What makes a good father, and what makes one a failure? Does less-is-more parenting inspire independence and strength, or does it encourage defiance and trouble? Kickflip Boys is the story of a father’s struggle to understand his willful skateboarder sons, challengers of authority and convention, to accept his role as a vulnerable “skate dad,” and to confront his fears that the boys are destined for an unconventional and potentially fraught future.
Like Thompson, I couldn’t look away either. The book held my attention and kept me in a perpetual state of eagerness to find out what happened next ... Thompson is not an idiot; I’m sure he expected some readers to raise their hackles at Leo and Sean’s misadventures. But that gives him more reason to write Kickflip Boys, not less. Parenting is an art, not a science, and the honesty he brings to the narrative is commendable. It’s brave for a family to open themselves up to the public like this, and that vulnerability should be recognized. Because of Thompson’s humility and accessibility, any parent could find something to learn in these pages ... Thompson tells a compelling story with vivid language, bracing honesty, and sincere soul-searching.
The lacerating power of some of the chapters comes from the author’s recognition that he has perhaps 'become their enabler,' that he didn’t recognize where all this was leading until it was almost too late ... A highly candid memoir of parenthood that often fascinates and occasionally frustrates as the author tries to come to terms with the causes that have produced these particular effects.