Our Favorite Book for Fathering Boys

  by Chris Horst

There is no book I gift more than Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys. Our three boys make us subject matter specialists, so you can trust us on this one. This book helped us more than any other and when friends welcome a boy into the world, we view this as an invaluable gift. 

As parents of three sons, we are regularly confounded by situations that drive us back to this book’s friendly pages. Why did he think jumping from the top stair was a good idea? What did he think would happen when he kicked his sister in the head? Et cetera. 

Wild Things is the perfect companion for these questions. Coauthored by a pastor and a counselor, it offers a holistic spiritual, emotional, and clinical perspective on who boys are and how they grow. 

“Understanding how boys develop is foundational to our ability to care for our boys well,” write authors Stephen James and David Thomas, “and it can diminish our worries and concerns as our boys pass through different stages.”

This was exactly our experience reading the book. The brilliance of this book is how it makes normal what can feel insane. For parents of boys, we live with a regular sense of both joy and disbelief about the decisions our boys make. And Wild Things helps us understand how many of these decisions are not just predictable, but important stages in our sons’ development journey. 

We think of this book as a reference book. The book breaks down boys’ development in stages. And, when we have boys enter new stages, we pull it out and remind ourselves what we should expect. 

The book covers these stages, discusses the unique dynamics of a boy’s relationships with his mother and father, and covers all the bases you’d hope for in a book like this. 


Postscript: If you’re looking for great books to read with your younger kidsor older kidswe’ve got you covered.