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Raising Boys in the 21st Century

  • First published in 1995, Raising Boys was an instant bestseller and to date has sold over a million copies worldwide. Few books have stayed in the hearts and minds of parents everywhere as much as Raising Boys. Now in an increasingly complicated and nuanced world, raising boys to become emotionally strong, kind and resilient men is even more important and relevant. In response to calls from parents around the world Steve Biddulph has completely updated and revised his seminal work to include all the latest international information and advice for parents on all the key issues of today such as :

    • Gender
    • Brain and hormonal development including latest
      findings on testostetrone
    • Transgender/gay/sexuality development
    • Boys and crying
    • Boys and ‘bad’ behaviour
    • Reading and communication
    • Countering the effects of porn

    Steve says:

    ‘Right now, the world badly needs good men. Your boy can be one of those who grow up so much better, and help to heal the world. Thank you for joining the boy revolution. As the 21st century rolls on, it’s badly needed. Enjoy your boy, love him well, and set him free to fly in his own special way.’

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    Press Release:
    from Q Weekend  interviewer Frances Whiting, 27/4
    • On boy toddlers: Biddulph – who recently retired from his 30-year career as a psychologist – says “everything” has changed since he first penned Raising Boys. “We have learned so much about the science of gender and in the field of neurology, and we have moved on so much as a society that it’s time for another great leap forward,” Biddulph says. “The biggest discoveries – being written about by probably the world’s leading [American] neuroscientist Dr Allan Schore – is that boys’ brains
      are very slowed down in the womb, and in the first year of life, and can be a as much as 20 months behind girls by the time they start school.”
    • On gender and sexuality: “We have to stop assuming. You don’t know if your child is heterosexual, or gay, or transgender; he might be really physical, you know the kid that wrestles with bears? Well, he might be a gay kid that wrestles with bears.”
    • On sex and porn: “We know that 82 per cent of pornography involves abuse, so both boys and girls are getting the wrong information. If they see too much pornography, they think that’s what sex is. It’s turning young love into a complete tragedy, where boys think that’s how they must do it, and girls think it’s all about pleasing the boy. So we need to completely change the way we have the ‘Big Talk’. It used to be about the mechanics of it, but nobody needs that information anymore, they know how it’s done, so in the book the ‘Big Talk’ is now about pornography.
    • On devices and social media: Biddulph says his Facebook communities [114,000 members for his Raising Boys page, and 72,000 members for his Raising Girls page] is
      awash with parents looking for advice and support in managing their children’s device use. “We are a herd animal, we take our cues from others, so if there are people saying ‘we put our devices on charge at tea time’, others feel supported when they too put in parameters.”
    from The Australian Weekend 28/4
    • In 1997, Biddulph’s was a lone voice challenging the consensus that the sexes were essentially the same. “I started with the basics, recognising that boys were different creatures with ­specific risk factors, which we had been in denial about up until then,” he says. “They were more likely to fail at school, to have difficulty reading and communicating, and to have problems due to lack of engagement by fathers. Today, so much has changed. Dads have trebled the time they spend with their kids in one generation.”
    • Put strict limits on gaming: “Left to themselves, most boys’ gaming will get out of control,” Biddulph says. “Kids are not good at putting limits on themselves because of their immature brain development, and one of our jobs as parents is to provide these limits.” He thinks 30 to 40 minutes a night and perhaps two hours on weekend days is about right. “The biggest problem is that screens are isolating. You don’t get to learn social skills and you don’t share your worries.”
    from ABC New Breakfast 11/5
    • On toxic attitudes towards masculinity and what can be done about it: Biddulph said we can learn to raise boys better than before, and said it begins with understanding that boys develop differently to girls. "Boys when they are born, they are already behind girls in brain development and the problem with that is it means they are more vulnerable to stress and anxiety in the first 12 months," he said. "So we have to take better care of young parents so they can be more relaxed and calm around young boys. We think that anxiety is probably one of the drivers of some of the big problems we have like domestic violence and crime and all the terrible things we're hearing on the news every day about masculinity going wrong.”
    from The Sunday Telegraph 28/4
    • On parenting: Child psychologist and best-selling author Steve Biddulph say, in general, we should parent all children the same way. “Kids are kids and 90 per cent of parenting is about the same things - being positive and affirming and warm, but still have boundaries.”
    • On gender: “Gender science has surged ahead and what we now know from science and observation is that gender is not binary in that there are two distinct genders…” He wants we can’t simply ignore gender and that there are risks specific to boys and girls. “The science on gender has been giving some startling insights into why we still have a lot of problems (with boys and girls)”, he says. “For boys it’s around behaviour, being able to learn at school and, when older, with violence and suicide. For girls, it’s more about anxiety and stress, self-harm and eating disorders.”