• Why Raising Boys Is Different | Janet Allison | Episode 76

  • While every teen is an individual, generally our boys and girls are different. Raising boys is exciting and challenging, however, our culture is often geared more toward girls. From problems highlighted in the media to classroom expectations, our boys’ world has a feminine lean. Understanding what is happening and how our boys function is essential to their wellbeing. Janet Allison from Boys Alive pulls back the curtain and shows us what is really happening as she chats with podcast host Sandy Fowler on Mighty Parenting. They discuss what this is doing to our boys as well as what parents need to be aware of and tips for raising boys who are strong, compassionate young men.



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    A Favorite Quote from the Show: 

    95% of the children sent to the principal’s office are boys.

    High Points of Our Discussion on Raising Boys:

    understanding boysTeachers, parents, and administrators expect classrooms to be run in a particular manner and information to be delivered in a particular ways. These expectations tend to fit our girls much better than our boys.

    Boys recognize that teachers favor the girls and have told us, “All the girls are perfect and I’m the bad one.”

    Boys bodies need to move so their brains will turn on. 

    Our boys are not innately bad or lazy or undisciplined, they are simply on a different developmental trajectory. Unfortunately, their timeline is often a mismatch with classroom expectations therefore, they end up getting in trouble.

    95% of the children sent to the principal’s office are boys.

    Years of feeling like they don’t measure up leaves our boys feeling inadequate, like they are failures. The result is checked-out teens playing video games because that’s the easiest thing to do. We also have angry young men who don’t know what to do with their feelings.

    The primary difference for males is they tend to be more visual than verbal. Sitting and writing, two essential elements of the classroom, are activities which create 2 strikes against our boys right away.

    Understanding boys means realizing their words might be fewer, come later, and have less detail . This doesn’t mean they are less interested or connected. We can work with them by speaking fewer words and using less feeling words in our conversations.

    If you find yourself pushing and your teen resisting:

      • Be willing to seize opportunities when he is open.
      • Don’t expect eye contact.
      • Listen! Don’t talk much and allow long pauses.
      • Just be there and be present for him.

    Doing these things will allow him to feel listened to and hear.

    Our tendency is to get upset when our child gets in trouble, causing us to push him for explanations. If you receive a call from the school and need to discuss it, give him some time after he gets home from school.

      • Let him have some down time.
      • Give him a heads up: “I got a call from school. Let’s talk about it after you _____.”
      • Do something together while you’re talking—cook dinner, dust the family room, wash the car, etc.
      • Enter into the conversation in an open and neutral way and listen deeply.
      • Believe him. What he tells you may not completely match what you heard from the school but believe that it was his perspective in that moment.
      • Let him know it’s okay, not necessarily the behavior, but his relationship with you. You can discuss how the behavior doesn’t fit your family values and what he needs to do to repair any damage he may have done. You can also ask him how it could have gone differently so as to prepare him for handling a similar situation in the future.

    The Boy Code is that place where society and peer groups are telling boys how to behave. Our boys hear things like ‘man up’ and ‘boys don’t cry’. Parents need to be aware of these messages and broaden our boys thinking about who they are and how they can behave. At the same time, sometimes we have to help them understand how the world may react to his choices and then, maybe help them find ways to manage that. 

    Our Guest:

    Janet AllisonJanet Allison is a veteran educator, author and Family Coach. She is the Founder of Boys Alive! Beginning with her first class of 10 boys and 2 girls – she’s been a staunch advocate for boys and how they learn and communicate – for over 20 years.

    As a Family Coach, she has helped hundreds of parents get more connected to their full potential as parents, so they can connect with their children in more effective and authentic ways.

    Providing professional development and seminars for both educators and parents, she reveals the science and communication based key components that we are MISSING in educating and parenting our boys so they can thrive.  

    To learn more or connect with our guest visit https://www.boysalive.com