Book Review: The Way of Boys by Anthony Rao


AuthorAnthony Rao
Title: The way of boys : raising healthy boys in a challenging and complex world
Publication Info: New York : William Morrow, c2009.
ISBN: 9780061707827

Summary/Review: I read this book as part of the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.  As a parent of a boy I found it interesting to see a book written from the perspective of child development in boys.  I bristled some at some of the assumptions that seemed to be based on gender roles, but Rao did a good job of explicating the actual developmental differences between boys and girls.   These differences unfortunately are leading a lot of boys to be labeled as ADD or Aspergery where Rao contends that they are perfectly fine.  Rao’s writing contains a lot of comforting suggestions and tips for activities and life skills for parents to help boys navigate through childhood.  I recommend reading it if are raising a boy of your own.

Favorite Passages:

Sensing the emotions of others is a kind of listening.  The little boy who is careening through the house, hungry for things to touch and take apart, isn’t listening to your words or watching your nonverbal cues.  His strong emotions are ringing so loudly in his own head that he doesn’t notice yours.  To the extent that he can sense your anger, he  might see it as something to play with or test.  For him to register your anger, it usually has to be off the charts, and no one likes to be that kind of parent. – p. 95

Let them cheat.  It’s a good thing, in fact, for boys (or girls) this age to gain self-esteem from winning.  They still have plenty of time to learn about strict rules and turn taking later.  At these ages, the point is that they are gaining a sense of mastery, having fun, and spending time with others. – p. 110

Recommended Books: The Happiest Toddler on the Block by Harvey Karp

Rating: ***1/2

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