Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Review: Raising Boys

In 2013, Steve Biddulph released the third edition of his book, Raising Boys: Why Boys are Different - and How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men. He is hailed as "one of the world's best-known parenting authors." A family psychologist for more than thirty years, he draws from personal experience dealing with families struggling with their sons for one reason or another. Yet, I didn't find anything new or exceptionally helpful in this book. It basically offers up things I have read in other boy-centric parenting books.

Biddulph outlines the three stages of boyhood, how testosterone changes behavior, and how boys' brain development differs from girls'. He also deals with questions about preparing sons' attitudes toward sex, questions of involvement in sports, and issues with finding the best school environment for your sons. His book addresses moms and dads and provides encouragement for their separate and vitally important roles.

I think, of the books on raising boys which I have read, I would lean more toward recommending Boys Should Be Boys by Dr. Meg Meeker (a Christian book) or The Purpose of Boys by Michael Gurian. I got far more out of both of those titles than I did from this book. Indeed, I found myself skimming the pages, rather than devouring the information presented.

If you are looking for more books on raising boys, you couldn't go wrong with the suggestions offered up by Mia Wenjen of The Pragmatic Mom blog. Even though this post is over four years old, I believe the suggestions (of the top ten books for parents of boys) are more along the lines of books I might find appealing and informative. I'm also thrilled that she included Rachel Balducci's book on raising boys, How Do You Tuck in a Superhero (even though I haven't had a chance to read the book yet, I do visit her blog and appreciate her Christian insights into the process of building men from boys).

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