Skip to main content

Boys Adrift - A book recommendation for mothers of boys

While discussing parenting with a mom of 6 boys, she mentioned the book Boys Adrift and recommended I read it. I immediately put it on hold at our library. To be honest, boys are so much different than girls and sometimes I can't believe we're even related.

I am still so unbelievably grateful for the many times I have read Bringing up Boys by James Dobson. I read it when I first learned I was carrying a boy and have read it twice since. It opened my eyes to a whole new side of boys I never knew existed and helped me understand why I didn't understand them. It's proven invaluable to me as I've taught my son to read and have been helping him to find his place in this world.

It helps me to know what's normal and how his needs differ from my daughter's and mine. But
Boys Adrift brought up a whole new world of concerns.

The book focuses on the (5) five major factors leading to our culture of unmotivated and underachieving men. I've noticed it in many of the men I know (remember a certain leech that moved into our home for 2 months last year - Grrrr, don't even get me started!) as well as the beginnings of trouble in my own son.

It's an excellent read and very eye opening. Some of the factors were familiar to me, like the impact of video games and environmental toxins. It reinforced for me the importance of making sure our family is eating (and living) as healthy as possible.

But the book also described issues around drive and motivation that are unique to males. Things I didn't really think about before. Amazingly, I also learned a lot about raising my daughter from this book. You can't really effect a generation of boys without effecting a generation of girls, and vice versa.

For example, the book discusses self esteem and learning abilities in girls and boys. After reading the book, I remembered how and why I was really good at math in school. Hopefully you can use this story in encouraging your sons and daughters.

I was an average math student up until the 3rd grade when fractions threw me for a loop. I couldn't figure them out and I stumbled through a few weeks before we got to adding and subtracting fractions. Because I didn't understand the basics, I was completely lost and I finally went to my parents for help.

My mom didn't know how to explain the system and rules for adding/subtracting fractions, so she did something else with me. She cooked with me. She explained what 1/2 and 1/4 looked like. What they meant. When I finally understood that, I could rationalize in my mind what would happen if I took 1/4 out of 1/2 and eventually I figured out "the rules."

But although making it real for me helped me learn the basic math steps, it's not what propelled me to skip a grade in math, and be #1 in all my math courses even throughout the highest levels of Calculus and Quantum Mechanics. No. It was something else.

My mom checked up on my math homework and told me how good I was at math. At first I was skeptical because it was still hard for me. But my mom routinely asked me for help figuring things out. She had me add her taxes. She asked me to figure out budget issues and asked me to cut recipes for her.

For a while I doubted her intelligence, but when I saw that I could do these things and not everyone else could, I started to believe her when she said I was good at math. Then the teacher told me I was good at math. And I became "good at math" for the rest of my life.

According to the book, if you tell a girl that she is good at something, she will be good at it - forever! If you tell her she's bad at something, she will be bad at it - forever. It's not the same for boys. They're driven differently. Take a look for yourself, but my interpretation from the book was that you shouldn't just tell boys they are good at something. You should challenge them and let them show you.

I could tell my son he's a good runner, or I could challenge him to a race and let him strive to beat me. When he beats me (in a hard won race) he will believe he is a good runner.

And there's more - oh, so much more - to be learned from this book. Something I've been ruminating about for quite some time is a quote he mentioned from Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology.

“The foundation of all mental illness is the unwillingness to experience legitimate suffering.”

Taken out of context of the chapter, this may not seem entirely relevant. But it's highly relevant in our modern virtual and overprotective society. Children (but especially boys) are being negatively impacted by our instant, virtual, and often unfeeling world. It's prompted me to start reading Last Child in the Woods and I'll share what I discover.

More than ever, boys need to get outside and play. They need goals to attain and a sense of purpose. They need a safe and healthy home to thrive and grow. They need to be treated and taught differently than girls. They need positive male role models. And they need to feel valued. As an independent girl, this last part is hard for me to swallow, but the men in our lives need to know how much they are truly needed.

If you have sons or grandsons, I'd recommend giving this book a read. I'd also recommend Bringing up boys and I'll be the first one to get Bringing up Girls when it finally comes out (April 13, 2010!!) That's where my swagbucks will be going. :)

*This is not a sponsored review. Just my thoughts about an influential book.

Comments

  1. I cant wait to read it!! I have three boys...no girls :( Thanks for the recommendation!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. As I post this, my two younger sons are out playing, soaking in the last of the day's light! Do you think the library would have these books? I'll have to check. I've heard of Dobson's book but never read it. Maybe at a homeschool conference?

    ReplyDelete
  3. My county library has both of these books. I'd check with your library because they most likely have them. I'd highly recommend Bringing up Boys, Boys Adrift, and Last Child in the Woods. Glad your boys are out playing. It's been wonderful here and my kids have almost been living outside. They're having a blast.

    James Dobson also wrote "Dare to Discipline" and "The strong willed child". They overlap a little but both are great reads. I'm sooooo looking forward to "Bringing up Girls".

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comments! I appreciate all your tips, advice, and well wishes!

Angela

Popular posts from this blog

Are Siberian Cats Hypoallergenic? The Truth about Siberian Cats!

Our Siberian kitten at 12 weeks old I thought we would never own a cat. My husband is allergic. And my son is allergic. So we put pet ownership out of our heads until some how we came across the Siberian cat breed. My husband spent all sorts of time researching Fel-D1 levels and everything he could about cats and allergies. He was convinced we could do it. So we began our search. First of all, you should know that there aren't very many Siberian cat breeders. At least on in our area. We called and emailed a few but they all had super long waiting lists and were hours away from our home. Then we found two that were close to home. They also had long waiting lists, but were close enough that we could go visit. We visited two separate breeders. We found them both to be very loving homes filled with cats. Soft, lovey, playful cats. But my both my husband and son had severe reactions after visiting the homes. Click here to see results of our first breeder visit . Even sti

Figuring out What's Wrong with Your Berry Plants by Leaf Analysis

I've been growing berries all my life. First raspberries and over the last 9 years blueberries and strawberries. Over that time, I have encountered an endless stream of problems and have figured out how to fix many of them. So I thought I'd put that knowledge online so people can easily figure out what might be going on with their berry plants and have a place to start to search for information. Most plants give signs of trouble with their leaves. In general, most plants (and especially berries) should have deep green leaves. Any other variation means trouble. Sometimes it's major. Sometimes it's an easy fix. Raspberries If your leaves have a purple tinge: It may mean the weather has been cold, they are just forming, or they are deficient in Potassium . To fix - apply light fertilizer (tomato fertilizer is a good choice, since it is higher in potassium which results in more flowers and more fruit - or buy Organic potassium source .) If your leaves are yellowing

9 Months Wearing Thinx - What I REALLY think and What you should know if you decide to use them!!

It's been 9 months since I bought my first pair of Thinx underwear. Since that time, I have transitioned to 90% reusable period products . I've figured out how to wash them, get them to stop being stinky , and when to use them.  I first heard of Thinx when a friend of mine showed me an article on Facebook.The article was an obvious paid to endorsement. I was disappointed that my friend couldn't see through the propaganda, but it did motivate me to dig deeper into reusable menstrual products. So I bought my first pair - I used a $10 off coupon and first time customers got free shipping. ( This link will give you $10 off if you decide to give them a go.) The first thing I did when they arrived was try them on. They fit well and looked really good. Fancy even? Well, maybe not for most people but they had lace and that is fancy in my world. I then tested them with a syringe of water to be sure that they could actually hold the liquid they claimed. They passed. I bo

How to Make Raw Almond Butter using a Blender (Vitamix)

You CAN make your own almond butter (peanut, cashew, sunflower, or ANY nut butter.) It's fast and easy - and you can do it in a blender! If you love almond butter, then I'd highly recommend learning how to make it yourself. I buy raw almonds   for about $3 a pound, so the savings aren't  huge , but knowing what goes into my almond butter is priceless.  What goes in? Nothing but almonds . You can certainly add salt, cocoa powder, sugar, honey, or whatever floats your boat - but the truth is - you don't have to!  You can roast the almonds and have a rich nutty flavored almond butter or you can make it raw (which to me - tastes more like cookie dough mixed with peanut butter, yums.) Here's the deal: you don't need to add oils or anything else. A vitamix blender (or other similarly powerful blender) can handle it.   Here's a video of me making raw almond butter. I used about 3 cups (measured by a 5 year old - so about  3 cups is fine). 

Can you fix broken plants with tape? - yes you can!

Can you fix broken plants with tape? YESSSSSS! Read on to hear how I have done it many times and how you can fix your plants too. A snapped Blueberry plant repaired with electrical tape and twine I take care of a lot of plants. And when I run out of plants, I take care of my neighbors' . Every once-in-a-while, I learn something that's worth sharing. This is one of those things. I found out that you CAN save plants by using tape. This winter, someone stepped on the main stem of one of my blueberry bushes and snapped it in half. I noticed it as soon as the snow melted and was devastated. It takes 3 years for a blueberry bush to "be ready" and it was year three. And the main stem was snapped clean off. So I did what anybody would do in an emergency like this. I hit the garage for whatever tape I could find. My husband had recently taught me that electrical tape sticks to nothing - but itself. And it sticks to itself well. I grabbed the electrical tape  from t