THE GOOD SON by Michael Gurian

THE GOOD SON

Shaping the Moral Development of Our Boys and Young Men

KIRKUS REVIEW

A practical guide for parents in raising sons to become compassionate and responsible men. In calling for a “moral and ethical revival in the raising of boys,” therapist Gurian, the author of two prior books about raising boys, speaks to the concern of many that our culture is failing to develop character in its young males. After examining the gender differences in male brains, hormones, and social acculturation that place them at greater risk than females, he argues that boys need more structure, discipline, guidance, and training than is commonly provided. He then spells out the details in a “Good Son Parenting Plan.” The plan addresses the values of decency, fairness, empathy, self-sacrifice, respect, loyalty, service, responsibility, honesty, and honor. Each chapter tackles a stage of life: the age of obedience, comprising infancy, the toddler years, ages five and six; the age of convention: ages seven and eight, preadolescence, and prepuberty; and the age of moral intuition: puberty, the middle teens, and preadulthood. Instructive stories from a variety of sources open and close each chapter—fables and myths from India, Hawaii, and East Africa, as well as personal experiences of parents and teachers. In each chapter the author traces the intellectual, emotional, and moral development occurring in that stage, and considers issues most likely to arise. He includes practical advice on dozens of issues from bedtime, television, and bullying to peer pressures, sex, drugs, and alcohol. Two features especially helpful to parents are “The Range of Normal” and “Rules to Live By,” in which Gurian sums up what is to be expected in a boy’s life at each stage. Appendices provide not only reading lists for parents but a selection of age-appropriate books and movies for stimulating moral growth in boys. A well-planned program whose nonsectarian, nonpreachy approach makes it an appropriate guide for all parents concerned about the moral development of their sons.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1999
ISBN: 0-87477-985-5
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Tarcher/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2000




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