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“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 […]

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 […]

Don’t Do A Victory Dance When Your Kid Says You Were Right

  Heidi was a 15 year old girl who came for therapy at the behest of her parents. “She’s been furious with us ever since we had her transfer to a charter school,” her mother told me over the phone when setting up her first appointment. “Her father and I were convinced she’d do better […]

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? […]

Raising Boys to Be Good Sports:  Family Game Night and the Art of Interruption

This is the last in a series of six articles about raising boys to be good sports. I wouldn’t consider this series on good sportsmanship to be complete without saying at least a few words about family game nights—those hotbeds of rivalry disguised as interludes of filial togetherness. The problem of course isn’t in being competitive; […]

Fail Is Not a Four-Letter Word

How misguided compassion can end up being a child’s worst enemy in terms of healthy social and emotional development Nine-year-old Billy had been a brash schoolyard basketball player when I first met him. Now, a year later, he sat in my office sad and forlorn, next to his worried dad. “He won’t play basketball or […]

Raising Boys to Be Good Sports: Don’t dismiss bad sportsmanship as just “boys being boys.”

This is the first in a series of six articles about raising boys to be good sports. #1 Don’t dismiss bad sportsmanship as just “boys being boys.”  Boys who lose games or don’t play as well as they would like to respond to their disappointment in all kinds of ways, some graciously and others, well, […]

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Boy Behavior or Bad Behavior? The Dangers of Romanticizing Masculinity

By mistaking unchecked behavior for undeveloped behavior, we allow unacceptable behavior in boys and men to be seen as just another part of “being a guy.”      Years ago I knew a mother who had eight kids, the last six of whom were boys. The brothers were energetic, scrappy kids who were polite and […]

Michael Gurian: If I Were a Parent of a Boy…

For the next several months a group of writers focused on the issues of raising boys to become men are collaborating through the writing and sharing of blog posts in order to bring greater awareness to the unique challenges parents and the community face in the 21st Century.  Twice a month these writers will be […]