"You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes". ~Walter M. Schirra, Sr.
Apart from reading the "What to expect" series of books I haven't read any parenting or child care books. So this time when I went book shopping I searched the parenting section and came across the book called "Raising boys" by Steve Biddulph.
I just finished reading a few chapters and have yet a long way to go but I am pretty impressed with the book. The book is small and compact but is packed with practical advice and loads of information.
One of the interesting things that I learned form the book are that boys develop in 3 stages.
The first stage is from birth to 6 years of age; the 2nd stage is from 6 to 14 years and the 3rd is from 14 years to adulthood.
At the 1st stage: 0-6 years; boys need their moms the most. That doesn't mean that dads can be absent but it just means that moms are the main focus at this stage of their growth.
The book says that boys learn the language of love during this stage. Which means we ought to show them all the love, care and tenderness.
But most parents are less expressive to their sons than to their daughters. We are under the notion that boys need to toughen up and if we cuddle and pamper them they become sissies. So we ask them to stop crying, to man up or stop acting like a girl when they show emotions. Sadly this has a negative influence on our boys. They begin to bottle up their emotions and turn into men who can't communicate their feeling or show their love.
The 2nd stage: 6-14 years; boys turn to their dads. They watch their dads and learn from them. They suddenly want to become like their dads. They engage in adventure and daring activities and become boisterous.
This is when moms take a back seat and let the dads handle things. Engage them in games and activities dads and sons can enjoy together like playing football, cricket or fishing etc.
The 3rd stage: 14- adulthood; this is the most trying period in a boy's life as he is no more a boy and is entering into adulthood. This stage calls for outside help, we need mentors.
Mentors who can guide them in the right direction and be a role model. Boys at this age begin to get aggressive and don't like being advised by parents but if there is a mentor; someone older and wiser he can turn to; then he would listen to him and even discuss issues that he would normally not tell his parents.
Make sure to include good mentors in his life. These should be people you trust and with whom you could communicate your concerns about your son.
Uncles (brother for the mother's or father's side), older cousins (who are themselves well groomed and focused), coaches (game coaches can be good mentors provided you trust them) are some of the examples of mentors.
Well that's just part of the book and something which caught my attention since it covers the first chapters of the book.
For more reference about the author visit his website: Steve Biddulph