Speaking of Boys: Answers to the Most-Asked Questions About Raising Sons

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9780345441485: Speaking of Boys: Answers to the Most-Asked Questions About Raising Sons

My eight-year-old son is the only boy in his class who doesn't have a Gameboy. I don't want him to be ostracized for not having one, but I worry that it's addictive. What do you think?

Our two sons are eleven and fourteen, and they are fiercely competitive. The tension around our house is awful. How can we help them get along better?

We've worked very hard to keep our ten-year-old son in touch with his feelings. Sometimes it seems as if we've put him at a disadvantage, surrounded by tougher boys who can be pretty cruel with teasing. How can we help him protect himself when other boys start to tease?

With his bestselling book Raising Cain, Michael Thompson, Ph.D., at last broke the silence surrounding the emotional life of boys and spearheaded an important national debate. His warmth and humor quickly made him a popular and respected international speaker and consultant. Now he directs his authority, insight, and eloquence to answering your questions about raising a son. With candid questions and thoughtful, detailed responses, Speaking of Boys covers hot-button topics such as peer pressure, ADHD/ADD, and body image as well as traditional issues such as friendship, divorce, and college and career development. This perceptive, informative, and passionate book will leave you not only with useful, practical advice but also with the comforting knowledge that other parents share the same concerns you do when it comes to raising our boys into well-adjusted, responsible men.

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Review:

Preeminent child psychologist, Michael Thompson is renowned for his efforts to educate and assist parents with sons. First with Raising Cain (his response to Mary Pipher's Reviving Ophelia ) and now with Speaking of Boys, Thompson encourages parents to help their sons develop the emotional intelligence necessary to succeed. The book seeks to answer parents' questions concerning the complexities of raising a boy in today's society. Every chapter introduces questions from parents on issues like puberty, underage drinking, and increased violence in schools, and in every instance the author responds with insightful and knowledgeable advice. Chapters entitled "Speaking of Social Anger and Aggression" and "Feelings and Communication--Is Our Sensitive Boy a Sitting Duck for Bullies?" are particularly in tune with the apprehension parents feel when sending their sensitive sons off for another grueling day at school.

The key to raising a healthy son, says Thompson, is to help your boy attain an emotional intelligence that will allow him to cope with difficult and threatening situations. To accomplish this, parents need to nurture compassion in their sons and try to avoid allowing them to become desensitized by the teasing and pressure of others. Respecting your son's need to appear strong at times and offering him a sense of safety when discussing emotionally revealing subjects are two ways Thompson encourages parents to nurture their son's emotional development. As anyone who is raising a boy knows, it's a job that is never quite finished, and with this book, Thompson offers parents an invaluable tool, regardless of their son's age. --Dal Asher

About the Author:

Michael Thompson, PhD, is the author or co-author of eight books, including the bestselling Raising Cain. A consulting school psychologist and popular school speaker, he is also a former board member of the American Camp Association. The father of two, he lives in Arlington, Massachusetts, with his wife.

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