Boys Alive! helps families, educators and youth leaders recognize and understand the brilliance of boys. We know raising boys can feel messy, overwhelming and exhausting.
We empower you with knowledge and support, along with the tools and strategies you need to raise boys to be confident, caring and capable adults.
Our boys are being left behind, in school and at home. The statistics are devastating:
Boys are 4.5 times more likely than girls to be expelled from preschool.
Boys are 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD.
Boys are 55% of all high school dropouts, and fewer boys are attending college.
(these grim statistics increase for boys of color)
As a parent of a boy, you may feel overwhelmed, distressed and unsure of even where to begin addressing this crisis. Understandably, you may be focused on your own day-to-day struggles, like getting that load of laundry done before heading to yet another sports practice.
But it is crucial that we consider the larger issues our boys are facing.
Dr. Michael Thompson, author of Raising Cain, has astutely observed that, “Girl behavior is the gold standard in school, and boys are treated like defective girls.”
But boys are not the problem.
The problem lies in us and in the systems we’ve come to accept as normal. Women are the primary care providers and teachers of young boys, and curriculums, programs and expectations are often developed from a female viewpoint. This combination is a serious mismatch with boys’ inherent tendencies.
We’re here to help!
Meet Janet Allison
Educator, Family Coach, Author, Speaker and Podcast Co-Host of ON BOYS.
With more than 20 years of experience coaching parents, mentoring teachers, and working with professionals, Janet’s mission is to help adults recognize and understand the brilliance of boys. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from the University of Maine, and has completed extensive training in Waldorf Education and NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming).
How Boys Alive! Began
When I first stepped into my classroom as a brand-new teacher 24 years ago, I wasn’t prepared for the many lively boys there. They were active and impulsive and seemed to have their own agenda, and I was quickly overwhelmed. I wondered, was it me, their parents, or the boys themselves who were the problem?
I was determined to solve the puzzle these boys presented and discover how they tick. As a mom of two daughters, boys were a new territory for me.
Now, after more than two decades of research, working with parents and educators, and collaborating with boy experts worldwide, I’ve found that the boys are definitely not the problem.
Instead, the problem is social and cultural.
It is the way schools and other systems are built on expectations that don’t fit boys’ nature.
It is the prominence of female teachers and caregivers who, understandably, don’t have an inherent understanding of boys.
My boys, like boys everywhere, were bumping up against a school culture that required and rewarded behavior that was simply not aligned with the way most boys learn.
I discovered that I wasn’t alone in my confusion.
The more I worked with parents and teachers, the more I learned that they, too, felt they “had no clue” about the challenges their boys face.
You’re probably here because you’re experiencing the same confusion.
We’re here to assure you that it is possible to understand your boy, change what isn’t working for him, and build the safe and secure connection with him that he needs to thrive.
Life as a parent of a boy can be challenging and confusing, and there’s a lot of information out there. But you don’t have to go it alone.
Parenting your boy can and should be jubilant and rewarding, and Boys Alive! will get you there. As your coach and mentor, I’ll show you how to create spaces where it’s OK for your boy to be a boy.
I’ll help you see what makes him tick.
And anecdotes from parents just like you will reassure you that you’re not alone.
We’ll work together so you can better understand your boy, his challenges and his opportunities—and you’ll learn more about your partner, your family and yourself along the way.
For insights you can use right away, check out the ON BOYS podcast, hosted by Janet and her co-host, Jennifer L. W. Fink, mom of four boys. Each episode is an in-depth exploration of boy behavior, tips, and interviews with authors and thought-leaders.