It was suggested that my husband and I read this book by our family counselor. My initial thoughts were, "Hey, every kid is different. What is a book going to tell me about my individual children," but as I read it, I found DOZENS of correlations between my two very different identical twin sons and the general findings in her research, which weren't very general at all, they were very detailed and right on. Reading this book has given me the much needed tools to sit back and ask - Are my kids misbehaving or are they acting their age? Based on that assessment, I can communicate disipline much more effectively, and I have been. Having the tools to understand our kids has decreased their frustrations with us as parents and increased our patience levels with them as toddlers.
This was an easy read and very informative. I would highly recommend it to anyone with boys in their lives.
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I started with this book, and since it was helpful, I also bought the EPG to Positive Discipline, and next I'll get the EPG to the Strong-willed Child. (I have a strong-willed 3-year-old boy who is sometimes more like a bear cub than a boy!) I found that the books have some good insight into boys and what makes them tick, and some helpful, concrete ideas for "what to do!"
From this book, I found most helpful a little exercize in which the author has the parent write in response to specific questions, what kind of an adult the parent wants the child to become; then she places the ball squarely in your court and asks, OK, now how are you going to guide him there??!! I also found it helpful to learn that REPEATED, kind instruction and positive feedback are essential for toddlers. Offering safe choices, when it is practical, to to help the child feel capable. If you want your son to be able read easily, boys generally like a different kind of book than girls. Lots of little things like that, that I can apply. Also, the philosophy of the book kind of sinks in and gives my parenting direction, even when it is giving more abstract information.
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Not what I expected, this book helps parents understand how boys are emotionally different than girls and ways that parents can help develop compassion and integrity in their sons, despite what the outside world tells boys they need to do to become men. Would recommend reading for parents of boys of all ages.
There are so many books out there on raising boys, it's hard to choose. I've gotten though the first five chapters of this one, and decided to return it. It's 99% general stuff that applies equally to boys and girls, with a few snippets of boy-specific info peppered in here and there. One thing I really don't like about the book: there are frequent "side-bar" paragraphs with a headings like "FACT:" ... or "ESSENTIAL:"... etc. They are highlighted in the middle of the page with a paragraph break before and after... it makes me wonder, "Am I supposed to finish the page, then read this after, or stop and read this now... or what?" In fact, these eye-catchers really aren't "side-bars" at all. They are generally directly related to the rest of the text on the page, and could have been incorporated in a normal paragraph. It is clearly a useless gimmick thought up by the editors to "punch up" the text, making it look more fun, and print more pages. I'd like to just ignore it, but they appear on just about EVERY OTHER PAGE. It becomes tedious.