Boys are Different

No, really!  Boys are wired totally differently from girls.  We've all known it instinctively and we all experienced it at school but then you grow up and become a parent.  This process erases all memory of those differences, so when you raise your own boys you expect their brains to develop as fast as their sisters (which they don't), you suppose they will communicate as well as their sisters (which they can't), you hope they will be as organized as their sisters (dream on!) and you'd like to believe they will think about choices before they act ("Oh, I forgot about the choices!").

If men are from Mars and women from Venus then boys are born on planet Slow.  Boys are renowned for being more reluctant to learn to walk than girls.  There is growing body of evidence that it would make sense for boys to start primary school at a later date than girls.  The necessary co-ordination skills with paper and pencil, using scissors and so on are not fully developed in boys at the age of 5.  In some progressive countries this is an option and does not carry any stigma whatsoever.

Helping boys to express themselves and to describe the world around them can be improved by reading to them and telling stories from the age of one onwards.  Just talking and explaining things will help the two halves of their brain to connect more effectively.

Make sure that school and home are both organized places for your son where he can find calmness in his otherwise chaotic life.  Boys need structure and rules; they need to know who is in charge then they can relax when they know it does not need to be them.  They will also adopt your attitudes to life so make sure that you are demonstrating appropriate behavior.

Because boys often have more muscular bodies than girls they need to be given guidance in how to best use this potential weapon.  Ensure that you reinforce strongly that hitting or hurting any other person or animal and damage to property is wrong.  Encourage them to play competitive sports that will stretch their muscles and burn up their excess testosterone.  Help them with words and phrases they can use to communicate their feelings especially when they are angry and frustrated.

Recognize that criticism will turn a boy deaf and try to develop a friendly way of discussing different methods of doing things to open up his mind to options and choices, problem solving and negotiating a path through the difficulties in his life.

Most of all get used to the fact that growing up is not a linear process.  It is full of growth spurts, bumps and jumps that render the poor unsuspecting boy helplessly vague, supremely disorganized and sometimes virtually deaf.  Patient parenting that teaches them systems for tidying up, doing chores, completing homework and developing a routine will produce better results than impatiently observing, "Your sister can do it, so why can't you?".

Information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not be interpreted as financial or legal advice. This does not represent a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Please consult your financial advisor.