I'm currently reading a book called "Raising Boys" by Steve Biddulph and it's really quite an eye-opener, especially for Moms because we're the opposite sex as our child and we don't really (and girls will never really) understand boys!
For example, I feel like cuddling my son all the time, and all he wants to do with me is play-fight :)
The book opens with "The 3 Stages of Boyhood" and I think it's really interesting because I can see it with my own kid, even though these stages are up to adulthood. Here they are (quoted from the book):
0-6 years old: Boys need lots of affection so they can "learn to love". Talking and teaching one-to-one helps them to connect to the world. The mother is usually the best person to provide this, although a father can take this part.
6-14 years old: At about the age of six, boys show a strong interest in maleness, and the father becomes the primary parent. His interest and time become critical. The mother's part remains important, however, and she shouldn't "back off" from her son just because he is older.
14- adulthood: From about fourteen years of age, boys need mentors -other adults who care about them personally and help them move gradually into the larger world.
NB: For single mothers (like myself), the book says "Single mothers can raise boys well but must search carefully for good, safe, male role-models and must devote some time to self-care (since they are doing the work of two)."
[image of Amal and his dad, who coincidentally, wore the same color clothing on the same day]