A Year of Boy Talk

BOY TALK Nuggets of Wisdom...

Enjoy these words gleaned from our many parenting experts...Each Boy Talk is on sale this month and includes a Tool Kit, summarizing our conversation and with additional resources and recommendations.  All Boy Talks are here.BOY TALK #1: How to Get Him Reading and Keep Him ReadingMany boys read later than girls - and don't consider themselves to be readers. Remind him that reading sports statistics, Minecraft handbooks, lego instructions, encyclopedias, and magic cards is also reading! Many boys 'read for a purpose' rather than simply for pleasure.BOY TALK #2: Boy-Friendly SchoolsWhen you're looking for a school that "gets" boys, look for: water available at all times, alternative seating options, active lessons, and plenty of outside time.  'Alternative reading materials' - magazines and instruction manuals are a good clue that "boy talk" is spoken here. More practical strategies for home and school are included.BOY TALK #3: Coping with Disappointment, Loss, and Grief Our kids will definitely experience disappointment, loss and grief in their lives - how to you help them with those big emotions? Tune into your own first (name it to tame it) and then tune into your child: Identify his feelings (even if you get it wrong); Give him something physical to do to move back into his body (squeeze a ball, drink water, etc.); Continue to identify his feelings - often what is at the surface isn't what is really going on. Be patient and go deeper.  This may feel like it takes a lot of time but when a child feels heard and acknowledge, they can more quickly return to cooperation.  Do you ever wonder if it is okay to cry in front of your child? Carole has answers to this question and more.Boy Talk #4: The Birds and The BeesA delicate topic - which needs to be talked about early and often, is the topic of sex and healthy relationships. Where do you start?  Amy's advice: from birth, use correct names for body parts both female and male. (If you haven’t been, start using them now). By about age 5, let children know how babies are made, pregnancy and birth, about different kinds of families, and that sex feels good to grown-up bodies. By third & fourth grade, let them know people have sex for pleasure 99.9% of the time. Always telling them that, “Sex is not for children, it is for later in life, sex is for grown-ups. Your hearts, minds and bodies are not ready for sex.” Find out what your child needs to know in middle school and beyond in this interview.Boy Talk #5: Peace with Your PreschoolerMany a parent gets frustrated because their preschooler doesn't listen to them! Christina offers these reasons:

  1. They need more information. They need some connection and understanding of what is going on.

  2. They need to release some stress. Their bodies are changing and developing rapidly. They are learning so much and there are so many expectations that sometimes they need to have a big release of energy.

  3. They have a basic need that is not being met. You’ve probably checked in on whether they’re hungry or tired, but they may be needing connection, attention, or autonomy.

Try this: Go to him. Take a moment to observe what he is doing. Is he just about to guide his horse over the bridge? Sit with him for a moment and acknowledge where he is, “Your horse is just about to get to the bridge. When he crosses the bridge then it will be time to tie him up and come to dinner.” Tom feels a connection with you. He feels seen by you. He will be much more likely to respond to your request now.More wisdom from Christina on how to handle big emotions to how to create a 'sanity saving' sleep and meal routine.Boy Talk #6: Jump Into a Book: Reading Tips & RecommendationsOur Holiday edition, this interview and Tool Kit is PACKED with great reading recommendations especially chosen for boys - by a mom/editor who KNOWS boys!  In addition to great titles, she includes these wise tips on how boys prefer to read:Boys tend to stay in the “Listening” Stage of reading longer. They enjoy hearing the story and don’t necessarily want to be able to read it themselves.Boys must relate to the central character and the story line in order to stay active and engaged with a book.Boys tend to prefer short bits of text along with a picture, cartoon, or sketch.Boys will tend to want to listen while he is doing something with his hands. Boy Talk #7: Being HAPPY So You Can Raise HAPPY!Ever wonder how to balance it all?! We all do and Michelle has shared some practical wisdom in this interview including:What to do AFTER we mess up...because we will!  We mess up. We judge ourselves – that we aren’t doing something right. We may just be focusing too much on the “Facebook world”… it looks so perfect but in reality, life is messy. At the end of the day, in the middle of that mess, the true testament is that commitment we make to return each and every moment.  We can do that by asking ourselves, “What is the next best choice I can make?”Boy Talk #8: Tame the Screen Dragon!Carolyn was worried - her boys were 'checked out,' not interacting with each other or with her, choosing screens over outside play - when she realized screens had become the default for everything in her son's life, she committed to an "Electronics Fast."  Wondering what electronic obsession looks like? Carolyn said:• Screen-time trumped everything.• No outside time.• Reward for everything. “Let’s go to the park and then you can play with the i-pad.”• Didn’t want to hang out with friends.• Didn’t interact with each other.• Meltdowns if they didn’t have them.• Revved up but exhausted at the same time.• Irritable moods.Any of those sound familiar? Find out how this mom managed to reclaim her sons from the Screen Dragon. Boy Talk #9: Australia's Boy-Champion Maggie Dent SharesWorlds apart but not so different after all. Maggie Dent raised 4 boys and shares her wisdom - both science based and ancient wisdom from Australia's Aborigines, whom she grew up with. She discusses Resilience and gives the 10 BUILDING BLOCKS for resilient children, the foundational four shared here:

  1. Healthy pregnancy

  2. Quality nutrition - with lots of healthy fats and protein for your growing boy

  3. Nurturing care within the circle of the family especially in the first 5 years

  4. Plenty of play with things that have a heartbeat (yep, no technology)...

For the rest of these building blocks and the bedtime ritual that will have him expressing his love, check out Maggie's lively conversation! Boy Talk #10: How Do You Want to Feel Everyday?LIFE advice from Heather, who DOES NOT mince words! She encourages us to WAKE UP to how we are parenting and create each and every day with that HOW informing our actions, which includes changing our Do-Do-Do list to our Be-Be-Be list.  With her Action and Clarity Challenge, she shows us how to get started by asking, "How do I want to feel every day?" "Are my actions in alignment with how I want to feel?"  Yes, as Heather says: "Parenting is personal growth on steroids!"  Let Heather show you the steps to get going in a positive direction in this conversation. Boy Talk #11: Tweens and TeensTweens and teens present their own special stage of development, challenges, benefits, and stress... Howard tells us being a tween/teen is stressful for the child but also for the parent and the family! How will you handle all the changes coming at you so fast? Understanding the stage of development is the first step, teens are:

  • More reclusive, wanting more alone time

  • Challenging parenting and school authority

  • Choosing peer group over family

  • Developing their own identity

  • Experimenting with new thinking, ideas, and beliefs

  • Experimenting with drugs, risky behavior, and sexuality

How will you approach all these new dynamics? Howard offers reassurance along with practical strategies in this conversation. Boy Talk #12: Reset Your Child's Brain by Reversing the Effects of Screen-TimeDr. Victoria Dunckley explains the symptoms of Electronic Screen Syndrome and gives the Four-Week Plan to remedy it. Do you or your child experience:

  • Melt-downs over minor frustrations?

  • Irritability when asked to get off of screens?

  • Increasing defiance or opposition?

  • Decrease in enjoyment of activities she/he used to enjoy?

  • A diagnosis (ADHD, anxiety) that doesn't run in your family and doesn't quite seem to fit?

Find out more about the effects of interactive screen-time on the brain, it's addictive tendencies, and how to re-set your child's brain - and re-claim your family, too!


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