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17th Feb 2019

“Group childcare is no place for little boys” says leading child psychology expert

Trine Jensen-Burke

Until I had one of each myself, I would not have believed anyone who said that boys and girls really are very different creatures indeed.

Now, five years into being both a girl and a boy mama I know that this is very much the case.

Not only are their energies different and their toy preferences different, but they are also so very different in how they react to the world, to different situations and to people around them.

Where my little girl confident, outgoing and pretty fearless when it comes to trying new things, be it food or play centres or when starting creche and school, my little boy is a lot more apprehensive. He needs more time to adjust to things. And (still) needs me to hold his hand for things he find overwhelming and new and a little scary.

This is obviously down to their individual personalities a bit, and might change completely as they get older, but according to reknown author and parenting expert, Steve Biddulph, these differences could also be down to the fact that boys and girls are very different – and should really be raised different too.

It’s been almost two decades since Biddulph first introduced the world to the idea that boys and girls might need to be raised rather differently.

Now the author and child psychology expert has released an updated version of that same book, still titled Raising Boys in the 21st Century, and again, he has made some pretty bold calls, one of the major ones being about how we need to think differently about childcare for boys and girls.

No group care for boys under one

In the updated version of his groundbreaking book, Biddulph explains that in his opinion – and based on research and studies – group childcare is no place for young boys. He refers to neurobiologist Alan Schore, and agrees with Schore’s conclusion that “no boys under the age of one should be in group care.”

Biddulph puts this down to the fact that boys mature markedly slower that girls do, and that they sometimes are up to 20 months behind their female counterparts in levels of maturity.

Biddulph, who has been a psychologist for 30 years, concedes there are exceptions and there is a need for further research on the topic, but overall, he does suggest that a young boy’s place is in the home until well beyond their first few years.

What do YOU think, mama? Is there something to this, you think, or are his views just adding fuel to the working mum guilt fire? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @Herfamilydotie

(Feature image via