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Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different - and How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men Paperback – August 1, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Australian family therapist Biddulph (Manhood) joins the chorus of counselors calling for a focused, supportive approach to parenting boys. Citing such gender specific risks facing boys as a higher percentage of learning disabilities to greater threats of violence and suicide, Biddulph maps out parenting strategies for three distinct stages of growth, from birth to six years, from six to 14, and from 14 to adult. Choosing not to mince words, he advises fathers, for instance, "if you routinely work a fifty-five or sixty-hour week, including travel time, you just won't cut it as a dad." Citing studies that show boys are "more prone than girls to separation anxiety," he suggests keeping boys out of child care if possible before the age of three. He recommends delaying school entrance by a year to give boys time to develop fine motor skills, and calls sports a "double-edged sword" which, while enormously beneficial, can also encourage negative traits if sportsmanship is eclipsed by an obsession with winning. Biddulph delves into physiological matters, examining and explaining the role testosterone plays in shaping male children, and talking frankly about sexuality. Enhanced by plentiful sidebars, photos and cartoons, the material is presented in digestible chunks, and each chapter wraps up with a summary section, "In a Nutshell." This highly practical guide offers valuable perspectives to parents of both boys and girls.
Copyright 1998 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Publisher
A friendly and practical guide to the stages and issues in boys' development from birth to manhood. * Updates include recent findings on hearing problems specific to boys, revised statistics, and a questionnaire to assist in finding boy-friendly schools.
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I gave this two stars as it's not all bad; I appreciate learning that care by a family member or family day care is better than an institution for boys. While care by a family member is not attainable for all families, family-run day cares are. THIS is what I consider practical advice. I would appreciate some statistics or evidence to back up this claim, however.
What I don't appreciate is telling a full-time working father that he will fail as a parent. Look around and you'll know this is simply not true.
I think that this book really tells it like it is. He doesn't sugar coat it. I also think the person who took offense to his saying boys should stay out of daycare until 3 years old did not read the book very carefully. He does not say that mothers should not work, he says boys should not be put in institutionalized day care settings but that good home based day care or staying with a family member is acceptable. I've read this in other books as well that boys just don't do well in daycare they really need one on one close time with a single, consistent care-giver be it mom, dad, grandma or a home day care.
This book also says many times how it is not trying to put women down or trying to set back the women's movement, it is just trying to show how boys are different. I have already noticed this with my children. I have two girls and a boy and I quickly picked up that my son is 6 months to 12 months behind his older sister in his speaking, reasoning and his ABCs. I talked to his preschool teacher about it and was relieved to find out it is normal for boys to be behind girls and the teacher said exactly what this author says, boys catch up somewhere in middle school but until then they are 6-12 months behind girls emotionally and academically. My son has a September birthday and I will be holding him out a year to start kindergarten at 6 instead of 5. I have already seen it in his preschool class how boys are treated, unwillingly as defective girls. Girls take to things like circle time and learning while boys would rather vroom cars and build block towers. I agree whole heartedly with the author that boys acting out in preschool is because they are anxious or stressed out. Girls withdraw when stressed, boys act out, often aggressively.
If you are ready to hear what this author says then buy the book. He is very strong on dad being a big part of a boys life and goes as far to say if dad is working 55 to 65 hours a week he won't cut it as a dad. This is hard stuff to hear, but if you want your son to grow up to be a good man it will take sacrifice on everyone's part. If we want our daughters to marry good men we need to make sure that we are raising good sons.