Friday, January 15, 2010

Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph

Biddulph, Steve - Raising Boys From

From award-winning psychologist Steve Biddulph comes an expanded and updated edition of RAISING BOYS, his international best seller published in 14 countries. His complete guide for parents, educators, and relatives includes chapters on testosterone, sports, and how boys' and girls' brains differ. With gentle humor and proven wisdom, RAISING BOYS focuses on boys' unique developmental needs to help them be happy and healthy at every stage of life.

This isn't what I was planning to read next, but I saw it sitting on the "recently returned" shelf at the library and vaguely remembered hearing about it (although I couldn't remember if what I'd heard was good or bad). So I picked it up and brought it home.

It isn't long, with larger print than normal and an easy style. That make for a quick read - although I admit I skimmed the latter chapters as my son isn't anywhere that old yet and I was feeling pretty tired anyway.

I don't think there's anything mind-bogglingly new here, but it's a solid collection on current theories on raising boys. There is, unsrprisingly given the title and subject, a focus on how boys are different from girls. The author stresses that these differences aren't enormous, but they are there. And because of that, no matter how much gender-equality you try to bring into your child raising, boys are always going to be different from girls.

Biddulph places boys into three age groups that he considers to be times when boys need different types of care and attention. My son is just transitioning from the first (zero to six and needing plenty of motherly attention) to the second (six to fourteen and starting to need more time and attention from dad). I must say, that we are starting to see exactly this progression of needs in our boy, so that gives me some faith in Biddulph's conclusions.

There is a lot of focus on fathers and how important fathers are in developing healthy, mature young men. He is also quick to point out the wonderful job single mothers do, but insists boys also need dependable, healthy male role models. Personally, I would agree with this and I'm very grateful my son has a loving and involved dad.

Because of that, the book didn't have lots of new things to say to me personally, but it was certainly an interesting read and did provide a few ideas to try. Although it isn't his kind of thing, I'm going to try to get my husband to read it before it goes back to the library, even if he just focuses on the six-to-fourteen part.

Raising Boys
Steve Biddulph
Read: 14-1-10 to 15-1-10


Koreen said...


Hi, this is my first time to your blog and I love all the books you have listed--such a range. Raising Boys is one that I've wanted to check out for a while because I have two sons. It amazes me how much different they are from each other, but they definitely have certain traits that seem very "boyish" no matter how different they are. Maybe Biddulph will have some insight.

orannia said...

Oh, sounds very interesting...and relevant :)