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boy sitting on ball

What Am I Teaching My Son If I Let Him Quit Playing Sports Just Because He’s Afraid of the Ball?

  You are teaching him… that you respect him, even if you don’t understand his choices. that you will listen closely to what he says and take it at face value. that it pays to speak up. that he doesn’t have to disguise his real feelings in order to gain or sustain your approval. that […]

a boy bullying another boy

Kids Bullying Kids: Ideas for Stopping the Cycle of Aggression In School and At Home

Our discussions with kids about bullying typically cover such topics as what they can do, who they should tell, or why kids bully in the first place. But where does that leave the kid who feels the only way to keep himself safe is to bully other kids? Does he have anyone telling him that […]

Figure Skater Johnny Weir Hits A Chord With Marginalized Youth

In the 2006 Winter Olympics, a young man by the name of Johnny Weir competed in men’s figure skating. Weir skated beautifully in his short program, but not so well in the long program. He didn’t win a medal, despite high hopes from his countrymen. But his flamboyant style and unapologetic demeanor captured the attention […]

barber shop red white and blue pole

“Boys Will Be Boys”: A Bad Excuse for Bad Behavior

It’s a simple phrase meant to dismiss bad boy behavior as simply boy behavior. Because of it, countless boys have been left to suffer at the hands of other boys, the latter group empowered by the implicit sanctioning of their brutality. Sure, girls and boys are different. Most girls will never take to blowing snot […]

tail lights of a car

What My Son Learned The Day My Car Was Repossessed

  Mom, there’s a guy in our driveway with a tow truck, my son reports. With miscalculated insouciance I reply, No worries, dude, I’m sure it’s Bill. Bill, our neighbor, owns a service station. He’s hooking up your car, mom. I run outside to yell at this man, who’s not Bill, and end up handing […]

_The_Last_Boys_Picked II

School Bullying in the United Arab Emirates

  The following are comments that Beth Margolis Rupp, my co-author on The Last Boys Picked: Helping Boys Who Don’t Like Sports Survive Bullies and Boyhood, and I gave to Jennifer Bell, Senior National Reporter for The National, an English-language newspaper published in Abu Dhabi (UAE). Beth resides in Abu Dhabi and was contacted by Bell, […]

Closing Down the School of Hard Knocks

Sure, the kid is tough and “can take it.” But should he have to? “He’s tough, he’s a boy. He can take it,” says a father about his six-year-old son, who just got knocked flat on his face by an older brother testing out his brand-new bike. Sure he can take it. What choice does he have? […]