Are boys different?

happy-boy-student-with-pencil-300x199All kidding aside, they really are, and in more ways than just the obvious, physical ones. If your family includes both little boys and little girls, you’ve already witnessed this difference first-hand.

Why those differences exist has been a topic of discussion for centuries. Is it nature? Is it nurture? Both come into play. When you’re trying to get your own little boy ready for school, my research and experience tell me that you need to take both into account.

On the “nature” side, know that your son’s brain will develop in different areas and at different times than your daughter’s will. He’ll likely be able to throw a ball at a target at around 20 months of age. Your daughter will, at the same age, likely have twice the vocabulary that your son does when he’s accurately beaning the dog with a nerf ball.

On the “nurture” side, there are experts who believe that gender stereotypical behavior arises from patterning that tells the developing child what their behavior is expected to be. However, studies of identical twins who were raised separately have shown that 50-70% of our behavior is biologically hard-wired.

How does this impact the parents of boys? When you’re raising a son, and want to lay the groundwork to help him get the most out of his school experience, it’s important that you work with him from infancy to help him develop his learning skills.

In the coming weeks, I’ll outline the “ages and stages” approaches I recommend to parents who want to help their sons become life-long lovers of learning.

In “The Parents’ Guide to Boys,” Dr. James lays out a brain-based approach to encouraging boys toward and through a successful school experience. In this blog post series, she shares some nuggets from the book to help parents learn what’s happening in their son’s developing brain, and guide him toward a love of learning.