January 28, 2006

The Boy Era - It has finally begun!

It has really begun. In the last few weeks, the mainstream media has finally gotten on the boy bandwagon in a big way.

In the Jan. 30, 2006 issue of news week, there is a solid article on The Trouble With Boys. It focuses on boys difficulties in school as a result of how they are biologically, developmentally, and psychologically different from girls. It describes fascinating and current research on gender brain differences and points to a need for different learning/teaching styles that result.

As I mentioned in a previous post, on January 12, 2006, Public Television aired Raising Cain. Hosted by child psychologist Michael Thompson, Ph.D., co-author of the best-selling book Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Lives of Boys, this documentary explores the emotional development of boys in America today. It is another boy literate exploration of how boys are in trouble in America today. They probe the really hard questions like, who is responsible for this situation? How do we learn to listen to and support our boys? How can we guide them on the path to becoming responsible, caring men? You can view the video on line on the PBS website, or order the tape or DVD from PBS.

I don’t remember where I hear it, but it was said that the last 10 years have been about women and girls, and the next ten will be about men and boys. That era has begun.

January 24, 2006

Raising Non-Violent Kids

Dr. Michael Obsatz and David Decker, M.A., are two professionals working hard to do something about stopping violence. Between them they offer books, videos, and workshops on that concept. I especially like Dr. Obsatz's book Raising Nonviolent Children in a Violent World -- 21 skills to teach children for the 21st century.

You can even take an anger literacy test on their Anger Resources Website. If you want to raise boys to men who will posses a right relationship to anger and violence, these guys and their many resources will help you get started.

January 13, 2006

Puberty Boy

Our good friend and ally in Australia is Geoff Price. He has been running Pathways to Manhood wilderness camps for 10 years. The Pathways program helps boys make the challenging transition from boyhood to early manhood. Geoff is the perfect guy to have written Puberty Boy, a new book that will be available in the US in October of 2006.

So many men I know are looking for a map of manhood. One of many helpful parts of Geoff's book is a map of boyhood called the Growth Chart. This is a tool that predicts a boy's physical evolution as he moves through adolescence. The chart is helpful for boys in that it predicts what lies ahead. It's also a somewhat uncomfortable reminder for men about what that time in their lives.

On the Man-Making website, one of my research questions asks men to remember that place in-between boyhood and manhood. The question asks men, "Do you remember shyness, confusion and the discomforts of no longer being a boy, but not yet being a man?" The question asks men to, ". . . share a few lines about a memory of the terrors and disorientation of adolescence? It might be about something like the rapid growth in your body, your voice changing, your general restlessness, feeling clumsy, stealing for the excitement of it, emerging sexuality, embarrassing moments (first hard-on), pimples, being with girls, or testing your parent's limits."

If you want to be taken back to that time in your life, you can read the sometimes painful and often humorous replies I got from my male contributors.

I know many of us would have loved a book like Puberty Boy when we became suddenly aware that the call to manhood was stirring in our bodies.

Raising Cain | Public TV

On January 12, 2005, Psychologist Michael Thompson, Ph.D., co-author of the best-selling book Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Lives of Boys, hosted Raising Cain on public television. It was a powerful, literate, and two-hour long heart breaking series of truths describing the many barriers boys face enroute to any kind of successful manhood.

The program shared exciting new research about boys' inner lives, "dispelling a number of commonly held misconceptions." It also offered some hope by highlighting a few innovative programs with the potential to save boy's physical and emotional lives.

One of the most powerful wounds was described as the absence of positive, adult male parents and role models in boy's lives. The program asks, who will guide our boys toward manhood? Only adult men can do that. YOU can do that. This is the call to action that is at the heart of the Man-Making book I'm writing. When a man finds a way to reach out to a boy, two males are moved along on their journey to a positive and successful manhood.

Check out the PBS site for information on the documentary. They also have discussion guides, boy parenting resources, and you can order the DVD of the program there.

This is one DVD that could change your life

To order Raising Cain from Amazon.com click here

January 2, 2006

Boys to Men Mentoring Network

I just love what the guys at the Boys To Men Mentoring Network have to say about becoming a mentor. The joys of mentoring teach you many things: How to listen, without giving your own fantastic advice. How to be a better parent to your own children. What it's like to be in the middle of adolescence and how to make a difference in a young man's life.

This is another ogranization that really knows how to move boys and men along on their journey to manhood. Prior to their initiation weekends, the men are put through a training weekend. During that weekend they are taught many of the skills required to be a staff man, including learning how to listen, accept, and admire the boys. That same training re-sensitize men to the issues, concerns, frustrations, fears, restless energy, and angst that reside in an adolescent male. No wonder their man-making weekends are so powerful for all the males that are involved.

The Boys To Men Mentoring Network
, is a structured yet informal program that is growing rapidly just by word of mouth. If you want to have a life changing experience on your journey to manhood, check them out. There may be a Boys to Men program in your part of the world.