Recognising the gender difference
There is debate amongst some scientists and anthropologists about whether there is a difference between boys and girls brains or whether absolutely everything is the influence of external, sociological forces. Every parent I have spoken to reckons there is a fundamental difference in the way boys and girls are wired. Sometimes just because science doesn’t have a clear answer doesn’t mean parents don’t trust their own intuition.
This internationally acclaimed book says boys brains are different, boys need to be treated differently and parents need to educate themselves to ensure they support their boys in the best possible way. Our society is very feminine, it doesn’t always feel like it to a girl but overall everything from emotions to education to family life is fairly female orientated these days. This book points out that boys need to be boys and they need the support and understanding of those around them to develop the life skills necessary from that experience.
Fathers are key
Fathers play a vital role in a boys life – but the book does talk about how to help your son if you are a single mother by finding a suitable male role model. Many groups in modern society have almost written fathers out of the picture and it is not politically correct to take issue with this but the stark reality is that boys need men. And for that matter, as the many fathers support websites will testify – fathers need their sons.
Biddulph recognises stages that boys progress through; birth to six a very mother-orientated period, six to fourteen is when the world seeps in and the boy starts looking for male role models and fourteen to adult is when male mentors outside the family play a vital role as independence is sort and more guidance is needed than an equally ill equipped peer group.
Boys need tender love as well as clear structure but the book is not prescriptive, it is designed to guide parental thinking and help parents work through their approach to their boys.
As the man says…
As Biddulph writes “Boys don’t just grow up in a smooth and even way. You can’t just shovel in cereal, provide clean T-shirts, and have them one day wake up as a man! A certain sequence has to be followed. Anyone who spends time around boys will be amazed at how they change, and the range of moods and energies which they show at different times. The puzzle is to understand what is needed – and when.”
This book is short, clearly laid out and very easy to read. I recommend it to anyone with sons, even if you flick through it in a couple of evenings and say it is all obvious. Some things are only obvious when they are spelt out.
He has also written ‘raising girls’ so no one should feel left out!