Raising and Praising Girls...Raising and Praising Boys

30th September 2005 at 01:00
RAISING AND PRAISING GIRLS. RAISING AND PRAISING BOYS. By Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer. Vermilion pound;6.99 each

Because we all have a tendency (it's not just me, is it?) to nag children, the experts constantly remind us to give praise. Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer sets out to help parents and teachers (some of the advice is separated out for the two groups) to give praise in a way that doesn't embarrass, or seem manipulative.

"Children feel pride and pleasure not when they receive phoney feedback about their brilliance, but when they know they worked hard and have something significant to show for it," she writes.

The two books are, unsurprisingly, substantially the same, page for page.

The differences, where they occur, correspond to recognisable gender characteristics. So, in a chapter about helping a child to achieve hisher aims, we have, in one book, "Boys are inclined to lose heart and direction easily." At the matching point on page 24 in the other, we read, "Girls can be dogged and determined: their perseverance is generally better than that of boys of a similar age."

The books add useful and wisely chosen detail to what is a common piece of advice to parents, student teachers and NQTs.

GERALD HAIGH

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