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Real Boys - Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood
By William Pollack, PhD

Review
Listening to the author William Pollack read Real Boys, it doesn't take long to find out that being a boy these days isn't all fun and games. As codirector of the Center for Men at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical Center, Pollack has seen behind the stoic masks of troubled, modern boys as they struggle to cope with the mixed messages, conflicting expectations, and increasingly complex demands they receive from our evolving society. "New research shows that boys are faring less well ... that many boys have remarkably fragile self-esteem, and that the rates of both depression and suicide in boys are frighteningly on the rise." What are parents to do? They could start by listening to the author's thoughts on contemporary child-rearing techniques, analysis of the root causes of many male behavior problems, and recommendations for avoiding all-too-common pitfalls. In Real Boys, Pollack draws upon nearly two decades of research to support his theories and makes an impressive assault on the popular myths surrounding the conventional definition of masculinity.

The Wonder of Boys
What Parents, Mentors and Educators Can Do to Shape Boys into Exceptional Men
By Michael Gurian

Review
In the thoughtful and provocative The Wonder of Boys: What Parents, Mentors, and Educators Can Do to Shape Boys into Exceptional Men, therapist and educator Michael Gurian takes a close look at modern boyhood. Gurian asserts that the biological and neurological differences between boys and girls need to be accounted for and nourished in order to raise healthy, happy boys. In discussing boy culture--and the roles of competition, aggression, and physical risk taking--the author concludes, "It's not boy culture that's inherently flawed; it's the way we manage it." If the natural, testosterone-based impulses of boys are squelched or ignored, Gurian posits, such biological truths may find their way to the surface in other, more negative behaviors. He suggests that boys do best when they are part of a "tribe," three families that include: a birth or adoptive family; an extended family of friends, teachers, peers, and mentors; and the "family" of outside culture, media, religious institutions, and community figures. The Wonder of Boys offers advice on how to understand and build strong father/son and mother/son relationships, stresses the importance of healthy discipline, and suggests methods of teaching boys about sex, relationships, and spirituality. Parents and teachers of boys will find this book to be an insightful read.

A Fine Young Man
What Parents, Mentors, and Educators Can Do to Shape Adolescent Boys into Exceptional Men
By Michael Gurian

Review
Building on the success of his guide to raising healthy young boys (The Wonder of Boys, Michael Gurian has written the next chapter--a book focusing on the much-maligned adolescent male. Gurian asserts, "We do not understand adolescent-male development, and therefore are unable to give our adolescent males the kind of love they need to become fully responsible, loving, and wise men." Adolescent boys may appear to be self-sufficient, but Gurian asserts that they actually need their parents and elders desperately. The author carefully illustrates what we--as parents, mentors, and educators--need to know about male adolescents, and what we can do to aid them on their journey to adulthood.

Raising Cain
Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys
By Daniel J. Kindlon & Michael Thompson

Review
In Raising Cain, Dan Kindlon, Ph.D., and Michael Thompson, Ph.D., two of the country's leading child psychologists, share what they have learned in more than thirty-five years of combined experience working with boys and their families. They reveal a nation of boys who are hurting--sad, afraid, angry, and silent. Statistics point to an alarming number of young boys at high risk for suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, violence and loneliness. Kindlon and Thompson set out to answer this basic, crucial question: What do boys need that they're not getting? They illuminate the forces that threaten our boys, teaching them to believe that "cool" equals macho strength and stoicism. Cutting through outdated theories of "mother blame," "boy biology," and "testosterone," Kindlon and Thompson shed light on the destructive emotional training our boys receive--the emotional miseducation of boys.

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Changes last made on: Tue Jun 30, 2009