Addressing recent troubling studies about boys in the U.S. authors Thompson and Barker (Raising Cain
; Speaking of Boys
) underscore the developmental differences between girls and boys that often compel boys to underachieve in school and embrace destructive behavior. The authors aim to rectify a sense of parental loss of trust in boys' development by advocating early unconditional love, strong maternal attachment, restraint of corporal punishment and sexist stereotyping, strong father participation and safe places where boys can engage in undirected, outside play. The trend toward earlier academic performance in school does not suit boys' development, as they tend to learn language and reading slower than girls, hear less well and fidget. Educators and psychologists share their opinions, all in the spirit of embracing boys' unique energy and intellect. Ages 11 to 13 bring startling changes, which the authors examine under the five tasks of adolescence, while ages 14 to 15 invite a mysterious inner life, and ages 16 to 18 present challenges regarding independence, sexuality and responsibility. In this upbeat guide, Thompson especially relies on his good-sense experience as a father and educator to remind parents not to criticize behavior that is typical for boys. (Mar.)
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Advance praise for It’s a Boy!
“It’s a Boy! is a powerful guide to raising a son in today’s world. Filled with stories from the front lines and practical advice, it is gentle and compassionate, yet also moving and beautiful. The heart of a boy beats in every page.”
–Michael Gurian, author of The Wonder of Boys
“Michael Thompson has gradually earned his place as the Warren Buffett of child rearing, the real deal. His track record of uncanny timing, his hard-won knowledge, common sense, and humanism have resonated with parents everywhere. Now there is a desperate need to understand our boys more deeply; there is a palpable hunger to learn how to handle our sons better.
It’s a Boy! does both in a way not seen before. It’s a Boy! will help your son to feel more loved, understood, and effectively guided by you–forever.”
–Ron Taffel, Ph.D., author of
Parenting by Heart: How to Stay Connected to Your Child in a Disconnected World
“Spectacular . . . extraordinary insight, enriched by countless poignant and telling stories of boys and their parents and teachers. It’s a Boy! is an immensely helpful navigational chart for steering through the shoals of a boy’s developmental stages.”
–Patrick F. Bassett, president, National Association of Independent Schools
“Wise, sensible, accessible, useful–this is
book every parent of a boy will want and need to turn to as their child grows from a baby to an adolescent. Illuminated by Thompson’s years of experience working with boys and their families, this book is chock-full of new insights and the latest science about the ages and stages of boys’ development. It’s a Boy! is a book that parents, educators, health professionals, and policy makers will go back to again and again and each time come away with a deeper understanding and appreciation of why ‘boys will be boys.’”
–Robie H. Harris, author of It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, and Sexual Health
“Bringing together the latest research and the most timeless knowledge and wisdom, this monumental book is unique, invaluable, and urgently important. Any person who cares about boys must own this book, as it addresses every relevant question and provides not only authoritative answers but also comfort, warmth, enthusiasm, and spark. What a truly amazing achievement, what a gift Dr. Thompson has given us all.”
–Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., author of Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder