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The book "Raising Boys" by Steve Biddulph

(64 Posts)
HiawathaDidntBotherTooMuch Tue 24-Jun-14 09:57:47

I have two boys, both under 6. I am all for understanding them better and raising them to be rounded human beings. I have heard this book recommended, so I had a quick flick through in the library last week. I found that, for me, it was pretty light, said things that I really already knew and thought were common sense, and wasn't at all enlightening.

Can anyone recommend another book about raising boys please?

kim147 Tue 24-Jun-14 10:02:53

You could ask on FWR. grin

How to talk so kids will listen. Faber / Mazlish.

Poofus Tue 24-Jun-14 10:33:31

Why should raising boys be any different from raising girls? confused

Poofus Tue 24-Jun-14 10:33:52

And yes, How To Talk is great.


He was on here for a webchat. It didn't go terribly well. Some of this may have been my fault.

Oh, and it seems raising bots should be different from raising girls because how else would you sell another book? wink

weebarra Tue 24-Jun-14 10:38:49

I found it wasn't a terribly helpful book . How to talk was much more useful. LRD - missed that, did you challenge him and he found it difficult to respond?

LumieresForMe Tue 24-Jun-14 10:40:56

I have two boys too. And read the book.
I didn't like it at all.

The 'how to talk' book is much much better IMO but you won't find any difference between boys and girls.
Tbh I found that there is no need to treat boys differently than girls. Actually I would say that there is a need of treating them exactly the same! Expect he same level of tidiness, ability to find their own stuff whilst learning to be caring and gentle. All the rest seems to be coming pretty easy grin

Springing Tue 24-Jun-14 10:41:46

Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by Daniel J Kindlon is a much more thoughtful, considered and interesting book.

LumieresForMe Tue 24-Jun-14 10:42:15

Curious to know what he thought was so different between boys and girls than they needed to be educated differently....

LumieresForMe Tue 24-Jun-14 10:46:01

spring that book sounds good I have to say and seems to match my own experience re my own dss.
I like how the author wants to cut through the myths such as the 'testosterone surge' which I think is one of the pillar of 'raising boys' in examining why they need to be tested differently.

Springing Tue 24-Jun-14 11:04:22

It's very interesting; addresses different developmental stages and challenges in the education system etc.

wee - I found him a bit patronizing and said so. Other people had asked him for sources for his claim that boys experience a testosterone surge that makes behave a certain way - he was very reluctant to provide his source, which seems a bit dodgy, and it's not (or wasn't at the time) easily found in the published scientific lit.

weebarra Tue 24-Jun-14 11:12:24

Interesting. I did read it and found it very simplistic. DS1 did become very difficult around the time of a "testosterone surge", but bearing in mind this was the summer between nursery and starting school and that all his female friends were behaving in the same way, I suspect it was to do with making a transition rather than hormones!

TortoiseUpATreeAgain Tue 24-Jun-14 11:17:35

The one thing I did find that Raising Boys had/has spot-on is the wanting to do everything with mother up to the age of around six, then transitioning to wanting to do more stuff with father. And I wouldn't be surprised to find when we get there that the stuff about wanting role models/involved adults outside the family unit in the teenage years isn't right too.

But that's not precisely earth-shattering and can be said in a single paragraph. Raising Cain was much better IMO (now if only I knew where my copy was so I could reread it now we're further on).

BertieBotts Tue 24-Jun-14 11:28:33

Delusions of Gender is great, and actually has had a profound effect on my parenting although it's not a parenting book per se - the chapter on tribe theory is fantastic and really hit the spot and cemented the not boy/girl but individual thing for me. You can skip a lot of the first part because it's just repeated debunked study after repeated debunked study.

Raising boys reads to me like a lot of "amazing" (but actually quite obvious) surface observations. People like it because you can read it and go "Yes! I've seen that! That's so true!" but this is about the extent of it. Every bit about what's "going on below the surface" is assumption and anecdote, there are no studies. The "practical advice" is common sense, assuming that his interpretation is true, which I think is quite a jump seeing as he seems to be making it up as he goes along. The testosterone surge, for example, oft-quoted as the cause of difficult behaviour in four year old boys, has been totally disproved. It doesn't exist!

I would be far more tempted to read a traditional/mainstream book on "raising girls" and apply that to boys and to read a mainstream book on "raising boys" and apply it to girls but maybe I just like to be contrary grin

LumieresForMe Tue 24-Jun-14 12:01:13

Lol Bertie I have to say, I think I have made a point in my parenting to sometimes 'treat them like girls' ie being very careful recall the emotional stuff instead if saying 'that's nothing! Just get on with it!' That they get at football for example.

TheWholeOfTheSpoon Tue 24-Jun-14 12:10:58

I think it's rather disingenuous to say raising boys is the same as raising girls, because it's not. I say that as a parent of a number of both.

BravePotato Tue 24-Jun-14 12:18:30

it is an MN thing.

I think boys are different from girls, and whilst education seems to favour girls at the moment (girls are outperforming boys) in society men hold a lot more power.

life is different for boys and girls, and boys can offer different challenges from girls.

they have the same rights and should be treated equal, and one sex is not more important than the other sex, but saying there are no differences is disingenuous.

LumieresForMe Tue 24-Jun-14 12:27:04

I personally prefer to say that they are individuals who gave individuals needs. Thinking in terms of boys or girls just restrictive IMO. What do you go with a girl who us a tomboy it the boy who like ballet, is quiet and caring? Ie the child that doesn't fit the mould?

I've never thought about boy or girl in my parenting. Where I do make a difference is when my dcs come back home saying crazy stuff that they've heard at the playground or from their teachers and it needs to be addressed. But that's because I want them to learn that men and women are just as able and that they are truly equals.

LumieresForMe Tue 24-Jun-14 12:27:57

Btw I don't think it just MN.

LumpySpacedPrincess Tue 24-Jun-14 12:34:42

Does anyone have a link to the webchat? I'm off ill today and could do with a laugh. grin

MyrtleDove Tue 24-Jun-14 12:51:56

Brave it's about gender, not sex.

Boys are not inherently different to girls. They may be socialised into different gender roles, but that is an artificial difference and is not inherent. Reacting to society as a boy and being a boy are two different issues regarding gender.

BravePotato Tue 24-Jun-14 12:59:28

I don't subscribe to the idea that gender is a societal invention.

I also don't think you can separate ideals, or reality from society.

Life is different for boys and girls. partly through innate differences (biological differences, physical as well s emotional. Like girls maturing quicker and being about a year ahead of boys, like girls being taller at age 11, and boys the catching up later. Emotional differences too, and a different way of learning. Current ways of educating children suits girls better than boys)

Saying there is no difference is not helpful or true. Yes, they should eb treated equally by society, have equal rights, but that does not mean they ARE the same.

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