Sunday, December 04, 2016

Review: Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys

Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of BoysRaising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by Dan Kindlon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“On the one hand, we expect boys to do things they’re developmentally not ready to do, and to be tough ‘little men’ when they’re really just little boys who need goodbye hugs and affection. On the other hand, when they behave in cruel and thoughtless ways, we say, ‘Oh, boys will be boys.’ We let them off the hook over issues of respect and consideration for others.”

I really enjoyed this book. It is written by two psychologists with PhD who practised counselling of troubled boys for many years. It is written well, supported by many examples from authors' practice. What makes this book so trustworthy for me is that I as a former (teenage) boy could recognise past me in many of the chapters and examples of the book.

Wish to appear tough and impress others (other boys, girls, even adults) led me - like many other boys - to some sort of street gang sub-culture in the past. And only eventual realisation of its fakeness as well as good books have derailed me from that path in good time (not some of my former "mates" though - who ended up in jail).

Boys have emotions - just as many and as diverse as girls. The way boys express emotions is different though. Educating boys on possible source of different emotions is as important as educating them on math or writing skills.

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