Book review: Speaking of Boys

I’ve read a couple of books on boys and the best by far is Speaking of Boys: Answers to the Most-Asked Questions About Raising Sons.  It’s set up in a question and answer style and it answers questions like:

  • why are brothers competitive?
  • does my son really mean to be that mean to his sister?
  • why is my son preening like this and will it ever end?
  • what to do as a divorced mom breaking up with someone
  • what do do when your son starts acting abusive or violent
  • how to react to your son (or his friend) lying

But I found it most useful in understanding boys’ humor.  I don’t find most "boy jokes" very funny and I struggle on how to respond and I struggle with understanding why they are funny – from farts to knock-knock jokes.  (I’d like to be in on the joke!  It looks like fun.) Michael Thomson did a really good job of explaining how boys use humor to gain status with their friends and in their social groups and he even gave some good advise to people like me who just don’t get it. 

I learned a lot from this book and I highly recommend it to anyone who is occasionally baffled by boys – small or big ones.