SOB Story

Have you been inside a classroom lately?  Who is most likely to get a D or an F on an assignment?  Who is most likely to be considered a discipline problem?  Who is most likely to have been diagnosed and/or on meds?  If you guessed “a boy” to any of these, you’re right.  Now, I’m not saying that these problems are exclusive to boys, nor am I saying that all boys run into these problems, but it does seem to be a bigger problem for boys than girls.  It is a problem entirely of our own making.

With every decade we are increasingly more concerned with obesity, as we simultaneously improve our technologies: television, video games, computers.  Likewise we have astronomical rates of ADHD.  Are there legitimate cases of ADHD and other disorders?  Certainly.  I believe, however, that many of those who have been diagnosed are just simply boys.  The problem isn’t with them, it’s with us and our lack of understanding their needs.

I’m not here to criticize our system of education, I was a public school teacher myself.  What I want is to become an advocate for our boys, an advocate that the same zeal we put toward keeping girls from falling behind in math and science in the 90s should be applied to keeping boys from falling behind. 

I’m furthering my study of boys with Michael Gurian’s “The Minds of Boys.”  So far it’s a wonderful book.  I realize I may never have to be an advocate for my boys, but the reality is, I may.  I want to be prepared.

Please, let’s Save Our Boys.


6 thoughts on “SOB Story

  1. I’m interested in this book but I am always cautious about these subjects where the “biological” differences of boys and girls are discussed. I think my caution comes from being a non-traditional female married to a non-traditional male; for instance, I had a terrible school experience while my husband had an awesome one and the experiences described in the book would more likely hit closer home with me than with him.

    I am also looking to read “Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood” because I am very interested in gender perception and societal norms and how to raise my son without short-changing him (especially with regard to emotional nurturing).

    You’re right, it’s very important to remember to balance the way we raise our children. So far the authors of the book have been very conscientious in reminding the reader that the problems they are illustrating are not those faced exclusively by boys or that all boys face them, but that it is more boys than girls, and here are some ways of helping those children (it’s possible you would see some parallels in the anecdotes to your own life.) As I hear my mother in law tell her stories of how many she had to stand up for her four boys, I can see how useful a book like this is.

  2. Ha, a topic dear to my own heart and experience. I am seeing it very much now, in the program my son is in. The bright girls are perfectionist overachievers, and the bright boys — many of whose extraordinary abilities are technical rather than artsy — are ignored because they are just not interested in making things neat and pretty to hand in to the teacher. Honestly, my son was in a group of boys doing a science experiment and they took all the data down as instructed. In a phone call to me his teacher laughed at their “freeform table”. Like it was important. I think she should be paying attention to whether they got the information they needed, and understood it, rather than how pretty they made their chart.

    Gah! This topic is pressing my buttons right now.

    I am always so sad when teachers confuse prettywork with qualitywork. I think a lot about what you’re going through as I read this book. I think if more people understood boys, you might not have half the troubles you do, now.

  3. I totally agree with you. Boys are boys.

    When Nathan and I worked at the wilderness therapy job a good 75% of the kids that came in had doctors that prescribed them medicine for ADD or ADHD. Once the kids started exercising, at least 90% of those kids came off their medicine and “amazingly” didn’t need the medicine anymore (yeah, amazing…rolling my eyes…). Kids, especially boys, need exercise or they become restless. It’s physiological.

    Anyway…I hear ya 🙂

    I wonder how the boys fared when they left the camp. . . Did they return to their old lives?

  4. When I first read the title of your post…i thought it said S. O. B. and I was prepared for a story about how some guy cut you off on the freeway or something. Haah. Um, I promise my mind is in the right place :).
    And I completely agree with your post. Excellent observations.

    Thank you.
    Your first impression was logical, as of all my readers, you’re one of the few who lives here, too.

  5. Thats weird that we wrote about the same thing (kind of) and used the word advocate. Your post I found interesting. It is for this same reason i am not starting with the drugs as well as the other reasons i listed. It can be such a touchy topic.

    After writing my post, when I came to yours, I did find it interesting that we had written about similar things. I just wasn’t sure if it was appropriate (or sensitive) to say, “hey, go read my blog!” In the end, only you can decide what’s best for your son. Certainly not me.

  6. I think it also has to do with how boys are parented as well. I apoke to many parents of boys, when I was teaching, and their attitude most of the time was “boys will be boys, so why fight it?” IMO, boys are boys only because we let them be, and don’t teach them how to be men.

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