Masterminds & Wingmen by Rosalind Wiseman is above all else a fantastic read! After perusing through it over the last few weeks one thought immediately comes to my mind – if you are someone who has any interaction with boys, this book should be continually clutched under your arm as a guide to how to navigate the shark-infested waters otherwise known as “raising boys.”
What I love most about this book is its reference manual style. This is not something that you have to read in its entirety from cover to cover but more a book you can use as a reference point for a particular problem or situation. Son comes home tight-lipped and you suspect it is an issue with friends? No problem, grab a cup of tea and flip to chapter three – Popularity and Groups. Having an issue detaching your son from the ever tightening grip of social media? Chapter nine, “Social Networking” should help direct your intervention. I am a huge fan of parenting books in this style.
One of the more appealing aspects of this book is that it is based in the absolute true reality of day-to-day parenting of boys. This book offers no pretenses and no illusions about just how hard this can be for parents and is quite frank about the lack of support parents of boys get from our modern day culture. I like it…and find its honesty quite refreshing. She really encourages parents to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and start finding solutions since after all, it’s all up to us.
If I had to choose a favorite chapter it would be thirteen, “Redemption and Reconciliation.” Many parenting books focus on the surface stuff. For me, this chapter reaches the depths that parents really need to go. Teaching our young boys that they will sometimes fail, mess up, or find themselves in situations which will require them to really dig deep to get out of. I like that Wiseman encourages parents to teach their young men about how to respond to difficult situations – and everything is in the way you respond. Responsibility, redemption, and reconciliation are the key to her message and I think parents everywhere would do well to really digest that message.
The most applicable chapter for parents today is definitely chapter nine on social networking. Because of social media, parenting today is harder than ever before. The entire universe (literally) seems against us and it is a scary place to just throw our children without adequate preparation. Since cutting them off completely is very unlikely, Wiseman really encourages earning trust and building skills so that they are prepared. As a teacher I see firsthand on a daily basis the negatives of social media and how that can impact our young boys. It is an entirely different world than we grew up in and this book really discusses how to prepare your son for that world – it is something no parent can afford not to do.
If you’re interacting with young boys this book would be the perfect addition to your parenting arsenal!