Advice and Tips

Raising Boys

It’s official: BOYS really do need more space than girl

It’s official: BOYS really do need more space than girls. And it’s all to do with the effect of testosterone on the bodies and brains of little males

At least, boys need more space than girls. And it’s all to do with the effect of testosterone on the bodies and brains of little males.

Boys spend the first five or six years of their lives experiencing massive peaks and troughs in testosterone. It is common for them to receive an extreme surge at round about the age of four, which coincides with them starting school.

Testosterone performs many vital functions including the aiding of muscle development and strength but contributes little to the development of fine and gross motor skills. Yet these motor skills are the ones under the microscope during baseline assessmentSo whilst the girls seem happy to come to the table top to participate in activities such as cutting, colouring, word and number recognition, the boys seem happier running around, shouting and throwing things. This is not aggression or unruliness, it is all part of the testosterone experience.

So what can you do to allow your son the physical freedom that his body needs while helping him develop his motor skills too? Four suggestions are:

1. Keep it low. Use the floor to encourage drawing etc in a wide open space. Boys like it better that way.

2. Keep it large. Boys like all things big. This means having huge pieces of paper, big and interesting shaped pens and stationery at the ready, as well as books with big pictures and print.

3. Keep it real. Apparently boys relate better to reality than fantasy so choose books and pictures with photos rather than illustrations.

4. Keep it short. Testosterone will urge them to get on the move again quick, so have frequent short bursts of tabletop activity rather than one long session. .


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