Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Little Boys and Violence: What I Think

Seems like I've unleashed a bit of a firestorm. At a recent lecture in suburban New York City, I was talking about changes in schools that I think are hurting boys. One of those changes I frequently cite is our new and ubiquitous "zero-tolerance for fantasy violence" policies in schools -- the ones that create punishments for little boys who point their forefinger, bend their thumb and mouth "Pew! Pew!"

Teachers have to create classroom environments that are good for all kinds of children. I get it. But when you look at the research, what you find is that people who study boy psychology say perfectly normal little boys -- boys WHO ARE NOT GOING TO GROW UP TO BE COLUMBINE TYPE SHOOTERS -- think, play and fantasize around violence.

But many parents (self-included) and many teachers misunderstand it. Many parents (self included) spend a lot of time trying to get our sons to "turn that gun into a wand" and what we communicate to them is that what they are on the inside, what goes on in their head, is unacceptable to us. And I'm thinking we aren't helping our sons like this. If I'm being intellectually consistent, then it occurs to me that the same might go for video games. I don't love Halo. I don't love my kids playing it. But maybe those games are appealing to the natural fantasy lives of boys and we (parents, teachers) should stop being so righteously indignant about tell our sons those games are bad and they are bad for being obsessed with them

Said so in person. Said so in this article
What do you think?

Read the rest of this entry »

Monday, February 9, 2009

would love to hear from moms whose sons have bad handwriting

I'm thinking about writing a story (I"m still a freelance journalist for various national publications) about handwriting, bad handwriting, what it means to kids and in particular, boys. Anyone out there care to share their story? We can start off the record but what I'm looking for are folks whose names I can use. (as always.)
you can email me through this site.


Read the rest of this entry »

Teachers Can Change the World

Recently, I've heard from nine or ten schools that are using TTWB's as a text for their group study. They wrote me to say that they found it very helpful and interesting. I was SO pleased. My goal in writing this book was to create a useful document -- one that could help parents and teachers think about boys in a different way. It is very gratifying to hear from teachers and schools!

Read the rest of this entry »