If you have been struggling to figure your son out and are looking for a parenting book on boys, this is it.
I have a super-sensitive boy and I have been struggling for a long time to figure out how to deal with him. In a world that still largely believes that boys don’t cry, this is a big problem. In the introduction to “Raising Boys”, Biddulph highlights some of the problems we are having with boys today because they haven’t been getting the attention they need. Compared to the girls, less boys are finishing school, less boys are going on to college, and boys in general are performing more poorly at school. While the girls are “focused, clear-headed, and know where they are going”, the boys usually don’t have a clue. They are “adrift in life, failing at school, awkward in relationships; at risk for violence, alcohol, and drugs”. Between the ages of 15 and 25, boys are “three times more likely than girls to die, usually from accidents, violence and suicide… And for every boy who dies on the road, ten more are left brain damaged or wheelchair bound”.
If you are concerned, like I am, about our boys and the life they are embarking upon, Steve Biddulph’s book provides excellent advice on how to raise our boys to become young men who are “happy, creative, confident, safe, thoughtful, and kind”.
What’s in this book?
Chapter 1 – introduction: what is it with boys?
Chapter 2 – the three stages of development and the different people who are important in each stage.
Chapter 3 – the effects of hormones on boys’ behaviours and how to handle it.
Chapter 4 – how boys’ brains are wired differently from girls so we know how to engage them more appropriately.
Chapter 5 – the importance of fathers and how they can help their sons navigate life; even single mothers need good men to help her son get on in life.
Chapters 6 – the importance of mothers – they help boys acquire people skills and learn to get along with members of the opposite sex.
Chapter 7 – boys and sex and having healthy relationships.
Chapter 8 – boys in school and how to make the most of the years in school because this is often where boys fall apart.
Chapter 9 – how to make sports more meaningful for our boys rather than being the detriment it can sometimes be.
Chapter 10 – the role of the community because it’s true that it takes a village to raise a child.
Biddulph’s book has provided insights into boyhood that has really helped me come to terms with a number of stereotypical beliefs I have been told about boys. It has given me reassurance in areas I was uncertain about and has provided a lot of insight into the years to come, including the years that I fear the most – the teenage years. We are no longer in the world of single-parenting where mothers do all the necessary for the children while fathers bring home the bacon. Fathers, too, have their roles to play and it is vital for the healthy development of our boys. While this stereotype may no longer be the case in many families (thankfully!) it is still the case in some of the more traditional families and we need to breakaway from it.
This book is a must read for any parents with boys.