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Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys Paperback – April 4, 2000
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"Brilliant . . . This affectionate, encouraging book should be require reading for anyone raising--or educating--a boy."
--The Washington Post
"Raising Cain gives a long-needed insight into that mysterious, magical land, the psyches of boys. Every parent, teacher--or anyone who wants boys to flourish--should read this book."
Author of Emotional Intelligence
"ENORMOUSLY COMPELLING . . . In much the same way that Reviving Ophelia offered new models for raising girls, therapists Kindlon and Thompson argue that boys desperately need a new standard of 'emotional literacy.' . . . This thoughtful book is recommended for parents, teachers, or anyone with a vested interest in raising happy, healthy, emotionally whole young men."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"RAISING CAIN HELPS US UNDERSTAND THE INNER LIVES OF BOYS MUCH AS MARY PIPHER'S REVIVING OPHELIA SHED LIGHT ON THE STRUGGLE OF THE ADOLESCENT GIRL."
--The Tampa Tribune-Times
From the Inside Flap
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. 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 Cutting through outdated theories of "mother blame," "boy biology," and "testosterone," the authors shed light on the destructive emotional training our boys receive--the emotional miseducation of boys.
Kindlon and Thompson make a compelling case that emotional literacy is the most valuable gift we can offer our sons, urging parents to recognize the price boys pay when we hold them to an impossible standard of manhood. They identify the social and emotional challenges that boys encounter in school and show how parents can help boys cultivate emotional awareness and empathy--giving them the vital connections and support they need to navigate the social pressures of youth.
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The book's merit extends beyond pointing out that the problem exists. The authors suggest some practical ways of helping today's boys. It is respecting their feelings and approaching them more with questions rather than answers and suggestions to tough it out. It is trying to create a loving and safe atmosphere, where boys are more likely to risk opening up. It is helping them create emotive vocabulary, which would help them articulate how they feel. It is creating opportunities for safe failure, which would help boys get to know themselves. It is having some safe places where boys could spend their energy (such as a basement gym or a neighborhood basketball court). It is teaching them emotional courage and empathy, which could help them recognize who they are and build character.
Insightful, well articulated and timely. A great book.