Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood

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9780375501319: Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood

Boys today are in crisis. On the surface, many boys may appear tough, confident, and cheerful, but underneath, many of them are sad,
lonely, and confused. As the bestselling Reviving Ophelia took us into the worlds of girls, this groundbreaking book reveals the worlds of
boys to show how society's mixed messages to boys put more of them at risk today than ever before. Boys' voices and experiences rise up
from these pages as Dr. William Pollack of the Harvard Medical School draws on almost two decades of work with boys as well as on a recent
study called "Listening to Boys' Voices" to present new findings about the true nature of boys and new insights into how to raise them to
become happier, more confident, more successful men.
        "I get a little down," says Adam,"but I hide it very well. I'd say I wear a mask of some sort. Even when kids call me names or try to taunt me,
I'd never show them how much it was crushing me inside. I'd keep it all in."
        Pollack reveals how many boys today are like Adam, whose confident exterior hides painful feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Other boys are in trouble overtly--depressed, suicidal, doing less well at school than they could, having trouble with drugs or with friends.
Real Boys shows why, and what to do about it. Pollack describes how outdated gender stereotypes push boys to conform to society's inhibiting
Boy Code, even as boys are pressured to relate to girls in new ways. Boys conceal themselves behind a mask of independence, which not only
prevents them from truly knowing themselves but makes it difficult for us to know them. Conventional expectations about masculinity still
encourage people to treat boys like "little men," and to raise them through a toughening process. Illuminating the daily lives of boys of all ages,
Real Boys lets us know what boys are really like, revealing new findings about the expressive nature of boys, how they are different from girls and
how they are similar to them, and wh
at they are thinking and feeling.
        Pollack addresses a wide range of topics--boys and their mothers, fathers, friends; boys in school, sports, and adolescence; how boys can
develop more self-confidence, and the emotional savvy they need to deal with issues they may have to confront--such as depression, love and
sexuality, drugs and alcohol, divorce, violence.
        After you read this original and insightful book, you will see every boy you know in an entirely new way.

Based on new research into the inner worlds and daily lives of boys today,  Real Boys explores in depth the following:
¸  The loneliness of "normal" boys today--what we do to cause it, and what we can      
   do to prevent it

¸  Low self-esteem--why more boys today are suffering from low self-esteem and
   what we can do about it

¸  The power of mothers and fathers--how to help boys become more confident,
    loving, and able to lead happier lives as men

¸   Adolescence as a "second chance"--how to use adolescence as a new  opportunity          
   to grow closer to a boy and to help him deal with  such topics as smoking, drinking,      
   and sex

¸  Getting boys to talk--the timed-silence syndrome and how to encourage boys to
   talk and share their feelings

¸  Overcoming depression--the hidden crisis of boyhood depression: how to spot it,
   and what to do about it

¸  Violence, alcohol, drugs, and much, much more

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Review:

What are little boys made of? In Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood author and psychologist William Pollack presents his findings from almost 20 years of clinical work and his recently completed study examining contemporary boyhood and the ways boys manifest their social and emotional disconnection through anger and violence. There's a code of boy behavior, Pollack says--an unspoken "boy code" that teaches boys how to act and demands that they cover up their emotions. But the author submits that boys are lonely, they are loyal, they are depressed, they struggle with self-esteem issues, they are at risk, they need to be understood, and they need to be listened to. Boys can be empathetic and sensitive, Pollack stresses, as he effectively and convincingly disabuses readers of a number of myths: that testosterone controls a boy's behavior; that boys should fit into a gender stereotype of masculinity; and that boys are toxic, "psychologically unaware, emotionally unsocialized creatures."

Real Boys presents more than the problems of modern boyhood, it also provides advice and assistance--ways for parents to talk with their sons, read their moods and emotions, and help them become confident, empowered men with genuine voices of their own. --Ericka Lutz

From the Publisher:


"Parents of boys should run, not walk, to their nearest bookstore to buy this audio. It's a deeply informative, absolutely invaluable guide to understanding the unique problems and stresses that boys face . . .
Pollack reads in an earnest , sincere tone . . . This is an important and valuable work."
-Billboard

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