Book Review: “Raising Boys” By Steve Biddulph

raising boys

I normally err on the side of reading non-fiction these days, but I’ve got a vested interest in reading “Raising Boys”.

I’m just a month or two away from becoming a dad for the first time, and we know we’re having a boy.

My sister recommended a few books to help us prepare for what’s ahead. One was this best-seller from Australian psychologist Steve Biddulph.

I thought the consensus was that boys were usually more straightforward than girls. You put food in, deal with what comes out, and that was the end of it. But apparently that’s not true.

Boys, it turns out, are slow learners.

It’s not an unfair stereotype, but research-based truth about the speed with which they pick up language and social skills.

They’re also particularly vulnerable between the ages of 6 to 14. It’s here they really need a good role model in their lives, to make sure their abundance of physical energy gets pointed in the right direction.


It’s dead interesting to read. Some people seem to remember lots about their childhood, but I must admit that my memory is more of a series of edited highlights.

So I can’t remember whether this info agrees with how I grew up. But I’m about to find out if it really is the case.

Sounds like boys can go a bit wrong if they don’t have a wee bit of focus!

I have always had my cycling to expend excess energy. Since my dad first put me on a bike, I’ve loved it. And it’s always been my go-to activity when I’ve needed to clear my head.

If I didn’t have anything like that, things might have gone differently in my life. I really don’t know.

There’s a bit in there actually about cycling. Apparently you shouldn’t let a boy under 9 (I think) out on a road on a bike as their peripheral vision isn’t good enough to take in their surroundings.

The author says something about it being only at age 9 that boys’ attention span finally surpasses that of a Border Collie! Not sure if that was a joke or not . . . but I’m guess I’m going to find out!

If you want to know about the unique needs of bringing up boys for any reason — whether it’s for children in your family or grandkids — this seems like a great place to start.

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Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.