Magazine article Work & Family Life

Taking a Closer Look at How We Raise Boys

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Taking a Closer Look at How We Raise Boys

Article excerpt

Taking a closer look at how we raise boys

Ask a boy, "How did that make you feel?" and there's a good chance he won't know how to respond. He might tell you instead what he did or plans to do about the situation, whatever it may be. Our culture supports emotional development for girls but not for boys. The authors of this wonderful book, psychologists Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson, call this the miseducation of boys.

Even the youngest boy, they say, learns quickly that he should hide his feelings and silence his fears. And as adolescents, boys deal with a cruel peer culture with the "manly" responses they have learned-anger, aggression and emotional withdrawal.

What gender differences can be attributed to nature and which to nurture? How do you help boys develop emotional literacy? In what ways do boys' behaviors challenge teachers and the school culture? How can schools be more boy-friendly?

In dealing with these and other questions facing parents, educators and our society as a whole, the authors discuss, among other topics: (a) how boys are often the lightning rod for harsh discipline, (b) ways for adults to respond more actively to cruelty in a boy's life, (c) how boys need models of emotional courage in their lives, not just in the media, (d) the evolving relationship between mothers and sons, and (e) the importance of dads communicating to sons that they are loved and valued (see Front Page and Parenting articles). …

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