About Your Boy
How can you bring out your boy's best? You may feel as if parenting and teaching boys is an exhausting and puzzling endeavor...Did you know that scientists have discovered more than 100 differences between the male and female brain? That means male behavior differs greatly from female behavior. No wonder we are puzzled! When you understand the role of testosterone and the differences in brain development dealing with behavior will be more effective because you will be able to choose language and create situations that enable your boy to be his best!Your Boy's BrainUnderstanding how the male brain adapted to survive will give you new parent ideas. You will realize that boys are doing what they are designed to do — perfectly. Our brains have not yet evolved to adapt to the requirements of today's society yet there are many ways to adapt the environment to help your boy be his best.A boy's brain development and a girl's brain development, aren't they the same?When you consider human development over all of time, it becomes quite clear that males and females have developed to support specific tasks. We have lived in Hunter-Gatherer societies for 99 percent of our human time-line! Our brains developed in unique and gender specific ways that enabled us to survive as a species. Now we are living in the 1 percent of time and our brains haven't yet evolved to adapt to the changes. This puts our boys, especially, at a disadvantage!Women Were the ConnectorsTheir survival depended on their ability to relate to each other and to the hunters who provided food. Their children depended on them to be able to bond and relate to them. Thus, the verbal and emotional centers of women's brains developed to support those needs.Women Were the GatherersTheir work was gathering seeds, roots and insects. They needed fine motor skills, and so their finger sensitivity and dexterity developed. Their work required attention to detail and allowed time for discussion. They needed a heightened awareness of the "big picture," which gave them a sense of caution of what was around them. Women's bodies developed smaller but they were able to endure greater hardship.Men Were the HuntersHunting required short bursts of strong muscular activity (gross motor skills). They needed to be single-focused, with hair-trigger responses that supported their ability to find food. When the chase was on, there was no time to talk, someone was in charge and the hunters did as they were told.Men Were the ProvidersWith hunting came recklessness and a certain degree of self-sacrifice. Men were willing to risk everything to provide food for their women and children.How Do These Developmental Differences Play Out Today?In the 21st century, the clear delineations of male and female roles have become ambiguous and murky, leaving men confused. Jobs have changed from those requiring manual labor to those requiring communication and social skills. Women have become more confident, taking more control of their lives, leaving less room for men to be the caretakers and providers. Women want to discuss and relate. Men prefer to talk less and move quickly to solutions. It is imperative that we redefine male roles and make a place in our world that supports boys. We must make a place in our homes and schools for their energy, single-focus and physical ability. I often remind parents and teachers that "every behavior is useful in some context."It is up to us, and it is crucial, that we discover new contexts for our boys!
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