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How To Raise A Boy: The Power of Connection to Build Good Men by [Michael  Reichert]
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How To Raise A Boy: The Power of Connection to Build Good Men Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews


“No one writes more powerfully about how much boys need loving relationships to become healthy men. With the training of a researcher and the soul of a clinician, Michael Reichert has looked deeply into their hearts and lives; he sees behind their under achievement and gaming addictions and recognizes their yearning for connection and friendship. If you are the parent or teacher of a boy, if you love a boy, you should read How to Raise a Boy.”
Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D., author of Raising Cain and Best Friends, Worst Enemies
“In the ten years since my book about boys’ troubles came out, I have spoken to countless parents and educators about their worries. Over this same period things have not gotten any easier for boys—in fact, it is more important than ever for families to nurture men of character, emotional intelligence and resilience. In this groundbreaking book, Michael Reichert combines a unique blend of research, clinical insight, and personal experience to offer an encouraging approach to raising our sons. If you have a son, or a grandson, or a nephew or a brother, buy this book.”
Peg Tyre, New York Times bestselling author of The Trouble with Boys

“A thoughtful, honest, and ultimately hopeful map for raising a son today . . . Michael Reichert does what he has done for so long for so many: give brilliant insight and advice that help so many boys become confident men of purpose and character.”
—Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes and Masterminds and Wingmen

“Michael blends the wisdom of being a loving parent and a caring clinician to help us listen to, understand, and honor our sons and the boys in our lives, in order to assist them to be their best and truest selves.”
 —David L. Bell, MD MPH, Medical Director, The Young Men’s Clinic, New York Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Medical Center
How to Raise a Boy is a book of positivity and hope for navigating the complex and often fraught journey of raising boys to be good men in today’s world. Through fascinating stories from boys and their caregivers, it provides valuable and practical insight into the utmost significance of relationality and the power of connection in dismantling the harmful gender norms of the ‘boy code’ that compromise the lives of all of us.”
 —Amanda Keddie, Professor of Education, Deakin University (Australia)
“Michael Reichert weaves a lovely tapestry of stories, experiences, insights and reflections acquired over a long distinguished career guiding boys and young men.  A must read-- not only for parents of boys but also for educators, administrators and counselors entrusted with the responsibility of championing boys’ education and development.”
 —David M. Armstrong, Executive Director, International Boys’ School Coalition
 “Michael Reichert's highly readable and important book not only reveals how we have failed boys by gendering our human capacities to think and feel, with the latter being considered girly and gay and thus put on the bottom of our hierarchy of values. He underscores the similarities between boys and girls, or among all humans, in their social and emotional needs and capacities. Recognizing this simple and empirically proven fact is key to his proposed solutions to foster boys' natural capacities to connect to themselves and others. A must read for all who care about boys and men.”
 —Niobe Way, Professor of Developmental Psychology, New York University, and author of Deep Secrets: Boys Friendships and the Crisis of Connection
“This book is a must-read for anyone who has, or expects to have, a boy in their life. Dr. Reichert punctuates theory and research with real life vignettes from his own extensive clinical practice, powerfully bringing the pages to life. He explodes many of the myths about boys that stand in the way of healthy relationships with their parents and peers. He carefully guides parents through strategies that enhance their positive influence on their sons, thereby ensuring that they can thrive in an increasingly confusing and complicated world.”
 —Dennis J. Barbour, Esq., President and CEO, The Partnership for Male Youth
“In this important new book, Michael Reichert draws on years of experience in the field and his vast knowledge of research on gender and adolescent development to present helpful ideas to parents and educators who seek to raise healthy boys and young men.  Written in a sensible, clear and compelling manner, this book is chock full of wisdom and practical suggestions.  At a time when we have so much evidence that many boys are in trouble, we finally have a book that offers the insights and practical guidance we need to raise boys!”
 —Pedro A. Noguera, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Education, Faculty Director, Center for the Transformation of Schools 
“Michael Reichert has woven together a must-read that thoughtfully describes how to support boys to thrive.  He draws on findings from cutting edge research (his own and others), practice as a clinician and educational consultant, and first-hand experience as a parent, to illustrate their needs for us to appreciate them as individuals, and to work to have meaningful relationships with them.”
 —K. Ann Renninger, Dorwin P. Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action, Department of Educational Studies, Swarthmore College
“Michael Reichert has spent three decades working to understand how boys think, feel, and act.  In How to Raise a Boy, he distills that learning into ten chapters that focus on the challenges boys face today, and on how the adults in their lives can help boys navigate the risks and develop into good men.  His advice:  purposefully intrude on your son's privacy to become part of his life!  Boys are equal to girls in their capacity to commit their hearts--but only to those they trust.  Highly recommended for all parents and educators.”
 —Dr. John Nagl, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Retired), Ninth Headmaster, The Haverford School
“From years of work with boys and young men, Michael Reichert is well-positioned to explain the dire consequences of how we raise boys to be men. With deep compassion guiding both his work and his writing, he points to positive directions to bring change. A must read for parents, teachers and, really, for us all.”
 —Michael Kaufman, author of The Time Has Come: Why Men Must Join the Gender Equality Revolution
 “How To Raise a Boy seeks nothing short of redemption for our young men and for our country. Through a range of topics including Love, Violence, Integrity, Self-Respect, Hope, Social Development, Peer Bullying and Peer Support, Dr. Reichert has written a treatise for anyone seeking to know young men of today and to set in motion the necessary steps to improve the trajectory of young men’s lives.
His analysis of the issues elevates our understanding of how to combat and better prepare the youth for an ever-changing society; strengthening their chances for safety, satisfaction and success.
Dr. Reichert offers specific strategies to guide adults who play a key role in the development of boys.  His good counsel speaks directly to the men and women of our nation providing a “roadmap” to move us away from old and false ideas and toxic stereotypes, that do nothing but constrict, and replace them with fresh beliefs and empowering practices that redefine and enlighten masculinity in healthy ways.
How To Raise a Boy is vital for educators and parents across the United States who grapple with young men whether they are withdrawn, lack direction, are egotistical, disengaged, or who suffer with substance abuse or hyper-masculinity as well as those struggling to find direction in their lives as well as to find their identify."
 —David C. Banks, President & CEO, The Eagle Academy Foundation, Inc.

“The battle for our sons’ souls rages on. Parents, policymakers and teachers are worried, as they should be. Pundits debate whether boys should ‘man up’ or whether it’s manhood itself that is the problem. Into the debate Michael Reichert offers this bright light: boys need more connection, not less. They need care, not carelessness. They need parents, teachers and all of us being courageous enough to let boys simply be the full-hearted human beings they want to be.  And to love them and support them all along the way.  How to Raise a Boy is a much-needed contribution to the discussion.” 
 —Gary Barker, Founder and CEO, Promundo

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

When my grandson was born, I was taken off guard by how powerfully he claimed me as his. He gazed at me, sometimes for long moments, and searched my face, looking deeply into my eyes. When I talked to him, telling him how glad I was that he was here, I seemed to be speaking a language he understood, even though he himself did not have words yet. He took me in. A few months more into his life, he began to smile. When he arrived at our home, he heard the sound of my voice, peered intently until he located me, and burst into a radiant smile when our eyes met. A little later still, he would actually squirm with delight, his legs and arms swinging rapidly against his daddy’s chest, when he saw me. I appreciated that this is what a child—boy or girl—is: wired to connect at the deepest, most enduring levels.
With the birth of my two sons, I saw that even superhero efforts could not protect them from the culture they swam in. I accepted the offer to become the consulting psychologist at a school for boys partly for their sakes. At least, I thought, they would see me stand on behalf of boys. Once on the job, I discovered great interest in boys’ lives both in and outside of the school. I created the program for boys that grew into the Center for the Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Lives in response to this need. Over the years, we have expanded the work, conducting research and undertaking advocacy in partnership with global organizations such as the International Boys’ Schools Coalition, Boy Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and Promundo, the gender justice organization.
In the course of this work, I have visited schools and communities around the world and heard conversations about boys that are remarkably similar everywhere. Globally, I realize, families, educators, and youth leaders are searching for sounder ideas to guide their care. Despite the culture wars and its backlash, there are cries for clarity and leadership wherever adults work in the trenches with boys—at a nongovernmental organization (NGO) in Nairobi, Kenya; a boys’ school in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa; a workshop for Catholic school leaders in Dublin, Ireland; and everywhere I travel in Canada and the United States.
As the world has flattened and become more tightly bound by financial and communication ties, the paradigm for being male has become more homogeneous. Globalization has exported the dominant themes of traditional Western boyhood worldwide. Even as its unworkability becomes more and more apparent and many boys are in revolt, these ideas are stubbornly embedded in family norms and the culture of institutions. It will require concerted effort, a campaign, to uproot them. For my grandson’s sake, for a boyhood he can inhabit with an open heart, I write in hopes that parents and others who care will join together in common resistance.
What would a Campaign for Boys’ Lives look like? First, it would uphold the fundamental worth and integrity of boys. Bringing together researchers, thought leaders, policy makers, and activists, it would paint a grounded picture of boys’ actual experience—distinct from stereotyped and clichéd images—and view their lives through an ethical lens. The campaign would seek not only to interrupt the unconscionable sacrifices imposed upon boys but also to promote sounder, healthier, and ultimately more effective practices in schools, families, and communities. The goal is that boys—boys of all kinds—flourish. A just society cannot permit systematic developmental losses by any group. It is critical that boys—and the men that they become—find our warmest understanding and proudest embrace.
There are inspiring innovations well under way. In Great Britain, the Healthy Minds experiment has been so successful that it has strained resources. Nearly a million people a year have been attracted by the offer of free mental health counseling, and, overall, the number of adults in England who have recently received services has increased from one in four to one in three. The program has gone a long way to erode the stigma of talking about problems in a nation culturally steeped in stoicism. Begun in 2008 from collaboration between a psychologist and an economist, initial funding allowed the program to set up thirty-five clinics across the country. Funding continued to grow to a current budget of $500 million, which will double over the next few years.
In Australia, as in other parts of the world, concern about suicide has become focused on men’s difficulties asking for help when they are troubled. Three-quarters of suicides are male, and suicide rates there have reached new highs. A “national suicide emergency” has been declared. In response, a new campaign, Our Toughest Challenge Yet, has been launched by the crisis support organization Lifeline, to promote men’s asking for help as an act of courage. For younger men, a Father’s Campaign has also been devised by the Headspace project of the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, encouraging fathers not to leave observations they make about their son’s mental health unspoken and to intervene if they notice that he has become overwhelmed.
The World Health Organization produced a summary of effective approaches to men and boys. To successfully engage them, programs must “enhance boys’ and men’s lives.” Promundo works from that principle to develop research-based programs, including Program H for young men aged fifteen to twenty-four. Launched in 2002 and now in twenty-five countries, the curriculum encourages young men to reflect on how rigid norms affect them. Program H, renamed Manhood 2.0 in its US version, has been identified as a best practice in promoting gender equality and preventing gender-based violence by the World Bank and the World Health Organization, and has been cited by UNICEF and the United Nations for its demonstrated effectiveness.
In families, classrooms, on athletic fields, and in communities, those in charge of boyhood have daily opportunities to make a difference for boys. Boys clamor to be themselves and reliably take advantage of every opportunity that is offered. What has slowed the project of human liberation is not some deficiency of male nature, nor is it boys’ appetite for privilege at the expense of others. What converts a naturally empathic boy to a hard, emotionally distant, and selfish individual is denying him the connections he needs to stay human and accountable. Holding boys in relationships where they are known and loved is the best way to build good men.

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

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