It’s a Boy! Understanding Your Son’s Development from Birth to Age 18

Michael Thompson, Author, Teresa Barker, Author . Ballantine $27 (456p) ISBN 978-0-345-49395-8

Addressing recent troubling studies about boys in the U.S. authors Thompson and Barker (Raising Cain ; Speaking of Boys ) underscore the developmental differences between girls and boys that often compel boys to underachieve in school and embrace destructive behavior. The authors aim to rectify a sense of parental “loss of trust” in boys’ development by advocating early unconditional love, strong maternal attachment, restraint of corporal punishment and sexist stereotyping, strong father participation and “safe places” where boys can engage in “undirected, outside play.” The trend toward earlier academic performance in school does not suit boys’ development, as they tend to learn language and reading slower than girls, hear less well and fidget. Educators and psychologists share their opinions, all in the spirit of embracing boys’ unique energy and intellect. Ages 11 to 13 bring startling changes, which the authors examine under “the five tasks of adolescence,” while ages 14 to 15 invite a mysterious inner life, and ages 16 to 18 present challenges regarding independence, sexuality and responsibility. In this upbeat guide, Thompson especially relies on his good-sense experience as a father and educator to remind parents not to criticize behavior that is typical for boys. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/07/2008
Release date: 03/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
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