Bringing Up Boys
1 Get boisterous
BOYS love rough and tumble and need to release energy, tension and aggression.
Instead of banning rough games, give him the opportunity to vent his frustrations by play-fighting with him.
Pillow or cushion fights are ideal as no one gets seriously hurt - but make it clear that hair-pulling, biting and scratching are banned.
2 Time to chill
THE danger with rough games is getting him too hyped up. After expending energy a boy needs winding-down time before bed.
Sit quietly with him reading a book, doing a puzzle or watching a calming TV programme.
3 Listen the right way
BOYS often feel uncomfortable opening up to you when they feel upset. In his book Bringing Up Boys, Tim Kahn advises that instead of asking: "What happened?" you should acknowledge and repeat what your son says.
If he says: "The teachers shout at me and I don't need you shouting at me too," say: "You're not going to tell me because you don't want to get told off." This will encourage him to talk.
4. Make him self-sufficient
WHEN your boy starts secondary school he may be disorganised, forgetting homework. Encourage him to work on his self organisation, suggesting strategies such as having daily "to do" lists. And praise his attempts to think and prepare ahead even if his successes are minor - it's a start and he can develop his skills from there.
5. Be impressed
BOYS crave the respect and admiration of those they look up to
. When he gets all his fractions right or lobs the basketball through the hoop, tell him: "I could never have done that when I was your age - brilliant!" Ask for his help when you're doing something he's good at to give him a boost.
6. Offer guidance
If your boy gets demotivated easily when trying to complete a project, try to suggest ways he could break the task down into chunks. Ask what equipment or help he might need and guide him towards a plan that will make his project more achievable.
7. Get him involved
WITH discipline it's important to involve him in the consequences of what he's done.If your son hurts his sister, say: "I'd like you to say sorry and think about what you can do to make her feel better - like drawing a picture together or reading a story to her."
8. Avoid negativity
BOYS don't like engaging with their failures and mistakes so don't make him dwell on what he's done or not done, and always avoid rubbing his nose in it. Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer says: "The best approach is to get him to think about what he'd change in the future in order to do better in the test."
9. Offer a choice
If your son has a tendency to dawdle over getting dressed or suffers from selective hearing, bear in mind that this is his way of asserting his independence. Instead of dumping his clothes in front of him and expecting him to just get dressed, give him a choice of socks so he feels he has some say in the matter.
10. Set bite-size goals
BOYS often respond well to shortterm goals
. It can be difficult to motivate boys - for example, a request to "improve spelling" has little impact. It is more effective to keep him focused on short-term objectives such as getting a certain weekly score in spelling. And let him choose whether he'll do some work before or after dinner, so he'll feel more involved in the decision-making process.
11. Give him power
BOYS have a greater sensitivity to power than girls
and will often hold back, only doing 80 per cent of what you've asked.They shouldn't be forced to do the remaining 20 per cent. Elizabeth Hartley- Brewer says: "It's their way of showing they don't allow themselves to be manipulated, of saying, 'I'm my own person'. Let them be who they are, and find their own way of being a boy."
12. Understand his gestures
SOME boys don't feel comfortable with displays of affection - but that doesn't mean they don't love you. Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer says: "Rather than kisses and cuddles, some boys will show you they love you by jumping on you from behind and this can seem intrusive. "Provided you're not holding a hot cup of tea
or their baby sister at the time, try to greet this burst of spontaneous affection as just that."