Way of the Warrior Kid

One of the crucial but magical stewardships we have as parents is teaching our children how the world works. For hundreds of years children have lived and worked in families, learning to feed and clothe themselves and navigate the world in order to thrive. Things have changed so much in the last 150 years to upend the family that the guiding and training have gone by the wayside for whole generations.

Stuart C. Reid wrote about this malaise in Generation Z is Turning to Tradition And Religion in the Salt Lake Tribune:

“The boomers’ consequential impact on the traditional family and organized religion has resulted in much higher rates of family breakup and the numerical decline of nearly all religions. These higher rates of dissolution and decline have had traumatic repercussions for many of the boomer children.’

“To compensate for being raised in a deluge of disruption, many of Generation X and millennials were overindulged by their boomer parents. The combination of disarray and entitlement these two generations were exposed to, has caused many among them to feel emotionally and spiritually adrift.”

Hence there is a large black hole sucking out the souls of our children. Having firm boundaries and holding our children accountable has become more and more difficult. Our prosperity and endless options are not showing a clear path to our children.

How refreshing to hear report of a book called Way of The Warrior Kid: From Wimpy to Warrior the Navy SEAL Way: A Novel“. I get a monthly email from Ryan Holiday with his favorites books listed and he read Warrior Kid to his son. I looked it up and over and over the reviewers said what a positive effect it had on their children.

I had to read it.

It’s the story of a 5th grader named Marc who feels weak, bullied and terrified to swim. He has no idea how to solve these problems in his life, until Uncle Jake comes and stays with him for the summer. Uncle Jake is a Navy Seal and teaches his nephew how to be a warrior. A humble, neat, smart, strong and brave warrior.

Uncle Jake teaches the “why”. Why it’s good to wake up early, to work hard at school, and to make your bed. This book illustrates how giving children mental models of how to be successful in their lives can give them direction and focus. Uncle Jake gives Marc a map or way, to navigate hard things, face his fears and when things do go well to stay humble and kind.

I didn’t love that Uncle Jake had Marc jump off a bridge. If you read this together with a child you can talk about that. I guess if you are going to have a Navy Seal mentor you then you expect that kind of stuff. That ‘s my only red flag.

A lot of Dads wrote the reviews for the book on Amazon. Some said it gave them a secret language with their kids. I think it gave them permission to hold their kids accountable and know that high standards are okay. The brilliance of this book is we get to read Marc’s fears and feelings and see how doing hard things is rewarding as he faces his fears and lives up to his potential. I loved seeing the trust Marc had in his Uncle Jake.

This book is a map for parents and children to get back to the values held dear for hundreds of years. I highly recommend it!

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