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Being a Non-Sporty Boy in a Sports-Driven Culture (guest post for BuildingBoys.net)

On a spectacular spring day several years ago, my nine-year-old son, Jake, and I stepped into an elevator following a routine dentist’s appointment, headed for home. Jake, by the way, is one of those boys who doesn’t like sports, isn’t any good at them, and avoids them at every turn. Moments later, we were joined by […]

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 […]

jake and austin in florida

My Son Doesn’t Like to Play Sports and I’m OK With That

Austin (with Clifford & Monkey) and Jake (with Curious George) My son doesn’t like to play sports. And I’m okay with that. I’m not so sure about the rest of America, though. In our culture, it seems that boys who aren’t interested in sports are quickly set apart from the other boys on the block. […]

Not Every Boy Likes to Play Sports: Signs of Nonathletic Boys in Trouble and How You Can Help

Here are some of the things you’ll hear or see from boys who become anxious when they think they might have to get involved in some game, or get stuck being the only one sitting it out. They may complain of bellyaches, headaches, or general “I don’t feel well” on gym days. They might hang […]

How We Like Our Teenagers: Coltish and Unruly

Despite our communal anxiety about keeping adolescents in check, our culture still seems to like its teenagers a little coltish and unruly. You see this in parents’ bemused tolerance for their kids’ antics, and in the charity afforded them when rude or irresponsible; “typical teenage behavior” it’s called, which is unfortunate. Teenagers can do better, […]

_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, […]