Raising Boys Today

Boys have unique challenges. In the past, the two ways of raising boys were to either dismiss bad behavior with “boys will be boys” or to admonish boys for showing signs of weakness, particularly emotional weakness, with the phrase “be a man.” Where is the recognition that boys are complex creatures, with a range of needs, and that growing into a man is not a one-size-fits-all proposition?

Whether you are raising boys as a parent, as an educator, or as a role model—or just care about boys today—there are few resources and agreed-upon methods. How can we teach boys to respect not only women but also other boys and themselves? How do we help boys affected by racism? Talk to boys about #MeToo and sexual consent? And how do we have conversations with boys that let them know they can be victims of sexual assaults, a seldom talked about topic? What about boys who are growing up outside the socially accepted gender spectrum? Trans children? LGBTQ? What to do when boys are falling behind in school? Are boys being over-diagnosed with ADHD? How do we address violence and aggression—how do we prevent things like bullying and school shootings? Do boys who are being raised by single moms or by two gay dads need more support than boys in traditional households? If so, what does that look like?

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