Bringing up boys
There are a number of guides to bringing up boys -- from whole books to the brief summary below
Also worth mention is "Bringing Up Boys" by James C. Dobson
and "Raising Boys In The Twenty-First Century" by: Steve Biddulph
There are also a number of articles from mothers and others that range from realistic to feminist nonsense
What I want to emphasize is that a lot will depend on the average boy. There probably are a number of behaviours that are common around the middle of the range but many boys will fall outside the mainstream range. And the smarter the child is and the older the child gets all the simple generalizations fall way
I knew one boy, for instance, who would never run despite one being tempted by the generalization that all boys run a lot. The boy was a very bright bookish sort so was just not interested in physical activity. And I am not talking about myself. I ran quite a lot in my childhood.
So the point I want to press here is that the category "boy" is just too wide. There are many different types of boy. The well-known authors generally write sensibly and do lay down a template that many boys will tend to follow with good results. But we must never insist on some behaviour we have read about in books. Most boys, for instance will enjoy going camping but a minority will loathe it. There is no "one size fits all"
It's easy to see why boys get a bad press. Male toddlers are noisy and hyperactive. Pre-teen boys are immature, can't concentrate, won't sit still. Teenage boys are so negatively perceived that if you didn't actually know any, you'd think they were all drug addicts and vandals.
According to child development expert Elizabeth Hartley Brewer, author of Raising And Praising Boys (Vermilion, £7.99), the root of the problem is not boys themselves, but the way we react to them.
'From earliest childhood, we give boys far more negative feedback than girls, and then tell them off when they live up to the negative image of themselves we've given them. We're not very good at celebrating boys for being boys.'
Here's how to give your boys a break:
Praise boys for the things they're naturally good at
Have realistic expectations for behaviour and skills
Make plenty of opportunities for physical activities
Make time to read and talk to your son
Reward their efforts – don't criticise their mistakes
Recognise boys' need for self-respect
Do things together
Make space for fathers
Respect your son's privacy
Keep talking, listening and hugging
Praise, often - but don't engage in false flattery
Trust your son to do things his way - don't spoon-feed him