be better off if everything came with a guidebook.
I don’t mean a set of verbal instructions to follow…but more like the playbook your high-school football coach carried everywhere.
A nice multi-colored, tabbed binder that would accommodate quick access to the situation of the day. Something with a lot of illustrations and diagrams.
Life would be so much easier if this were the case.
Come to think of it…that may be a creative work for me to tackle in the near future.
In the meantime however, there are a few tools that may assist you in your quest.
A Boy’s Guide to Girls
There are very few things in the life of a man that are more daunting than understanding women. And although you’ve grown more capable as you’ve gotten older, they are still perplexing.
Now think of it from a young boy’s perspective. You take away the years that have developed maturity and emotional control, and you are left with a pretty horrifying dilemma.
Couple this with hormonal changes, and as a dad, you might begin to consider investing in restraints.
However, I can assure you that there are better ways to approach this.
For instance, you could consider reading the latest book from Campbell and Hawkins titled “A Boy’s Guide to Girls.”
No, it is not a book of pictures and diagrams, but it is written with the intent of guiding young men through the turbulent “boy meets girl” phase of life.
First let me preface my recommendation with a little intentional parenting sidebar. I would suggest, as a reasonable father, reading this book yourself before handing it off to your son.
That may seem like a no-brainer but it will help to have a grasp on what is being suggested in the text so that you know how to coach your son along the way. Plus, if you haven’t already set an age for dating, this may help you begin to decipher whether or not your son is even ready for a deeper relationship.
Topics for Teaching
Keep in mind that this book is intended for a core audience that begins around age 12…so don’t be overly critical with your stylistic expectations.
But, I would also warn against dismissing this book as completely adolescent. There are some great little reminders in this book that husbands will benefit from as well.
As a dad or as a boy, you can expect to cover topics like:
- Are You Ready? – This section is actually a pretty thoughtful set of situational questions, which attempt to help a young man determine whether or not he is even really interested in girls yet. There is no reason for a boy to follow the crowd if their cares center more on tackle football in the back yard.
- Getting to Know a Girl – Show genuine interest in them. This means that you actually care about their likes and dislikes, their dreams, their hobbies. Plus, this is a valid pursuit for us married guys as well.
- Talking to Your Parents – Boy’s are coached on how to approach their parents when faced with things like dating and parties. Again, there are some really good tips here. The book urges honesty and respect and a willingness to see things from the parent’s perspective. Likewise, we dads could use these reminders when we are on the receiving end of a request like this.
- Girls and Social Media – This is probably a conversation that you will have with your kids prior to dating age, but it lists some valid do’s and don’ts for a boy in the digital age. Specifically, it coaches boys to be careful about what they share online and how to conduct themselves respectfully.
- Dating Activity “Do’s and Don’ts” – Going for a walk in a scenic place or getting a bite to eat…good. Making her play rugby with you and your buddies…not good. The authors also make a valid point here…it’s less about the activity and more about the time spent together. Once again dads, you should put this away in your memory bank as well.
Besides the five pointers that I listed above, the book offers 25 more that vary in scope and purpose. Some are light-hearted and some are heavy and meaningful.
Personally, I took four important lessons away from this book that lead me to my recommendation.
- It really encourages boys to work on focusing on someone other than themselves. Yes there are areas of inward focus, but the book does a great job of pointing out that it’s not always about them.
- The book actually teaches things that will help you parent your boy(s). It encourages respect, honesty and open communication. All traits that dads would long for their sons to know better.
- There is an abundance of practical tips and advice. It’s not just a theoretical parsing of words.
- It is easily adaptable. If your parenting style would lead you to change certain things, then you can talk through the reason for your disagreement.
As fathers you certainly remember how treacherous your adolescence was at times. From my humble perspective, this book will help you navigate it with a little less heartburn.
Have you raised boys…or are you currently raising them?
Do you have advice that you would like to add?
We would be thrilled for you to dialog with us in the comments section below.
More on the Books Publisher
For more information on this publisher and to view their other published works, check out their website at Boy’s and Girl’s Guide Books, and their blog at Growing Up Smart. You can also connect with them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for additional information and to be kept up to date on future projects that they plan to release.