Top critical review
152 people found this helpful
on 18 February 2004
I had this book recommended to me by word of mouth, which according to the cover blurb is how most people get to hear about it.
The book is intellectually pretty lite and most of what it says is common sense. Spend more time with your children, and boys are different to girls. (But I guess just because something is common sense it can still be worth saying...)
I had two main problems with the book. One was coherance. Some bits are written for mums, some for dads, some for teachers and some for policy makers. It is written in 'magazine style', skipping from one topic to the next, which is good if you like to read in bite-size chunks but less good if you want more depth on some of the topics. On a couple of occasions, topics are actually repeated. Also I was left confused as to which statements where the author's own assertions and which bits were actually backed up with research.
My other main problem was it was a bit cheesy, bordering on the offensive, at times. His comments that 'if your son is gay, don't spend too much time thinking about what went wrong' or 'having a gay son can open you to a new world of really interesting people' raised my hackles somewhat. (I am paraphrasing, but only slightly.)
If you want a quick and light introduction into some practical techniques for parenting boys then I guess you could do worse, but if you are expecting anything deeper or more thorough then don't bother.