Aargh telegraph article on 'raising happy boys'(12 Posts)
My friend who has just given birth to a boy has shared this on fb and tagged me (I have 2 boys) with it.
The problem is I pretty much disagree with every word it says. Full of lazy gender stereotypes.
Boys are 'emotionally uncomplicated' but young men have higher suicide rates than women???? Why can't the writer see the inconsistency there? Maybe one of the reasons for high rates of male suicide is because society diesnt acknowledge boys' complex emotions and instead treats them like dogs who need to be worn out by running round the park.....
But the thing is, I don't feel like I can challenge my friend and burst her bubble seeing as she gave birth a week ago- not sure if an in depth discussion about suicide is really appropriate.....
I read that and just thought the writer has no idea what girls are like so has just invented an article based around her own assumptions.
I have a thoughtful, quiet, tidy boy and a boisterous dirt magnet for a daughter, for a start.
You're right, it's awful! The following could apply to my 6yo DD as well as my 8yo DS...
"Love, sticks, Sellotape, interesting stones, firm rules, snacks, outdoor space and judicious use of turning a blind eye. Add time and cuddles..."
"Allow for running, jumping, climbing, even in the house. To minimise this, do trips to the park, followed by trips to the park, followed by trips to the park. .."
"Wet towels/T-shirts/pants/homework will always be on the floor. Get used to endless reruns of Top Gear.."
All of the above applies to raising children, regardless of gender. IME very few of them are quiet and tidy.
I agree that the article has simplified boys. What she says about how to raise boys (parks, cuddles, reading to them) applies to girls too!
Most of her points describe my daughter, but not my three sons. She is the most untidy, the only one who wants to play outside, and the only one interested in cars.
Hmmm. It did annoy me too. Things like 'forget piano and violin lessons, get guitar instead', when she's openly admitted her DSs play guitar. Maybe get them as well, but I see a lot of great female and male lead violinists and players in general in the string section of orchestras.
My DS isn't particularly like this. He enjoys reading, not hugely physical, likes playing with girls and boys... OK he does like construction toys and collecting wildlife, but he's not many other of these, as you say, lazy stereotypes.
The only thing I would agree with is giving of physical affection. If anyone out there ever was or still is 'cuddle light' to make their son 'more of a man', I would suggest it had the opposite effect. I feel sure a boy would grow up far more self assured if he had a firm bedrock of affection coming from his family.
Dang it, that food comment is still grating. Why the fuck are males unable to source their own food when they come in hungry? I kind of want to punch her in the face for that one image of the world revolving around food provided by the good little wifey.
The cause of the higher rate of autism in boys is complex. There might also be a higher rate of premature births in boys, but correlation does not imply causation.
What a load of bollocks. Ds1 is the most emotionally complex person I've ever met, is reasonably tidy, plays brass (sister has a guitar - he's not interested), reads all the time and could get a medal in grudge holding.
I notice she missed out that men are more likely to be the perpetrators of violent crime as well as the victims.
I read it as just a light hearted article (and it did actually relate very clearly to my own DS ) - I wouldn't enter into a huge discussion about it with your friend, just say 'interesting reading' and coo over her new baby. .
I'd love to know how to get paid for writing that sort of drivel though .
Ragwort do you have a dd?
I read the article and thought it describes both my boys really well (apart from guitar. Ds1 plays brass) but then realised that so far, it describes my dd too. She loves parks, climbing and sticks.
No, I don't have a DD and I agree the article is very 'stereotyped' but again, I thought it was just light hearted and would never take such a piece of writing as serious.
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