The Atlantic published this book review:
Raising Boys With a Broader Definition of Masculinity: A psychologist explains how a strong relationship with a parent or teacher can help boys be their true selves, even when those selves don’t fit within narrow cultural norms.
Timing is everything and when I saw this article it hit home. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the developmental differences between girls and boys. In particular my own as I have 1 of each. My daughter is a great follower of directions. It’s all very linear: I ask her to do something and she usually does it. My son, well he’s not so linear. He may make several trips around the time and space continuum before landing at the correct destination. He marches to the beat of his own drummer and I love that about him. Although, when you are trying to get to school or baseball on time it can be more than challenging. That same energy is also endearing and adventurous. Last week while returning from a Spring break trip my son befriended the entire flight crew. Who does that? By the end of the flight after fist bumping and hugging and complimenting each and every flight attendant, co-pilot and the pilot he was invited into the cockpit. (see photo above). How many of you have seen the inside of a cockpit since 9/11? It’s this amazing genuine love for life that must be protected in boys who might also be prone to labels such as “trouble maker” or “oppositional.”
It’s tough as a parent to find that great balance of setting limits and allowing your children to explore the world even when it’s disruptive and/or out of your own comfort zone.
In his new book Michael Reichert explores society’s gender norms put on boys and how it can impact their self-worth.
His book is written as a guide to parents who want to create more space for their boys to express themselves. The key, he writes is “a relationship in which a boy can tell that he matters … A young man’s self confidence is not accidental or serendipitous but derives from experiences of being accurately understood, loved, and supported.”
This is a topic should be on your read now list whether you are a parent of a son, someone that works with boys, or grappling with your own childhood development.