This book explores the reticence of boys: what it signifies and how to decipher the meanings behind the silence. The book emphasizes the importance of staying connected to children as they grow into adolescence. Shaffer, an educator, and Gordon, a clinical social worker, explain the cultural and social constraints behind boys' unwillingness to talk. Fearful of the appearance of vulnerability, boys aren't willing to risk exposure of their feelings by talking and instead use competitiveness as an acceptable model for expressing emotions. The authors provide strategies for enhancing opportunities to connect more deeply and emotionally with boys and explore the cultural conventions regarding ideals of masculinity, encouraging parents to help teens develop more independent and individual self-images. Particular issues facing boys of color are addressed in separate chapters. The authors also offer specific strategies: for instance, boys need to be taught empathy; and parents need to value attachment in their sons as well as their daughters. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
From the Back Cover
"This wise and warm book encourages mothers not to let their sons become unemotional robots but instead to stay connected."
--Michael Kimmel, professor of sociology, SUNY Stony Brook
"Shaffer and Gordon shed light on the cultural reasons boys frequently don't talk and then show how to encourage conversation and when to respect the necessary silences."
--Laura Sessions Stepp, author of Our Last Best Shot: Guiding Our Children Through Early Adolescence
Whatever happened to that chatty little boy brimming with quirky facts and interminable accounts of his adventures? When did your son grow into the sullen stranger in your house who communicates through shrugs and one-word answers? Is this just part of growing up or is it a sign that something is wrong?
In Why Boys Don't Talk--and Why It Matters, Susan Morris Shaffer and Linda Perlman Gordon draw on their professional and personal experiences to provide answers to those common questions. You'll discover why adolescent boys often feel the need to protect themselves behind a wall of silence and why it's important to your son's emotional health to break through that wall. Most important, you'll gain the knowledge and tools you need to:
- Recognize and understand the subtle ways boys communicate connection
- Reopen the lines of communication with your adolescent son
- Help him learn to express his feelings and experience a range of normal emotions
- Maintain strong emotional bonds with your son in order to support his positive growth and development