Raising Emotionally Strong Boys: Tools Your Son Can Build On for Life – David Thomas

Raising Emotionally Strong Boys: Tools Your Son Can Build on for Life by David Thomas
Published by Bethany House on June 14, 2022
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Parenting
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How can you help raise your sons to handle difficult emotions and process complex ideas of masculinity? Drawing from 25 years of counseling, David Thomas explains what's behind their anger issues, anxiety, and depression, and shares how to foster emotional intelligence within your sons by teaching them healthy, constructive ways to express their emotions.

This parenting book focuses on specific challenges that boys face in understanding and regulating their emotions. David Thomas shares both general information and examples from his counseling practice to show how many boys’ problematic, destructive behaviors stem from emotions that they don’t know how to handle. He encourages parents to create a culture of emotional openness in their homes, pushing back against unhealthy, limiting ideals of masculinity to make room for boys to fully experience and express a variety of emotions before they feel like exploding.

Raising Emotionally Strong Boys: Tools Your Son Can Build On for Life focuses on ways that parents can support their sons’ emotional development and manage mental health and behavioral problems by getting to the root of the issue. Thomas occasionally shares information from psychological research, but this is an advice-driven book, not an academic book with lots of studies cited. Thomas mainly focuses on examples from his clients, illustrating common problems and coping skills for them. He also concludes each chapter with reflective practices and action items parents can pursue.

This book comes from a Christian worldview and occasionally references Scripture, but it is also accessible to a general audience, with examples and advice that readers of any belief background can relate to and find helpful. However, I wish that Thomas had provided a range of examples for boys’ interests and activities. He routinely references sports as a major sphere of social and personal development, but even though massive numbers of boys do play sports, the constant assumption of athletic involvement could be frustrating to parents whose boys are interested in activities like music, art, theater, or robotics club. Nonetheless, the book’s primary content will be relevant and helpful to most families.