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Recommendations for books on how to better parent our boys.

Sonhood parent coaching resources real boys book cover

Real Boys

William Pollack​ (Ph. D.)

As co-director of the Center for Men at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical Center, Pollack has seen behind the stoic masks of troubled, modern boys as they struggle to cope with the mixed messages, conflicting expectations, and increasingly complex demands they receive from our evolving society. “New research shows that boys are faring less well … that many boys have remarkably fragile self-esteem, and that the rates of both depression and suicide in boys are frighteningly on the rise.”                                                                                                                                                                                                  What are parents to do? They could start by listening to the author’s thoughts on contemporary child-rearing techniques, analysis of the root causes of many male behavior problems, and recommendations for avoiding all-too-common pitfalls. In Real Boys, Pollack draws upon nearly two decades of research to support his theories and makes an impressive assault on the popular myths surrounding the conventional definition of masculinity.  ( Review)

Sonhood parent coaching resources raising cain book cover

Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys

Dan Kindlon (Ph. D.), Michael Thomson (Ph. D.)

Dan Kindlon, Ph.D., and Michael Thompson, Ph.D., two of the country’s leading child psychologists, share what they have learned in more than thirty-five years of combined experience working with boys and their families. They reveal a nation of boys who are hurting–sad, afraid, angry, and silent. Kindlon and Thompson set out to answer this basic, crucial question: What do boys need that they’re not getting? They illuminate the forces that threaten our boys, teaching them to believe that “cool” equals macho strength and stoicism. Cutting through outdated theories of “mother blame,” “boy biology,” and “testosterone,” the authors shed light on the destructive emotional training our boys receive–the emotional miseducation of boys. ( Review)

Sonhood parent coaching resources speaking of boys book cover

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

Michael Thompson (Ph.D.)

Preeminent child psychologist, Michael Thompson is renowned for his efforts to educate and assist parents with sons. First with Raising Cain  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. ( Review)

Sonhood parent coaching resources raising boys book cover

Raising Boys

Steve Biddulph

Raising a happy, loving, responsible boy in today’s world can be challenging. In this third edition of his international best seller, Steve Biddulph looks at the most important issues in a boy’s development from birth to manhood. With gentle humor and proven wisdom backed by decades as a family psychologist and father, he shows parents how to provide the firm, loving guidance that boys need. Updates include information on mitigating the dangerous effects of online pornography, male specific hearing problems, and teen driving on boys. Biddulph also discusses:
• The three stages of boyhood, and how to help them go smoothly.
• Testosterone! How it changes behavior and what to do about it.
• How boys’ brain development differs from girls’.
• How to help boys cultivate a caring attitude toward sex.
• The impact of competitive sports on boys, and how to ensure it stays positive.
• Questions to assist in finding boy-friendly schools.

Sonhood parent coaching resources the courage to raise good men book cover

The Courage to Raise Good Men

Olga Silverstein, Beth Rashbaum

“Challenging and readable…will help mothers understand the implications of pushing boys out of the family before they’re ready to go.”—The Los Angeles Times Book Review.

Sonhood parent coaching resources the wonder of boys book cover

The Wonder of Boys

Michael Gurian

In this insightful and practical book, Michael Gurian describes what boys need to become strong, responsible, sensitive men. Instead of encouraging us to stifle boys’ natural propensities for competition and aggression, Gurian offers effective and practical guidelines for channeling them. He shows how the evils boys are susceptible to, including gang activity, sexual misconduct, and crime, become necessary outlets when positive role models and adult support are not available.

Most important, Gurian explains what a boy really needs–a primary and an extended family, relationships with mentors, and intense support form his school and community–and details how we can provide these things for the boys we love. ( Review)

Sonhood parent coaching resources why gender matters book cover

Why Gender Matters

Leonard Sax, (M.D., Ph.D.)

A revised and updated edition (with more than 70% new material) of the evergreen classic about the innate differences between boys and girls and how best to parent and teach girls and boys successfully, with completely new chapters on sexual orientation and on transgender and intersex kids.

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