Saturday, September 02, 2006

The dangerous book for boys

A new book here in the UK has been doing very well in the best-seller charts. Its called 'The dangerous book for books', and is basically a book of facts and projects of interest to boys (and their dads, and indeed boys of all ages!).

These sorts of books used to be popular in the past, but haven't been around in the last few decades; almost certainly due to the twin influences of political correctness and feminism.

I was looking through the reviews of the book, and I came across this one, which was so touching that I've decided to reproduce it here. It was written by a man called Darren (not me!).

Money well spent for father/son bonding opportunities

If you're a father with boys and are going through a separation and a possible divorce and are looking for opportunities to protect the bond between you and your sons in this time of confusion, then this is a very useful book. Let me tell you my story about how this book is helping the relationship between me and my sons:

I'm a father of two boys, 6 and 7 years old.

I'm separated and divorcing and their mother is contesting (unsuccessfully so far I am pleased to say) the 50/50 shared care arrangement we have (2 nights a week each and alternate weekends)

In this time of upset, enjoyable time and bond-enhancing opportunities are very very welcome and we seek such moments a lot. Me, "What can I do with my boys?" and them, "What can we do with dad that mum wouldn't be interested in?" (like climbing trees in the local wood)

The boys and I often visit Ottakers bookshop when we're together in town and paw through books about pirates and space and the world, all this fuelling our imagination and being the catalyst for "What if..." stories between us.

About two weeks ago during one of these trips into Ottakers I saw this book as soon as I walked through the door.

Its big red cover and big gold letters stood out. I picked it up and carried it to the reading table at the back of the shop.

I found that turning the pages gave us a lot of things to talk about, and their interest and curiosity was instantly captured when they saw things like, "How to make a bow and arrow?", "About the world, how to tell the age of a tree?". It captivated us for the entire 30 minutes we were there, and I had a strong feeling we had to buy it.

The book gave us plenty of bedtime discussions. I agree, some of the things are a little too over their heads, like the chapter on Light (they've already asked what is light, but the chapter on light talks about wavelengths, so it's a little too heavy for a 6 and 7 year old).

But there's plenty of other gems in there to chat about.

The boys have even asked for the book by name, "Dad, can we read The Dangerous Book for Boys?"

and here's what it's done for us:

They came to me recently with drawings on how to make a go-kart. They saw the chapter "How to make a go-kart" which has instantly captured their imagination and interest, and they started to fantasise about building one and began to make drawings of building instructions.

Every morning when I took them to school, they would bring up the subject of how to make it. I'd say, "The only problem I think we'll have is the wheels" which would lead us onto educational discussions as they'd say, "Can we make them out of cardboard?" and we'd discuss how strong cardboard is compared with, say, wood.

Anyway, here's the latest: I have the boys for the second half of the summer holidays and guess what they want to do as a project?

Yep, we're going to make a go-kart.

For all you fathers out there looking for opportunities to bond with your sons, whether you're still in a relationship with their mother or whether that's since turned sour, give this book a try. I think you'll find it captures both your and their imaginations alike.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great book! No feminizing activities or ideas here,just lots of real boy and father projects like ward and wally cleaver might do.