8 Smart Things People Have Said About Raising Boys

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1 /// “Boys are often more physically inclined than their female peers and may show their feelings through touch. Validate those feelings by joyfully accepting his affection (no problem there) and giving it back to him tenfold. Never worry that you’re “babying” your son by holding, carrying, and kissing him. No research has ever shown that a strong mother-son bond will “feminize” a boy, but studies do show that males who lack a strong maternal connection are more likely to be aggressive, destructive kids.” – Raising Boys – 8 Things You May Not Know

2 /// “Why don’t boys seem to listen? Turns out their hearing is not as good as girls’ right from birth, and this difference only gets greater as kids get older. Girls’ hearing is more sensitive in the frequency range critical to speech discrimination, and the verbal centers in their brains develop more quickly. That means a girl is likely to respond better to discipline strategies such as praise or warnings like “Don’t do that” or “Use your words.” Boys tend to be more tactile — they may need to be picked up and plunked in a time-out chair,” Gurian says. They’re also less verbal and more impulsive, he adds, which is especially evident in the toddler and preschool years.” – Is it harder to raise boys or girls? By Paula Spencer

3 /// “What we know is that boys in all cultures around the world wrestle more, mock fight more, and are drawn to themes of power and domination, but that’s not the same as hurting someone, so it’s not necessarily a cause for worry.” – Michael Thompson, Ph.D. Co-Author, Raising Cain

4 /// “Mothers tend to nurture their children, while fathers are more likely to roughhouse and play with their sons than mothers are. Through this kind of play, fathers are teaching [via role modeling] how to handle aggression while regulating their emotions. This teaching of emotional regulation from a young age has far reaching benefits for a child’s development. When we are able to self-regulate our emotions, we’re able to express ourselves without resorting to lashing out verbally or physically.” – Christina Steinorth, the author of “Cue Cards for Life: Gentle Reminders for Better Relationships”

5 /// “Saying “boys will be boys” teaches children that certain behaviors are endemic to masculinity and exclusive to boys only. This form of thinking reinforces rigid binaries that cause us to develop more engrained “either/or” attitudes that allow our culture to ignore the true spectrum and variety of behaviors that individuals can exhibit.” – The Danger of “Boys Will Be Boys” published by Elizabeth J. Meyer Ph.D.

6 /// “”Weinberg found that a higher proportion of girls could calm themselves when their mother’s face displayed a ‘stony expression’ (as opposed to a warm one) — but that the boys could not. More boys would get easily distressed, they cried more frequently, and were unable to calm themselves.” – Joseph Tobin, Ph.D. Professor of Early Childhood Education, Arizona State University

7 /// “Boys are more advanced than girls in mathematical reasoning, spatial ability, and mechanical ability, while girls score higher on memory, perceptual accuracy, verbal fluency, and language tasks (Aikens, 1987). All preoperational children (before about age seven) need lots of hands-on-learning (Wardle, 2003); but, because of boys’ abilities in math and mechanical skills, and their limitations in memory and language, they specifically need lots and lots of opportunities for hands-on learning, rather than verbal instruction, literacy activities, and rote learning.” – The Challenge of Boys in Our Early Childhood Programs by Francis Wardle, Ph.D.

8 /// “We know what we get when a boy is raised with the code, says Pollack: a mask of masculinity, false bravado, the need to be aggressive and to win, and to ignore or repress feelings of vulnerability. These are the men who seem strong but who are, ironically, weakest in many ways because they’re hiding or are unaware of their neediness and are poorly equipped to engage in any kind of honest relationship. But those boys who get affection, love, respect, and compassion, grow up whole, not unconsciously seeking what they needed from their parents.” – How to Raise the Men We’d Want to Marry By Valerie Monroe

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