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Raising Boys

(54 Posts)
LunaFairy Wed 27-Aug-08 16:30:13

After reading a post regarding a mothers worry about her ds, a recommendation by another postee advised to buy a book called 'Raising Boys'. I decided to buy it (i've never felt the need to refer to a book before about my child) but I wanted to understand a bit more about 'boys'. Being a female and having a large age gap between me and my older brother, I felt a bit out of touch with understanding what boys go through as they grow up. I finished the book today - It's a great read and it's highlighted some points that I hope will help me understand so much more about my little man. Has anyone else read this book?

claricebeansmum Wed 27-Aug-08 16:32:38

Yes. I need to re-read it - thanks for the reminder.

I was an only child so have no idea what boys are supposed to do. DS has been a complete revelation but I now do understand why men are like they are. They never really change! grin

LunaFairy Wed 27-Aug-08 17:07:57

I'm so pleased I've read the book.

It's a real eye opener. I feel this book has mentally prepared me for the years ahead and will be read again and again as my ds grows from baby to teenager. It's given me an insight on my hubby as well!! Glad you found the book beneficial as well smile

I refer to it quite a lot, the girls version is excellent too.

quinne Wed 27-Aug-08 17:15:22

I read it too. The only book on child care I've ever read since a bad first experience with the must-not-be-mentioned-on-mumsnet book.

The bit I liked about it was how it clarified who boys look to for guidance (Mum until 7ish, then primarily Dad until 14ish and after that a series of male role models, which scarily could include the local thugs. I took from it that we have until around 14 to give our sons as much judgement of their own as we can and then just pray that they don't fall into bad hands after that. A bit simplistic but this is how I remember the book.

One thing which made me think though, is what happens to boys who don't have their fathers around for whatever reason?

Pheebe Wed 27-Aug-08 17:41:07

I thought so too til I discovered that his great theory about testosterone surges is completely made up! There's no scientifiic evidence to back up his theory and he's based his whole thesis on it! feel so ashamed that I've used his theory when offering advice to other mums in the past blush

Having said that, there's still alot of good advice in there particularly about providing appropriate roles models, the importance of a father figure and the balance between mothering and fathering. Of course thats all very well if you are in a traditional relationship...

stevebauthor Wed 05-Nov-08 09:17:58

Dear Mumsnet readers

I received a notification on my browser that
my work was being discussed here. Thats great and thankyou for the kind words.

However a comment that the testosterone work is
"made up" needs correcting. Raising Boys is based on sound research, it has to be as I am a psychologist and would lose my licence if I made false claims. Boys hormone cycles are not fully understood but the following information is well established...

Testosterone starts to rise in boys at about 13, causing the disoriented and forgetful
unco-ordinated stage in most boys, and peaks
dramatically at 14, around 800% of its pre-
puberty levels. 14 is the famously most difficult age, for boys and parents. The book has lots of advice for this.

In five year olds, there is also a smaller surge, but the behavioural shift - from focussing on mum to
focussing on dad, happens regularly at 6.
We don't know if its connected. I don't know of any hormone changes or special naughtiness
peeaking at four.

Anyhow, great to hear all these great mums supporting each other and caring so much for their boys - and girls.

Sorry I am not able to join discussions or answer questions normally, just wanted to set the record straight.

Steve Biddulph

stevebauthor Wed 05-Nov-08 09:19:58

P.S. Pheebe, could you let me know where or from whom you got that idea that testosterone is not a proven concept ?

Steve B.

RubySlippers Wed 05-Nov-08 09:22:36


MrsCATHERINEWHEELsley Wed 05-Nov-08 09:29:31

I was going to post put now I'm too scared grin

MrsCATHERINEWHEELsley Wed 05-Nov-08 09:29:56

but even blush

MrsCATHERINEWHEELsley Wed 05-Nov-08 09:35:09

Seriously when I first read this book (with first DS) I was hmm about it as so much of the descriptions/advice about boys just didn't fit with how my DS was and is but then I had my second son and found myself agreeing with this book on so many things.

Definately worth reading and re-reading with each DS.

katiek123 Wed 05-Nov-08 09:36:17

me too cw. <<reverent whisper>> hello steve...<<realises what a golden opportunity this is>> now, could i just bend your ear for approximately two hours about my 5 yr-old's behavioural quirks? grin

cba Wed 05-Nov-08 09:36:49

oh, this has made me giggle. Wow, on the ball Steve. It is a fab book.

Niecie Wed 05-Nov-08 09:37:21

Goodness is that for real or is that a very intelligent troll?!

I've read it, and at the risk of appearing a creep, like it a lot. DS1 is 8 now and a lot of it is holding true for him. I even think I noticed the testosterone surges!

cba Wed 05-Nov-08 09:37:31

yes, could we not get steve on for mumsnet chat. It would be very popular.

katiek123 Wed 05-Nov-08 09:39:02

ooh i had forgotten about the (apparently now NOT made-up smile) surge at 5 - this maybe explains why my DS has suddenly become so very horrid from a normally placid and amiable baseline! am scurrying off to the bookshelf to dust off my copy immediately - thanks girls and <<awed tones>> steve!

Troutpout Wed 05-Nov-08 09:41:20

It was a good read...a lot of it was reassuringly just common sense stuff too.
You do need to re-read those books. i have a few that i dip into.
Now girls...girls are difficult for me atm...i think i might seek out the girl version.

katiek123 Wed 05-Nov-08 09:41:44

at the moment i can't bloody wait until he shifts his attention from me to his dad - roll on next year when he turns 6 grin

Lizzylou Wed 05-Nov-08 09:43:58

Raising Boys was such a good buy for me, have two boys and grew up with a brother but am female, so was worried about not understanding them.
Yes, the surge is apparent in my DS1 atm!
Have recommended this book to all my friends with boys.

katiek123 Wed 05-Nov-08 09:44:20

yes troutpout i have spend the last 7 years obsessing over my spirited DD - only recently have i had to consider my usually lovely, limpid-blue-eyed boy in a more negative light. i definitely like the hormone surge theory a lot. it's my new favourite in explanation at now i am REALLY wasting time when i should be doing my <<<screech of horror>> tax return hmm

InTheDollshouse Wed 05-Nov-08 09:45:25

hmm I for one would like some references to support the testosterone surge at age 5.

Troutpout Wed 05-Nov-08 09:45:59

oops only read the first 2 posts
<<back peddles furiously>>
Obviously it also had lots of proven data from scientific studies and not just common sense twaddle


MrsCATHERINEWHEELsley Wed 05-Nov-08 09:49:45

Troutpout are you mad? winkgrin No-one could ever right a proper book about how and why girls act and think as they do because we are such complex beings. No 2 are the same. We are unique in every way. wink


noonki Wed 05-Nov-08 09:52:07

I don't have any scientifci proof about the testosterone surge, I have seen lots of proof it with children I know!

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