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Raising Boys: Why Boys Are Different and How to Help Them Become Happy and Well-Balanced Men

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,745 Ratings  ·  225 Reviews
Explores the development of boys from birth to manhood and discusses the relationship between sports and values, creating caring attitudes towards sex, and the role of community and school in raising a boy.
Paperback, 216 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Celestial Arts (first published January 1st 1997)
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Community Reviews

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Jan 06, 2008 Jessica rated it it was ok
there were a couple of things that i got from the book that i thought were interesting and worth putting into practice, but for the most part i found myself questioning or doubting most of what the author said. i probably wouldn't recommend it as a must-read parenting book.
Susan Wolff
Sep 28, 2011 Susan Wolff rated it it was amazing
I'm a parent educator and have read dozens of books on boys with a view to which will most help parents. Biddulphs book Raising Boys wins hands down because its readable by parents who don't have a lot of education, but its not dumbed down, he takes the best brain science, education research, and family therapy experience, to help parents get a grasp of how to understand boys. He hits the sensible midway spot between the extremes like Sax (its all in the genes) and the old thinking that gender d ...more
Apr 18, 2014 Cara rated it liked it
It's somewhere between a 2 and 3 star book, I'm feeling generous today. It's an easy book, very simple conceptually, and I spent a lot of time frustratingly going 'girls are the same apart from lacking a penis'. However i think if it's your first child, and you're looking for a child raising book with a male slant, it's ok. I was more interested in a book which identified a child's male specific characteristics, and apart from the aforementioned penis, and a lot of either unsourced or poorly sou ...more
Devandra Bourne
Jan 08, 2011 Devandra Bourne rated it it was amazing
A gentle, funny and challenging book with loads of good ideas, especially for a mum who grew up without boys in her family. Biddulph tells quite gritty stories, doesn't prescribe or have insulting tip-lists like a lot of parenting books. I completely disagree with those reviewers who dismiss it as simple- its deceptively deep, but just accessibly written. Biddulph's work is very famous here in Australia because he aims to reach those who have less education and of course DADS (LOL) and so he use ...more
Jan 11, 2012 Beth rated it did not like it
Quotes like:

"Many gay or bisexual men I have spoken with say the lack of fatherly affection was part of what made male affection more important to the."

"We aren't saying here that all instances of Attention Deficit Disorder are really dad deficit disorders - but quite a lot are."

"If a mother is terribly depressed and therefore unresponsive in the first year or two of her son's life, his brain may undergo changes and become a 'sad brain'. If she is angry, hitting or hurting him, he will be confus
Feb 01, 2009 Kim rated it did not like it
One word for this book: worthless. The tiny tidbits of useful information were dumbed-down to a ridiculous degree. The author used sweeping generalizations without citing any research. Example? He states that most students who do well on achievement tests do not do well in college. Um, what? Research please. His advice to parents is so broad and so common-sense it is laughable. My favorite? The best way for fathers to teach their sons to treat women well is to not hit thier wives. Really? Shocki ...more
Jan 20, 2008 Aissa rated it did not like it
Very conservative views... I stopped reading it.
Feb 06, 2010 Carlie rated it really liked it
This was a pretty good book. Provocative, thoughtful, full of sound research and hitting a lot of the key points parents of boys worry about, wrestle with and argue over.

Some of the things I took away from it:

*Its extremely important for adolescents (but perhaps especially boys) to have mentor types who are part friend, part adviser in their...besides their parents.

*Boys needs risks...make sure there are healthy, okay, daring things to do in their lives.

*Boys really need moms and dads but the
Simon Bendle
Did you know that mother rats frequently lick the genitals of their male babies, and this helps their brains become fully male? Just one of the many titbits I picked up from this interesting and helpful little book. It’s not a work of genius. Much of what Steve Biddulph has to say is plain common sense. But if, like me, you’re looking for ways to be a better parent to a clutch of high-octane, high-powered pre-school boys you might find it a useful and easy-to-read starting point. Oh, and Biddulp ...more
Feb 18, 2008 Sonja rated it really liked it
I got lots of great insight on this book. One big arguing point in this book is chapter 7 - Developing a Healthy Sexuality. I do NOT agree that I should be teaching my little boy how to masterbate and that I should have open conversations about his sex life whenever it starts. Omit that chapter, and I could recommend it to anyone. If you want to borrow this book, be prepared - I have marked through that chapter!!
Jul 14, 2012 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read, most of it made a lot of sense, and I often found myself going "ohhhhh" when faced with something that I hadn't realised before, that suddenly clicked into place!
Mar 04, 2014 Melinda rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
So, I have a young son and, sometimes, he's kind of a mystery to me. With my daughter, I knew what I was getting into. Not only did I used to be a little girl, but I have several nieces who I've seen through childhood (I do also have a nephew, but he grew up far from us and we only saw him a couple of times a year). When I found this book, I thought it might shed some light on what was going on with my little guy.

And, yes, it did shed some light for me. Biddulph goes through biological, mental,
Feb 17, 2012 Hannah rated it did not like it
"Read" probably isn't the right descriptor for this book, which I'm returning to the library mostly untouched. I checked it out only because our favorite librarian, when I checked out another parenting book, recommended this to me as a great way for mothers to learn about their boys and what makes them tick. I probably should have realized that any book subtitled "Why Boys Are Different" wouldn't be a good fit for a mom who dresses her son in his girl cousins' hand-me-down Mary Janes! (Which are ...more
Heath Henwood
Apr 16, 2014 Heath Henwood rated it it was amazing
Raising Boys
Why Boys are Different and How to Help them become happy and well balanced men
Steve Biddulph
Published by:Ten Speed Press

I have always been a fan of Steve Biddulph’s very practical books for parents. This one is no different. This vastly popular book has been updated into a third edition.

Raising Boys considers how boys differ from girls, their three stages of boyhood, from birth to preparing for adulthood. It goes on to discuss how to navigate through risk areas for boys.
It examines
Brooke romney
Sep 19, 2009 Brooke romney rated it really liked it
I thought this book was fascinating, and the "self-help" books don't usually keep my interest. It was an easy read with lots of examples, and since I have 3 boys it just blew my mind, the science behind the way they act and their differences from girls. It gave lots of practical advice to help them succeed in school and life and talked to both mothers and fathers and the importance of both in a boys life. I loved the book and think it's a must read for anyone with boys...though there were a few ...more
Sep 13, 2014 Barakiel rated it liked it
Shelves: self-help
Quick and easy read.

Three things I take away from this book:
1. The 0 to 6yrs, 6-14yrs, 14-adult rule. The first phase is mom's time (helps with emotional stability), the second phase is dad's time (helps with masculinity) and the last phase you'll rely mostly on good role-models. Very interesting concept I hadn't heard put into words like this before.
2. Initiation: helping your boy transition from boyhood to adolescence through some sort of ceremony. This was an interesting idea that deserves fu
Tiffany Wacaser
Jun 23, 2009 Tiffany Wacaser rated it liked it
This was a pretty fast read on the unique strengths and weaknesses of boys and what they need to grow into great men. I knew a lot of it already, but it was good to have the reminder. I disagreed with the author's take on teaching sexuality. But that's a fairly small complaint compared with the rest of the book. And with all books, you usually have to sift through something.
It was easy to read and understand and the humor was very much appreciated. I was completely reminded though, of how inspi
Dec 26, 2010 Christen rated it liked it
I think the title promised more than delivered. The things I took away from it are:
- Boys testosterone levels peaking at certain times in their lives and what to expect
- The roles that mother and father can play to help boys develop into balances men (seems like common sense to me)
- Boys should start school later, rather than earlier and why (good to know since Will is an August birthday)
- The importance of a strong male role model is key - especially starting around age five

Overall, it was wort
Clara Mazzi
Boys and girls. Not the same. Of course. Then why do I have to raise my boys in such a way I respect the feminist trend? Women of my age, born in the 70s grew up taught and convinced that we (women) can have it all and we are raising our daughters today under the same motto - even if we're realizing that we can't really have it all. For example: men. Men didn't change as much as women and are facing today more aggressive and challenging women. Results: women cry because they can't find real men ...more
Heidi Hart
The formatting of the e-book didn't translate well with my kindle -- different text sizes, weird formatting, tables and graphics missing -- so I hope they fix that before publication or else I recommend people get a paper version of this book. As a lesbian mom raising two boys, I'm trying to read up on some of the special issues and challenges I can expect, especially where my kids don't have a daddy. I liked that this book was sensitive to the fact that there are a lot of single moms and other ...more
Jun 14, 2015 Russio rated it liked it
Difficult to gauge the impact of this book on the day I finished reading it: I guess the end of my son's childhood might be a better time to consider that. Written in the 90s it offers some sound seeming advice, although one or two things grate: the use of data in places is highly dubious (i.e the Leicester single-sex teaching experiement) and while maybe accurate, not sufficiently robust for the claims it makes. Also the discussion of homosexuality is, shall we say, of its time: presented half ...more
Lucy Hay
I've given this book 3 stars because it's accessible and well written in the sense that it's not overblown and pompous like many parenting books, so a quick and easy read. However, I was troubled by the content which appears to suggest there are genetic, evolutional differences between male and female children, with virtually no scientific evidence. I bought the book because at the time I was having trouble with my son who was acting out in a passive aggressive way, yet this book seems to sugges ...more
May 28, 2014 Cassie rated it it was ok
I received an eARC copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Here is my honest review.

As I started this book I really liked it and it had a much higher star rating; close to the end, it took a twist that I wasn't expecting and lost stars. I am only giving it two stars because while I don't like the book and wouldn't recommend it to any of my friends, I do feel like the author had some valid points and insights.

What I agreed with:
The author maintains that there are three stages of a b
Jan 29, 2016 Becca rated it it was ok
A few good takeaways, but mostly it was full of junk that I would never put into practice.
Aug 27, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
A very useful insight into boys. Made up of fact from extensive research, so to fully appreciate and learn from it I had to swallow some pride at times and accept the author really does know more than me. And I did learn lots especially regarding the testosterone surges, and the three stages of boy to man. There were also a lot of useful parenting tips and suggestions.
Feb 05, 2009 Liz rated it really liked it
I picked up this book when Ronan was first born, but never got past the first few pages (uh, surprise). But, I found it again recently and it offered a lot of good insights. I will need to re-read it when he turns 6 to brush up on the next developmental change. Very recommended for the parent of a boy.
Apr 23, 2014 Melissa rated it really liked it
A humorous yet direct blend of anecdotes, observations and research data make this an easy read. By no means exhaustive, the book merely pinpoints the main issues facing modern parents but chances are they're too busy/ exhausted for more than a crash course, anyhow. Many readers will object to some of the advice given (especially since the author isn't necessarily coming from any particular religious perspective) and/or the generic theories and simplictic applications. However, common sense dict ...more
Jun 04, 2007 Kimberly rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: NO ONE
Shelves: parenting
The writer is a zealot and way off base. I literally threw the book in the trash, refusing to donate it because I didn't want any other poor soul to read it. The jacket misrepresents the book. The book does a dis-service to humans.
Sep 22, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting, 2013
For the most part, its a simplified guidebook on what boys really need from parents and communities.

There is a bit about how important it is that boys not be away from a family member within the first three years. Eh.
Sep 10, 2014 Amanda rated it it was ok
Shelves: raising-boys
I really started out liking this book. The overall message was that boys need fathers. They need them present and a part of their lives. They also need strong male mentors and role models. Mom should be a kind influence all the while.
He tells of how 4 year old boys get a sudden rise in testosterone. That explains a lot about my 4 year old and his sudden change to aggressive behavior at that age.
I was turned off by the "Developing a Healthy Sexuality" chapter. His solution to helping boys cope w
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