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Being there for boys

11 April
Posted by:
Michael Grose

Last week I spoke in Adelaide to 230 people about raising boys. I talked a great deal about strategy including improving their learning by creating a language rich home environment (talk with & read to), developing self-help skills (related to independence) and the importance of teaching boys organisational skills.

We also talked about Boy-friendly discipline (firmness, teaching language & recognition) and boy-friendly communication (shoulder-to-shoulder conversations, talk while doing stuff, think language).

But half the battle with raising boys is being there.

Mothers need to be there to help them process what happens, explain to them how they should behave and also to keep the chins up when life and learning gets hard. Mothers need to love (it makes them strong), like (feel comfortable with boyness) and let go (yep, they need to grow away from you) of their boys.

Fathers need to be there so they can download the software required to be male. But also you need to remember what it’s like to be a boy with all the insecurities, learning risk-adverseness & yearning for approval that goes with it.

Some boys will ask ‘where’s dad?’ and realise that he won’t be there. For sole mothers and those mothers with uninvolved partners don’t despair.

You need to take an interest in all aspects of their lives (be dad and mum), teach them how to behave well and talk well of males in general as sometimes boys with absent dads think poorly of themselves (‘what’s wrong with me?’).

It also helps if other males (relatives, coaches & teachers) can be available and interested in what your boy does.

It does a whole town to raise a...........

Check out this video about boys and learning

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