A Boy's Guide to Making Really Good Choices, by Jim George
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers
Publication date: October 1, 2013
Category: Christian, Parenting
Source: from publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Raising boys...different from girls, that's for sure. And don't tell me having a tomboy or a girl who eats a lot is the same, because I have one of those too and it's still not the same. Like girls, the choices boys make in life can be detrimental. There are basic, habit forming choices boys can make that will form a solid foundation for their adult life. A Boy's Guide to Making Really Good Choices, by Jim George, details these "choice opportunities."
Chapter by chapter, this book discusses topics in which boys must realize they have choices. All discussion is backed by examples, stories, and Bible verses. The chapters are titled as:
1. You have a Choice. Many times we do or don't do things thinking it was all we could or couldn't do, when really, we had a choice. This chapter establishes that just about everything we do is a choice.
2. Choosing to Obey. A smart piece of this chapter is that George talks about how bad choices don't always look like bad choices, so sometimes we have to think things through and trust that our parents have a good reason for the rules they make.
3. Choosing to Pray. Talks to boys about how prayer is communication with God, which is detrimental to Christian life. This chapter also speaks to the promises God gives about prayer and the purposes of prayer in life.
4. Choosing to Read My Bible. This should be fairly obvious...talking about why Bible reading is important to daily life (closeness to God and direction for life) and how making the choice to read or not will affect a boy in various ways.
5. Choosing to Get Up. Kids' lives center around getting a good start to the day. This chapter talks about choosing the right things to start the day at its best. George gives seven steps for boys to follow to make this happen every day.
6. Choosing Your Friends. The topic here concerns itself with the misstep of following certain crowds and what to look for in friends. What I liked here was that the author encourages boys to involve their parents in discussing friendships and tells boys to be themselves. Trying to be someone you're not will only leave you lonely in the end and possibly with some worse consequences than others, depending on the path down which you follow those friends.
7. Choosing What to Say. Another good topic and hardship of teenhood...controlling your mouth. Things touched on here are saying hurtful words, your words as a view of your heart, and speaking the truth.
8. Choosing to be Patient. George gives and discusses a series of steps for boys to follow to keep their patience. Learn to wait, ask for patience, take ten, ignore insults, learn endurance, never try to get even, carry Jesus' example, even out your temper.
9. Choosing a Happy Heart. I like that this chapter differentiates between "happiness" and "joy," pointing out that things can wreck your happiness, but you have the choice to remain joyful. The example used is of a boy named Justin whose parents are throwing a Christmas party and he is asked to help clean and set up. Of course, he doesn't want to help....the chapter works the information through this scenario as an example, showing how choosing an attitude of joy can change us as opposed to attitudes of anger.
10. Choosing to Trust God. Even in the midst of bad decision making, we can go back to God for help. This chapter shows boys how to seek God to straighten these things out and make changes in their choices for the future.
This book was pretty much the same as the version written for girls. There is only one topic that is different between the two books. The only other difference is the scenarios used to explain bad and good choices. The scenarios in this book seem a little more severe than those used in the girls' book, although my son is only eight, so I guess I wouldn't know if they truly are severe or not.
Boys ages 8-11 would do well with this book I think. I would also recommend flipping through a physical copy before purchasing it to make sure it seems like something you'd want to use. Seeing it can make all the difference in deciding how it may work with your boy or if you can utilize it in some way. I am finding many of these books written toward sons and daughters to be more useful if I read them and then interject the information into conversation at opportune times.