From Publishers Weekly
Australian family therapist Biddulph (Manhood) joins the chorus of counselors calling for a focused, supportive approach to parenting boys. Citing such gender specific risks facing boys as a higher percentage of learning disabilities to greater threats of violence and suicide, Biddulph maps out parenting strategies for three distinct stages of growth, from birth to six years, from six to 14, and from 14 to adult. Choosing not to mince words, he advises fathers, for instance, "if you routinely work a fifty-five or sixty-hour week, including travel time, you just won't cut it as a dad." Citing studies that show boys are "more prone than girls to separation anxiety," he suggests keeping boys out of child care if possible before the age of three. He recommends delaying school entrance by a year to give boys time to develop fine motor skills, and calls sports a "double-edged sword" which, while enormously beneficial, can also encourage negative traits if sportsmanship is eclipsed by an obsession with winning. Biddulph delves into physiological matters, examining and explaining the role testosterone plays in shaping male children, and talking frankly about sexuality. Enhanced by plentiful sidebars, photos and cartoons, the material is presented in digestible chunks, and each chapter wraps up with a summary section, "In a Nutshell." This highly practical guide offers valuable perspectives to parents of both boys and girls.
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About the Author
STEVE BIDDULPH is one of the world's best-known parenting authors, with books in four million homes and 24 languages. He has been a family psychologist for more than 30 years and has been voted Australian Father of the Year by the Australian Father's Day Council. He lives in Tasmania, Australia.
THE AUTHOR SCOOP
Have you ever met a famous person?What do you mean? I am a famous person! But seriously, the royal family uses my books and mentions them. We have mutual friends. I guess that’s one degree of separation. But I hate dropping names. So I won't say which royal family! What's the history of your name?My dad researched our name. It turns out, the biddulphs were vikings. But I like to think they were gentle Vikings. They would crunch onto the shingle in their longboats and rush ashore and give parenting seminars.Any unusual hobbies?My wife. Well actually she has the unusual hobby. We raise wombat orphan babies, which takes two years with each one, and release them in the wilderness. In Tasmania where I live, there is still some wilderness, and we fight to keep it free. Baby wombats bring some wild nature into our homes and they are food for our souls. They do, however, eat furniture. Know any good jokes?My father actually told me this, and we like to remember him by retelling it, “What did your father do before he died? Answer: “He went AAAARRRGHHHH!” What was the first book you can remember reading? Reading? Or eating? I ate The Little Red Engine. First I read Homer’s Odyssey. No kidding. I was a bit ahead of my age. I also had stayed clear of books after that eating episode. If you had to boil your book’s message down to just a couple sentences, what would it be? Boys need to be loved. They must be exercised every day. They absolutely must cook. At the age of nine, a boy’s attention span overtakes that of a border collie. So start them cooking family meals right then. Teach them how to safely handle a sharp knife, and boiling water (the most dangerous thing in the house). Get them started!