Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Raising Boys"

After my last post, I had lots of lovely comments on facebook and here about my parenting philosophy but I have to say that it mostly comes from my own upbringing and being introduced to "Raising Boys" by Steve Biddulph at an early stage in my parenting journey.  I can't find it anywhere so I'm assuming I have leant it to someone at some point.  I tend to feel that if you lend books you have to be prepared to never see them again!

If you have boys and haven't read this book then can I suggest that you get on to Amazon/the Book Depository/Borders or wherever you can find books these days and get a copy or 2.  It is full of the most wonderfully freeing common sense advice.

I also stumbled across this article yesterday about The 8 things boys really need from their parents, which gives a lot of the same kind of advice.  Basically boys have to be boys in order to become men.  They need to be physical, loud and boisterous and no amount of trying to make them sit nicely, like girls are often more capable of doing, is going to help.  It will only make them feel inadequate and resentful.

Obviously we have our moments here, one of the boys in particular does my head in at the moment, but I can remember back to when Archie was at the same stage (See, not him for a change Christine!) and know that there is hope.  He needs a lot of exercise, adventure, and danger - I foresee a career in the SAS.  Equally he is such a loving, sweet and generous boy - he'd definitely give you his last Rolo (except they are made by Nestle so he's not allowed to have them...!).

As another friend pointed out privately, it's all been about team work.  Those of you who know us well know that John is (and always has been) very hands on, partly because he needs a lot of exercise too!  He does work A LOT and woe betide anyone who interrupts, but there have always been runs, bike rides, football and now there is also a lot of bonding over movies that "the boys HAVE to watch"!  The long hours he worked and commuted in Edinburgh were very hard going for all of us and I think I was probably heading for a wee padded room and lovely white jacket somewhere.  Coming here, while hard going in it's own way, has given us back our family time which is so precious.  So err, not one to be gushy but thanks Mate.  Hilariously, he does actually read this and often asks why I haven't posted!

I should also mention my brother and his great contributions to the upbringing of my boys.  Unc has always been as involved as a single young bloke can be, always coming over for birthdays, helping out with football parties, taking the big ones out to Edinburgh on their own for a day and so on.   He has never held back from telling me how gutted he was/is that I have taken his nephews and neice away.  He is great at keeping in touch with them on skype and facebook, never one to miss the chance at a bit of a wise crack.  We all miss Unc heaps.

For Grandma, Unc and anyone who might be interested, I'm planning a wee holiday round up post next...

Edited to add:  you can now find me on facebook if you fancy it...  Haven't worked out how to add a sidebar link so if anyone can help that would be great!


  1. Hi Sandra, I have that book somewhere around here too, I agree it is a great read for parenting boys, I tend to have a pretty laidback style of parenting my boys, and I like the common sense approach. My boys seem pretty happy at the moment so something must be working ok! We have a team approach my husband and I too, even if sometimes it feels like we are a bit good cop bad cop,! Have a great day :)

  2. Hi Sandra, I can also whole-heartedly agree that this is a fabulous book, and probably the only parenting book I have bothered to read. Steve is a Tasmanian and I went to one of his Parenting Boys talks down here just after I had my first boy. It was terrific. I'm one of 3 girls myself so parenting a boy was (and is) a complete mystery to me..and now I have 3!! Oh and a belated happy 40th!!! Mel x

  3. I somehow missed your last post, so scrolled back to read that first, I like your philosophies and I have come across that book somewhere, maybe seen on the internet when I'm pulling my hair out!

    It is somewhat of a comfort to hear that all families have their up and down moments when you feel like running in the opposite direction and saying 'theyre not with me!'. I will definitely make a point to order that book....I am having serious disagreements with my nine year old at the moment and would love to hav th answers that would work for us. I'm lucky also that my hubby and I work as a team and in general I have three noisy, healthy, well rounded loving boys....but then that could be because two are in school at the moment!

  4. We have a saying in our house too - 'the team works!'

  5. Oh Sandra, this is a great post and a very reassuring one for me right now. Most days I feel as though I am drowning with my boys... and they are only 4 and almost 2! They are everything you describe here and it does send me round the twist at times.
    My Mama bought me a copy of Raising Boys, I have read parts, but not all of it. I need to get it out and read it, thanks for the reminder.
    Love the photos, they both made me smile. Thanks xo


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