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Category Archives: Boys-Academics & School Life

Your Words Can Change Their World

No! Stop! Don’t!
We run THOSE words into the ground as parents, don’t we?

Bet you never imagined you’d be THAT parent!

So much for our rosy-glow-everything-is-sweet-and-wonderful-parenting-fantasies!

 

We beat ourselves up at night just remembering how many times we said the words that we never thought we would utter!

And then there are the actions that we never thought we’d take!

 

Have you thrown things, yelled at the top of your lungs, or slammed doors lately? And – omg – wait till I tell you what I found out today from my sister about my parent’s actions when we were 8 and 6! (Holy moly!)

My point is…

we get into a rut with our words – and with our thoughts – about our kids.

We make presumptions…”He’s always going to whine and complain about homework; he never tells me about his school day; and he resists and resents everything!”

(Real words from real parents).

WHAT IF by changing up some of OUR words, we could change up THEIR REALITY?

A simple change from us could change how our kids think about their world, school, homework, friends – and about themselves.

Read this great article last week: “5 Phrases That Can Change Your Child’s Life” and because we were in the midst of the 5-Day Homework Challenge, I’ve had homework on the brain – and phrase #2 really struck a chord.

After all the complaints, battles, whining, resisting, and avoidance…imagine sitting down with your boy – whether he’s a child, a tween, or a teen and saying, “You don’t have to have it all figured out right now.”

I’ll add on to phrase #2 with, “And I’ve got your back – you’ll have the help you need to figure it out.”

Reassurance! Safety! Caring!

What would your boy’s world be like if THAT were the first phrase he heard when he’s about to have a meltdown, has just gotten his first F, has been turned down for a part in the play – or, worse yet – by the person he’s just asked on a date for the first time?

It works in every circumstance – try it!

Another quick way to say it, “You just don’t have it figured out – YET.”

That simple 3-letter “YET” opens up so many possibilities!

If you are looking for a new approach with your son – from your words to your actions and to your understanding of WHO he really is “under the hood” then join us in unraveling the challenges your boy faces in school (and life).

Beginning March 21st, you’ll be able to decipher his most cryptic responses and..

>Understand the 5 ways school works against him – and how you can counteract them.

>Discover the 4 things you must do at home to increase his school (and life-long) success.

>I’ll reveal the 3 ways you can maintain (or regain) an easy-going, trusting relationship with your son.

You will understand how he thinks, feels, and communicates – and how YOU can respond to him in a way that builds life-long trust in your relationship.

“Help ME Help My Son in School” gives you the know-how and tools to be the newest Boy Whisperer on your block!

Whether with words – or actions – you’ll be changing up his world – and putting No! Don’t! and Stop! in the back of the closet (to be dusted off only in times of dire emergency).

Save your spot here !

OH, and that secret I learned from my sister? Which I have no memory of, thankfully…my parents taped our mouths shut when we wouldn’t stop talking together at bedtime. I was shocked to hear that – parenting in the 50’s – it was a different time and place, eh?

All the more reason to get a handle on your words and actions and get to the deeper understanding of your son’s motivations, actions, and responses!

CLICK HERE to save your seat!

Creating a Homework Haven at Home

Dr. Colleen Carroll of Innovative Reading shares:

Creating a Homework Haven at Home 

Back-to-school season (for our friends in the southern hemisphere) and the return after winter break,  can be a distressing time. While some of the angst around this return to routine makes sense – after all, days get colder and shorter (or warmer..) and we need to get back to tighter schedules and earlier bedtimes – there are also a few things we can do to ease this transition and actually make it an empowering time for kids.

Many kids dread, and even fear homework.

(And, this is me – Janet – chiming in…note that there is a new trend to minimize or eliminate homework in the young grades. See this study.)

Even the word “homework” can spark anxiety in some children (and parents!).

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This is understandable; as kids get older the homework gets harder and the time spent on it gets longer. However, you can be prepared in advance and lessen anxiety by creating a homework sanctuary of sorts for your child to feel safe, even empowered, as he gets his work done.

The following are my top 5 ways to empower your child at homework time:

  1. Create a homework haven in the house somewhere that’s bright, cheery, and full of all the items he needs to get his work done efficiently, with minimal distractions. Consider the kitchen to be close to a helpful parent, or a bedroom if noise can be a problem.
  2. Don’t let it be obvious that you dread this time too. Children pick up on your emotional state. Instead, be as positive as you can about this learning experience, even when things get tough.
  3. If your child is having a rough time on homework, let the teacher know. There is no reason to struggle for hours over a few problems when really the child just needs more instruction.
  4. Get the hardest subjects done first when she is less tired; trying to tackle the hardest at the end is never a good idea!
  5. Set up an afternoon routine to get homework done before other evening activities whenever possible so it isn’t hanging over your child’s head.

For a simple, child-friendly checklist to organize a homework haven in your home, download my free resource below: How to Create a Homework Haven at Home.  

Access Now!

Kids crave routine; they (and most adults) do best when they know what’s coming next and they can be ready for it. By having a homework routine and a space that is comfortable and efficient, it probably won’t make homework fun but it will make it easier to accomplish and more organized for return to school the next day. This in turn will definitely lessen the anxiety around homework in general and allow your child to focus on some more pleasurable activities each evening, perhaps even a little reading. 

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You’re invited to join us in the Boys Alive! Private Facebook Group – ask a question, offer support, enjoy an article, laugh and cry with us. We are stronger together!

If you’d like to chat with Janet Allison one-on-one, use this link to schedule a 20-minute complementary phone call or email me at janet@boysalive.com. I’m here for you!

Are There Benefits to Homework?

Yes or No?

Love it or hate it — Homework is back at the forefront of educational debate.

Like so many trends in education, the pendulum swings back and forth.

Every school, every administrator, every teacher has a different take on the benefits of homework.

Screen Shot 2016-08-06 at 2.55.01 PMEvery parent has a love/hate relationship with homework!  From all the nagging and reminding to the feeling of inadequacy when you can’t remember algebra or how to diagram a sentence.

In a recent article for Lifehack, Maria Onzain reports, “After over 25 years of studying and analyzing homework, Harris Coopers’ research demonstrates a clear conclusion: homework wrecks elementary school students. In his book, The Battle over Homework: Common Ground for Administrators, Teachers, and Parents, the homework guru gives details about the relationship between homework and success at different grade levels.”

  • Homework has significant benefit for high school students
  • It drops off for middle school students
  • There is NO BENEFIT at the elementary level.

Giving homework TOO EARLY:

  • Generates a negative attitude toward school (which carries through all their school career)
  • Damages relationship with parent because of the constant reminding
  • Gives a false sense of responsibility-its the parents who are planning and remembering, not typically the child (It does help build it at a later age.)
  • Takes time away from needed sleep (10 hours is great!)
  • Leaves less time for kids to be kids (go outside and play!)

Home context matters

As a mentor to a Somali refugee family, I know that what goes on at home has a big influence on whether homework ever comes out of the backpack. In this family of 9, there is not a consciousness about reading and schoolwork, the parents work outside the home, and English is not their first language. My 13 year old student has a hard enough time at school and he certainly isn’t going to sign on for more difficulty at home (where there is no one to help him anyway) but because homework assignments are graded, he is constantly at a disadvantage.

Parental Help

You helping isn’t seen to be of great benefit in the study, either.

All of the nagging and reminding that accompany homework can escalate into “the epic homework battle.”

This definitely affects parent child relationships – at least it did for me.  True confession…I was in 3rd grade and still had not mastered the times tables. My mom quizzed me every night (which I hated) and then she had the “brilliant” idea of hanging the flashcards around my room – right up where the wall meets the ceiling. So, every night – in that “magical” time before bed – I got to recite the times tables.  Only I still couldn’t do it… and I was angry and that time with my mom was filled with angst and anger. Not recommended.

If teachers are going to give homework, they must be sure that parents understand how a specific concept is being taught otherwise, they can mitigate any of the positive effects of homework.

No rescuing!

Parental involvement should lessen as kids get older. You are building personal responsibility and that includes dealing with the consequences of forgotten homework, reports, and projects. Teach them how to remember their work for school but make it very clear that you will not be bringing anything forgotten to school. THEY will have to navigate and negotiate with their teachers, another great way to learn personal responsibility!

MAKE PEACE!

If you and your son are challenged by homework – join the 5-Day “Help! My Son Hates Homework – and I Do Too!” Challenge – you’ll get tips and strategies to make peace with home – once and for all!

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Does he hate school?

What do you do when they say, “I hate school.”

Public, private, or homeschooled – it’s important to us that our kids LOVE school – that they go off happily every day to where they will spend about 1,000 hours this year, according to Datalab.

Love it or hate it, school is not only where they learn academics but they’re also learning about:

  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Problem solving
  • Planning & organization
  • Conflict resolution
  • Follow-through

But what if they say, “I hate school?”

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For boys, this may show up in behavior more than words. They may have consistent stomachaches or headaches, they may just not want to get out of bed. Be particularly aware if there’s been a sudden change in his behavior.

Here are the first 3 things to look at:

  1. Conflict with other kids?  Help him problem-solve and role play individual situations that are causing him trouble.  He may simply need more social skills. It can be helpful to give him the exact words to use in different situations.  Check back in with him often to see how he’s doing. Also, note if it is just kids learning how to navigate friendships and social behavior, or if it seems more out-of-bounds and headed towards bullying behavior.
  1. Conflict with teacher?  In elementary school, most teachers are female and they don’t “get” boys and their need for active learning and movement breaks throughout the day. Does the teacher understand and provide active lessons, alternative seating, and plenty of ways to move his wiggly body?  Discuss issues with the teacher directly and early.
  1. Conflict with curriculum? Is it too challenging or not challenging enough? Is he bored? Either way, it can be stressful for him.  Boys tend to show their stress outwardly – which may mean he’s setting himself up for some behavior interventions. Find out not only how he’s doing from the teacher’s perspective, also determine how he feels about his progress.  Remember, boys tend to read later and this can make him feel like he isn’t meeting expectations.

Next steps:

  • Create an action plan together.   Would he like to get to school earlier so he has time to socialize? Would it help for him to ride bikes before school?
  • Talk with your child’s teacher and be open to their observations and suggestions. Sometimes we let our concerns go on too long. Be sure to ask the teacher the best way to communicate with her.
  • Volunteer in the classroom so you familiarize yourself with the routine and his classmates.
  • Feed him! Make sure he has a strong protein-rich breakfast. That, plus some exercise before school and the whole day will go better – for everyone!

Acknowledging his frustrations, fears, and uncertainties along the way. You can also share your positive and negative school experiences, if it helps him feel like he isn’t the only one.

Above all – be sure you tell him that you believe in him, that together you’ll create strategies to help him be successful, and guide him to be an advocate for himself – eventually he may LOVE school!

For more on boys and “I hate school,” see this blog post.


In Portland? Join me on KXL 101 live each Tuesday am.

Join our conversation in the private Boys Alive! Facebook group. Click image below:

Summer to School Transition: Sleep Schedules

Back-to-School sales….School supplies filling the shelves…

And, perhaps you, too, itch to buy new notebooks and pencils.  Have you seen how many new composition book covers there are?  No more plain old black and white!

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The real reality though, is GETTING KIDS BACK IN A ROUTINE.  You may be fighting it as much as they do but you’ll thank yourself for starting early on the bedtime routine, especially.

Use the “10” Method:

  • Start 10 days before school begins
  • 10 minute earlier bedtime
  • 10 minute earlier wake-up time

Your challenge is to be consistent!

Use the following sleep recommendations and plug them into your schedule and you’ll know what time they need to be asleep so that they get the recommended amount.

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The National Sleep Foundation updated their recommendations in 2015:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
  • Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours
  • School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours
  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
  • Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours
  • Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours (a new age category)

The National Sleep Foundation also notes, “One of the reasons it’s so hard to know when our kids are getting insufficient sleep is that drowsy children don’t necessarily slow down the way we do—they wind up. In fact, sleepiness can look like symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children often act as if they’re not tired, resisting bedtime and becoming hyper as the evening goes on. All this can happen because the child is overtired.”

My teenager stays awake late and then can’t get up in the morning!

Teen’s body clocks change and they do become night owls.

Enlist their help in planning a structured evening/morning routine so they get optimal sleep (catching up on the weekend doesn’t count…)

Some things to watch:

  • No caffeine 6 hours before sleep.
  • No media 2 hours before sleep
  • NO MEDIA in the bedroom (including phones) – some parents require phones parked in their room overnight.

And of course…by now, they should be setting an alarm and getting themselves up without your help!  (You won’t be at college to wake them up…)

Lack of sleep is harmful!

Studies show that lack of sleep affects our ability to focus and learn efficiently PLUS sleep is needed to make learning stick so it can be recalled in the future.

Help your kids be their best by helping them get enough sleep this school year!

Why ADHD Kids Say “I Don’t Know” So Often

by Margit Crane Luria of Blocked to Brilliant

Margit is our guest on BOY TALK #14 coming out on August 17, 2016.  She gives us new insights and strategies to the “diagnosis” of ADD/ADHD.  Margit was one of the first adults to be diagnosed with ADD in the early 80s. Since then she has become the “ADD Angel” for many families that she has coached and counseled.

Hear Margit on BOY TALK #14 – Save Your Seat HERE.

Boys, especially, are master of the “I don’t know” response – even without ADD/ADHD in the mix!

Margit writes, “Recently, one of my clients (let’s call him Matt) cancelled calls with me 4 times. I knew why: It was because he knew we were going to do some homework together and he didn’t want to. He wanted to ride his bike (Who wouldn’t?). I asked Matt why he kept cancelling and he said, “I don’t know.” That got me thinking about how, in the past, I would have been slightly irritated at him wasting my time, not accepting my help, and being generally defiant.

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We often become distressed by our children’s seeming inability to do simple things, like ask for help, put away their clothes, or turn in homework. We become disappointed and ultimately angry, and we confront our child.

“Why can’t you do this? It’s so simple. Everyone else is doing it with no trouble at all. Why can’t you?”

And you know the response, right?

“I don’t know.”

Gah! Why do they DO that?

ADHD children are very sensitive and having an angry parent is overwhelming to the senses. They may yell at you or try to distract you by talking about your faults. They may hide in their rooms or they may do what you want but give you the silent treatment. ADHD children are rarely able to manage their emotions in the moment, as they’re actually happening. In confusion, frustration, and sadness that they’ve disappointed you, “I don’t know” becomes an easy way to slow things down, to stop the barrage of parental expectations.

Here’s what “I don’t know” really means:

  • I can’t help you. I don’t seem to be able to make myself do what I want to do.
  • Please don’t be mad.
  • I can’t take more nagging.
  • Do we have to keep having the same conversation? That won’t change me.
  • You can keep asking but I don’t have a different answer.
  • I feel like a loser and I’m trying to cover it up.
  • I don’t want to say the wrong thing.
  • I’m embarrassed by being a failure.
  • If I could answer to your satisfaction, I would.
  • My mind is (actually) blank.

This is why ADHD kids say “I don’t know” so often.

It has little to do with defiance and a lot to do with self-esteem and/or not being able to access information in a timely manner.

The truth is that Matt wasn’t wasting my time. I still had my time.

He wasn’t refusing my help. He just couldn’t handle this particular responsibility.

He wasn’t being defiant either. In fact, his response had nothing to do with me. He was simply postponing relief and prolonging his misery because he didn’t know how to make a different decision.

Change your response:

The solution is to change the way you respond. Believe me, I know this is difficult. Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get an answer that contains some real information!

Instead of being frustrated, put yourself in your child’s shoes.

  • Imagine what it must be like to know that you’re having a regular conversation but you can’t respond in a regular way.
  • Imagine what it’s like to disappoint your parents, yet again.
  • Imagine experiencing this for an extended period of time.

My childhood experience:

I remember, very well, the absolute confusion and disappointment I felt when I vowed to be good and couldn’t manage to hold it together for even 30 minutes. I had NO IDEA how I got from Point A to Point B, from my vow to my misbehavior.

This isn’t a moral issue or a problem with your child’s integrity. This is an Executive Function challenge. The pre-frontal cortex hasn’t developed enough to handle the demands being made.

One thing you can do to help your child is to say, “I’m sorry. I didn’t give you much time to think about this. I would really appreciate it if you’d take some time to think this over and let me know your answer. I’ll check back with you tomorrow/in an hour/after I get home…”

The moral of the story is:

Don’t take it personally, Don’t assume defiance, Practice patience, Be encouraging, and Give your child or teen the grace and dignity to JUST. NOT. KNOW.

When they DO know, they’ll tell you.”

 

Music – yes!

Talking with Steve and Rebecca on KXL101…

Should music be a part of your child’s education?
Yes!

Six percent of kids want to be president but 13% want to be musicians.

Music is a big part of our lives but unfortunately, it seems to be the first go in school budget cuts.

YET it is increasingly more clear with each new study that is released that Music Education boosts IQ and changes behaviors – from depression to joy, anger to calm, hate to love. In one study, students who learned to read music and play the piano scored significantly higher on math and science assessments. Another study showed 75% of Silicon Valley CEO’s had instrumental music education as a child!

What about the dreaded MUSIC LESSONS?
Should kids be allowed to quit when they start complaining?

One piano teacher put it like this:
Assess whether they have talent and whether they like to play:

IF talent = no and fun = yes: Keep Playing!

IF talent = yes and fun = no: Find more fun, switch teachers, back off the difficulty level for a while.

IF talent = yes and fun = yes: Add another instrument or add some singing.

If YOU find yourself humming along and wishing YOU had music in your life – consider joining a non-audition choir. In Portland, give SING PORTLAND! a try – a relaxed, open, fun singing environment with a director who believes “If you can speak, you can sing!”Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 7.00.30 AM
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Does He Hate to Read?

Or are you worried because he isn’t reading YET.

Or maybe he doesn’t read the way you think he should?Boy reading with flashlight

You aren’t alone.

Recently, a dad told me he was worried because, “My son is 5 and he isn’t reading yet…”

I was dismayed to hear this concern… what have we done to our kids by pushing the expectation of reading down into the preschool years?

Age 5 is when he should be playing and figuring out social relationships, NOT sitting with a book and laboring over letters and numbers.

And yes, I know, some young children pick up reading early and read voraciously. They are the exception.

Other kids should not be pushed into this early reading “phenomenon.”

Boys, especially, become a focus of this “he isn’t reading yet” worry from parents and teachers.

Many boys become readers later than many girls – often as late as 3rd or 4th grade.

With LITERACY being the key skill to life-long academic and financial success – we want to encourage boys to become readers but they often don’t feel like they are ‘real’ readers because they don’t read like many of the girls in their class (sitting still, reading a chapter book).

We need to know how to approach reading from a “boy’s-eye view.”

[Which might be tough for moms to relate to.]

There are some fundamental reasons why your boy resists reading but when you know reading “his way” – you’ll know how to get him engaged and excited about reading.
Boy reading in grass
Boys are PHYSICAL.
He needs to move to process what he is learning. He wants to touch things, act out storylines and characters, the more active and adventurous his reading experience, the better.

Boys are VISUAL.
NOT verbal – all those words may overwhelm his brain. Find graphic novels, comic books and shorter stories that have lots of white space on the page to entice his visual system and keep him interested and engaged. Magazines, catalogs, and instruction manuals are also good choices.

 

Armed with a new perspective about boys and reading, you’ll be able to relax and trust that he will be a reader – on his own timeline.

Pushing him is unproductive and stressful for everyone!

And if HOMEWORK is stressing him out – along with the whole family – Join us for the 5-day Challenge: “Help! My Son Hates Homework – and I Do Too!” for practical strategies and tips that will end the nagging, tears, and slamming doors.  Starts February 27th (and its free!) Click on the image below:

Boy Talk #6: Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms – Jump Into a Book

Guest Author Valarie Budayr is the founder of Jump into a Book

I love Stuart’s Dad the best. His vocabulary was hilarious and made reading Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms so fun!”

—Emily B., age 11


Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms by Lissa Evans is known around the hallowed halls of Jump into a Book as “The grocery store book.” No kidding ! I was grocery shopping at my local super-market when this cute little book with gizmos on the cover was sitting on top of some tomato sauce jars. Also on the cover was a 25% off sticker and the words Magic, Mystery, & Adventure. Needless to say this little book came home with me and I’m so glad it did.

Ten year old Stuart stumbles on a note daring him to find his great-uncle’s hidden workshop full of wonderful mechanisms, trickery, and magic.

Stuart

“I have to go away, and I may not be able to get back. If I don’t return, then my workshop and all it contains is yours if you can find it- then you’re the right sort of boy to have it.

Affectionately,

Your Uncle Tony

P.S. Start in the telephone booth on Main Street.

Enter a wonderful world filled with real magic, mystery, and danger.

As if being small and having S. Horten as his name isn’t bad enough, now 10-year-old Stuart is forced to move far away from all his friends.But on his very first day in his new home, Stuart’s swept up in an extraordinary adventure: the quest to find his great-uncle Tony–a famous magician who literally disappeared off the face of the earth–and Tony’s marvelous, long-lost workshop. Along the way, Stuart reluctantly accepts help from the annoying triplets next door… and encounters trouble from another magician who’s also desperate to get hold of Tony’s treasures.

This, sets young Stuart off on an adventure of a lifetime.

 

Something To Do:

Anagrams: Check out this cool Anagram Generator. Did you know A Jumbo Pink Too is an Anagram for Jump Into a Book? Or Oak Bum Join Top…..or Puma Job Oink To..ok..I’m done now.

It’s time for a little preambulatory anagram treasure hunt.

Pre`am`bu`la´tion

n. 1. A walking or going before; precedence.
2. A preamble.

For this game you will need to think fast, play together but mostly have a lot of fun. You will need your collective brain power to solve the anagram clues for this one.

You will be divided up into two groups. If there are a large number of you, go ahead and divide up into three groups. This treasure hunt can be played indoors or for our purposes, perambulation, we are going house to house in the neighborhood. Of course you will only go to houses which are being included in the treasure hunt.

The house everyone meets at to start the treasure hunt is known as the Main house or the Host House. How do you know which houses you’ll be going to? A group of you will be making a treasure hunt map and marking the houses with numbers 1 through 8.

The host or hostess at the Main House will give each team a card with the clue on it.

Once you’ve figured out the clue, go to house number 2 on the treasure hunt map to find the next clue placed on the thing or place you’ve just decoded.

Once you’ve solved the clue at house number 2, go to house number 3 and so on.

The Clues:

Clue # 1: Mold me shape me but don’t leave me out. Here’s the unscrambled answer but please remember to just put the anagram on the clue card. Ployadh (Play doh)

Clue #2: If you were soggy and wet like me you would cry. I went here to get dry. clerestoryhd ( clothes dryer)

Clue #3: If you push all my buttons and use me to call I can reach really far but I’m not very tall. phenetole(telephone)

Clue #4: It isn’t freezing but might be very cold. Don’t stand with the door open, everyone is told . frogeaterirr (Refrigerator)

Clue #5: My name isn’t frosty but he would like it in here. He would be all nice and comfy, with nothing to fear. rfzeere (freezer)

Clue # 6: I have keys but I don’t open a door. You can use me for files, info,games, and more. crumpeto (computer)

Clue #7: Have found a home for goldfish that are never wet. You all love to eat them and you don’t need a net. shacklefords crig (goldfish crackers)

Clue #8: You can use me to be a little bit taller, People who use me are certainly smaller . Lotos (Stool)

This is the last clue. On top leave the Magic Box for the first team who finds it and scattered goodies of some kind around for those who didn’t get there in time.

How To Make A Magic Box

Supplies:

  • Prefab square box with lid.
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • 12 x 12 inch scrap-book paper in a variety of colors
  • Scrap-book 3-d stickers
  • Florist wire
  • Glue dots

READY? Let’s begin (see photos below if you are unsure of the finished product):

  1. Start with a prefab box
  2. Cut down each corner of the box from top to bottom.
  3. Bring down the sides, lie flat.
  4. Take the lid off the box and place it aside.
  5. Put flat box on a 12 x 12 inch piece of scrap-book paper.
  6. Trace around the open box.
  7. Make 3/4 inch extensions around the box.
  8. Trace around the laid out box for the inside piece.
  9. Cut out pieces from scrap-book paper.
  10. Center the box onto the outside piece.
  11. Place glue dots on the reverse side of the outside paper.
  12. Lay down the outside paper and press.
  13. Gently fold up the box sides to make sure they move easily.
  14. Cut all the corners on the piece of paper before gluing into place.
  15. Fold up each side onto each section of the box and glue dot into place. Work each section of the box until all the sides have been glued.
  16. Take the interior piece and turn it over. Glue dot in straight rows from top to bottom.
  17. Place the interior place on the inside of the box, covering the folded flaps from the exterior piece of paper.
  18. For the lid, Do Not Slit the Sides.
  19. Trace the outside of the box. Cut to fit the interior top lid.
  20. Glue into place.
  21. Wrap the outside of the lid like a gift.
  22. On the inside of the box. Wrap the florist wire around a pencil to make little springs.
  23. Attach the stickers to the springs and glue dot into place inside the box.
  24. Make sure you have something on each inside panel of the box.
  25. Fold up your box and put the lid on.

You’ve now completed your Magic Box and what a surprise the person who receives it will get!! I always put a little message or riddle on the inside and have lots of interesting things to catch the person’s attention.
NOW, all this decoding and sleuthing made Stuart a hungry boy in the story. So let’s make some of…..

The Best Mushroom Pizza Ever !!!!

Remember how Stuart made the excuse to go over to the triplets to eat mushroom pizza? We couldn’t resist. We love mushroom pizza and we’re sure you will too.

  • Deep-Dish Pizza Dough
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded provolone cheese

Prepare Deep-Dish Pizza Dough, and set aside.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pepper, onion, and garlic, and sauté 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, oregano, and salt; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; cool.

Spread half of tomatoes over each prepared crust, and top each with half of vegetable mixture. Sprinkle Monterey Jack cheese and provolone cheese evenly over pizzas.

Bake at 475° for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°, and bake 15 additional minutes. Cut each pizza into 8 wedges.

Cooking Light Five Star Recipes, Cooking Light
JANUARY 1996

Enjoy!
Valarie Budayr
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Publisher and founder of Audrey Press Publishing,
an artisanal publishing house dedicated to producing high quality
books and media for families.

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Valarie was recently our guest on BOY TALK. Save your seat for future BOY TALK Conversations here.
Missed one? You can download past BOY TALKS, along with a Tool Kit of tips and resources, for a small ticket price – see the full catalog here.
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Click here for the Boys Alive! Free Report – “Living with Boys: How to Cope and Connect – HIS Way”

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Is Homework Worth the Hassle?

With the school year nearly half over (or just beginning with our southern hemisphere friends) and you may be fed up with tears and frustration about homework at your house.

Do your kids find a million other things to do when it is time to do homework?

Do you nag and nag some more and still it doesn’t seem to get done?

Do they say they don’t have any?

Do they do it – and then never turn it in?

THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO FIGHT ABOUT HOMEWORK!

Is Homework even Valuable?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently said, “…Free and unstructured play is healthy and – in fact – essential for helping children reach important social, emotional, and cognitive developmental milestones as well as helping them manage stress and become resilient.”

That’s great but what do you do in the face of school-driven expectations for homework?

6 Tips for Homework Success  

 
1. Do not ask him immediately after school how his day was. You’ll likely get a one-syllable answer! Wait until much later in the evening or until he initiates a conversation.

2. Allow time after school to decompress. Make sure this time involves food, water, fresh air and unstructured play/exercise (and no screens!)

3. Discuss with your child their preferred time and place for homework. Enlist his help in creating that ideal space. Then agree on when he will do the work – after a play time? after dinner? Let him take the lead in deciding.

4. SCREENS come last. Your child may say he needs the computer to do his work. But what can be done before screens come out? He can storyboard before he types that draft (handwriting increases his thinking capacity more than typing); he can go to the library and use encyclopedias (SO old-fashioned I know, but somehow supremely satisfying!). Check with teacher to see how much screen time is actually required.

5. When he is using the computer for homework, make sure he’s got all other browser windows, instant messaging, etc. turned off.  His cell phone is turned off.  No computer work in the bedroom!

6. Create a system for tracking assignments and projects – short and long term. Boys can be challenged to create a workable system. Implement it and monitor to see if it is successful. The more they can take ownership of the process, the more successful they will be.

Oh, and, that forgotten homework?

Do NOT bring assignments, reports, or instruments to school when you get that call. Your child must be held accountable for forgetting – talking to the teacher may provide just enough discomfort that he’ll be sure to remember it the next time.

If you’re ready for a truce in the homework battles – join our 5-Day Challenge: “Help! My Son Hates Homework – and I Do Too!”   You’ll gain tips and strategies – and most of all – you’ll have less nagging, anger, and door slamming at your house.  Click on the image to join – we begin Feb 27, 2017.

Boy Talk #2: Does Your Son’s School Welcome and Celebrate Boys?

students learning

If it does, you’ll know it.  If it doesn’t, keep reading.

You’ll see students working in open spaces supporting active learning, you’ll know that behavior management doesn’t include taking away recess, and you’ll meet teachers who celebrate the unique ways that boys learn differently than girls.

Start looking here:

  1. What is the ratio of female to male teachers?  Will your son have at least one male teacher before he leaves elementary school?
  2. Who is sent to the principal’s office? How many are boys? What are the misbehaviors? What are the consequences?
  3. How much recess and other outside time is scheduled?
  4. Do classroom teachers give frequent movement breaks?

Boys are in Crisis

A disproportionate number of boys struggle to master basic literacy skills,
sit on the bench outside the principal’s office, get labeled hyperactive,
and receive failing grades.
–K.King, Writing the Playbook

Take 5 minutes to watch this video created by a Gurian Institute certified trainer to highlight the alarming statistics that affect our boys every day.

The following statistics from Michael Gurian and others shows the failure of our schools to understand and meet the needs of boys.

Early Childhood and Elementary:

Boys are expelled from preschool at five times the rate of girls.
Boys are 60% more likely to be held back in kindergarten than girls.
Boys are almost twice as likely to repeat a grade.
By kindergarten, one in four black boys believes he will fail in school.
Boys make up 70% of special ed. students.
Boys are 4 – 5 times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with ADHD.

Middle School and High School:

Boys are 30% more likely than girls to flunk or drop out of school.
Seventeen year-old boys underperform in reading by 1.5 years of school.
Boys are twice as likely to be suspended as females.
Boys are 4.5 times as likely to be expelled as females.
Black males are 6 times as likely to be suspended as white males.
Athletics is the only extracurricular activity where boy’s participation exceeds girls.

Worried yet?

We are. Experts from around the globe and here in America are relentlessly advocating for deep changes in how we are raising boys. We need the groundswell of support like girls experienced in the mid-70’s. I believe this advocacy has to begin with you – parents who are raising sons and who don’t believe they have to fit into a system that was largely designed to educate in the way that most girls learn and that does not fit most boys.

With a predominantly female teaching staff (93% of elementary school teachers are female), many schools just don’t get how boys learn. Boys are active and social. They learn in smaller chunk-sizes and move to mastery later than most girls, especially in reading and writing.

What can you do?

You must educate yourself on these issues – a first stop is the Understanding Your Son 101 self-paced study. Three hours of audio and accompanying pdfs will give you the fundamental knowledge you need to be able to wisely advocate for your son, his peers, and all the boys that come after him.

Share gender-friendly information with your school’s teachers and administrators – when you approach this topic in the spirit of collaboration and support, you’ll find a receptive audience.  What teacher doesn’t want to spend less time on behavior management and more time on teaching?!

Ultimately, YOU must be the one to say: I want a better way for my son and all of his peers.  Let’s work on this together. Together we can make a school that fits both boys and girls and supports them to be their best!

Click here for your Boys Alive! Free Report: “6 Keys to Parenting Success”

“I hate school…”

He says he hates school – in so many subtle ways.

When you ask about his day, he says, “Fine.”  And that’s it.

When you get him up for school, he has a headache…or a stomach ache…or he just drags his feet and takes forever to get ready.

When you ask about homework, he says he doesn’t have any.
His teacher says he doesn’t turn in his work.

Are you ready to tear your hair out? (as one mom recently told me)…

Many parents worry about their sons – from preschool to high school – and their seeming dis-interest in and even hatred of school.

But no wonder…
SCHOOL JUST DOESN’T FIT MANY BOYS…
IMG_1788As Dr. John Medina, of Brain Rules, explains, “Our ancient ancestors were not sitting in a classroom for eight hours at a stretch…If we sat around the Serengeti for eight hours – heck, for eight minutes – we were usually somebody’s lunch.”

We are not adapted to a sedentary lifestyle.  As Dr. Medina says, “Physical activity is cognitive candy.”

And boys LOVE that cognitive candy!

Boys, especially, need to MOVE to process their learning.

 

Our ancestors traveled about 12 miles each and every day:

+They learned while they were moving.

+They made decisions and solved problems while they were moving.

+They created new tools and weapons to suit their purpose while they were moving.

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Then, only about 250 years ago, we decided that the BEST way for all children to learn was to be inside, preferably sitting still.

This does not compute for many boys (and some girls, too).

And, indeed, we’d all be better off with some exercise each day!

 

 

Start Here:

1. Get him MOVING
Before and during school advocate for more recess (in any weather). Make sure his teacher knows about brain breaks and boy-friendly strategies.  Advocate for movement programs such as BOKS Kids. Their tag line is “active kids = active minds” – and who can’t use more of that?

2. CHOOSE your moment
Asking that all-too-familiar question, “How was school today?” the minute he gets home or in the car is sure to elicit a mumbled, “Fine.”  Instead, WAIT. Give him a protein snack and some water, let him have some physical activity, some quiet time, and then he’ll likely be ready to talk.

3. What have YOU been doing?
If you’re the parent that has made a well-worn path between home and school, delivering forgotten papers, lunches, and musical instruments, STOP. Yep, just stop. Give him a heads-up that you will no longer be delivering ANYTHING to school and you may just see him become more responsible.

Many boys see mom (and it is usually mom) as hyper-organized and figure they don’t have to be because Mom will take care of it. As I said, just STOP. He must experience cause and effect. He must navigate the social implications of forgetting homework or instrument – with his teachers and peers.

Trust him, he’ll figure it out…but he won’t if you do it for him.

He won’t have ownership of his school life until it is truly his to own!


Join our conversation on Facebook! Click the image to join this dynamic private group…

 

 

Summer Slide

Is your son slipping on the summer slide? Keep him reading while he plays.

The Summer Slide is a very real phenomenon according to the authors of a report from the National Summer Learning Association:  “A conservative estimate of lost instructional time is approximately two months or roughly 22 percent of the school year…. It’s common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. That month of re-teaching eliminates a month that could have been spent on teaching new information and skills.”

You can bet your teachers are already thinking about school and how to make up for lost time. Boys not only suffer the most in the summer slide they also are most challenged in all aspects of schooling as you can see in this video.

Click here to watch.

Trouble with boys

If this isn’t your son (and we hope it isn’t), chances are it’s the boy down the street, or the boy on your son’s soccer team.

It DOES take a village and we’ve got to start by shouting this information to rooftops, raising awareness and advocating for change.  Note that boys of color and boys in poverty are at exponentially higher risk.

We’ve got to work together to stop these trends by advocating and acting locally and nation-wide.

Here’s one thing you can do, right now:

Sign the on-line petition to create a White House Council for Boys and Men (and note the irony that we’ve had one for girls and women since 2009!)

sign now

Then, look around, how can you reach out and change one boy’s day – at the mall, the grocery store, or on the street?

Stay in touch – tell me how you’ve reached out in your neighborhood.

Getting Boys to ReadA Book Recommendation
Just For You
Getting Boys to Read by Mike McQueenMy friend and colleague Mike McQueen has “been there, done that.”  He knows what it is to be a struggling reader and yet he grew up to be a school librarian!

He has motivated thousands of boys to read through teaching, motivational speaking, professional development and his book.

He’s an inspiration and a reminder to never, never give up!

Click here to order

Click here for your Boys Alive! Free Report: “6 Keys to Parenting Success”

The New Dr Seuss Book

Talking with Steve and Rebecca on KXL101’s Morning Show:

Who didn’t grow up with Dr Seuss?

Hop on Pop, Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish Two Fish…are all entwined in learning to read and teaching others to read. Dr Seuss was brilliantly funny, clever, and his use of vocabulary made us beloved fans.

Now, 25 years after his last book was published, we’re treated to a new Dr Seuss book, “What Pet Should I Get?”
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Two siblings get the okay from dad to get a pet and arrive at the pet shop only to see how many pets there are to choose from. The book comes with a warning – your children may be asking you for a pet, too!

Read the entire article here.

(And, just to be “politically correct” the publisher advocates that you adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue organization instead of a pet store, which was the popular way to acquire a pet when Dr Seuss wrote this book.)

Dr Seuss books are perfect for young readers… and if you’ve got a child that you’re trying to encourage and inspire to read check out this blog post: “He Isn’t Reading Yet.”

Click here for your Boys Alive! Free Report: “6 Keys to Parenting Success”

Multi-Tasking: Do we ask too much of boys?

Most boys are not multi-taskers. Their brains are simply not designed that way.

Yet, as they enter middle school and high school – before their brains are fully developed to handle a wide array of tasks – we’re asking them to juggle many different expectations every single day. We want them to be top-notch at multi-tasking.

Think about it.
boys taking a lap
By middle school, boys have:

  • Multiple classes – each with assignment priorities (Each teacher claiming their assignment is the most important!)
  • Multiple teachers – each with different rules and personalities, expectations and procedures
  • Multiple assignments – both short-term and long-term with quizzes and testing thrown in

He’s also thinking about other things:

  • Social life
  • Peer pressure
  • Girls
  • Sports
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Video games and screen time
  • Social media and texting

Add some family expectations:

  • Chores
  • Family time
  • Siblings
  • Study time

 

THEN, top it all off with a big, huge dose of:  PUBERTY!

His brain and body are experiencing a complete re-boot. He may be more disorganized, more clumsy, and more forgetful than ever before!

If you haven’t done it before, now is the time to help him implement workable systems.

You know your son best.

  • Is he visual? Get him a big wall calendar and help him map out his assignments, practices, etc.
  • Is he kinesthetic? Get a magnetic board, colorful tabs and post notes that he can move around.

Don’t expect that he will automatically understand how to track and follow-through with a new system. Give it time. Let him practice. Let him fail. Give him your guidance from “arm’s length.”

You are helping him to learn and instill habits that will help him in college and life. He didn’t learn to walk overnight, don’t expect him to learn this overnight, either.

Cut the Pressure

If you begin too early to talk about how essential his grades are for getting into college he will shut down.

We both know that he does need good grades but reminding him constantly will only cause him to withdraw and tune you out.

Rather, keep college as a family value from a young age. Keep it in your conversations and he will know that it is your end-goal for him. Hopefully, it will be for him, too.

At puberty, the brain and body are doing a complete re-boot, which means he will development “unevenly.” He may be flying ahead in academics and be far behind in his social development. It may be years before his brain and body catch up to each other. For most males, that will be 25- to 30-years old.

So just because he looks capable from the outside (and indeed he may put up a good front) recognize that he needs help. Step in and guide but do not do for him what he can do for himself!

You’re not raising a boy, you’re raising a man –

and the world needs you to do that well! ~anon.

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If you enjoyed this, join us for BOY TALK, a monthly webinar series where we’re talking all-things-boys with parenting experts and expert parents. Learn more here.
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Click here for your Boys Alive! Free Report: “6 Keys to Parenting Success”

Boy Talk #1: He Isn’t Reading Yet

“He’s 5 and he isn’t reading yet…” a father worries.
reading on rocker boards
Strong reading and writing skills are essential to academic success and are key indicators for life-long economic success. It’s a fairly recent phenomenon that we’ve started worrying about whether our 5-year olds were reading.

Sure, some boys and girls are reading voraciously by kindergarten, but there are many more who won’t read until much, much later. Most of those children will be boys.

The reading expectations that were once 2nd grade turf have been pushed down into Kindergarten. These heightened expectations are not helping boys who are developmentally still geared toward active, gross motor play and haven’t yet developed the fine motor skills that are key components to reading.

They aren’t ready to “stop, drop, and read” yet.
Many simply aren’t ready to read and no amount of worrying will speed this process.

Boys and girls approach reading differently.
Girls can typically sit quietly and read for long periods. Many boys, on the other hand, don’t see the point in sitting still and reading quietly. They view reading as a “female pursuit” as it is typically mom and female teachers that read with him at an early age.

Boys and girls read for different results.
Girls read for pure enjoyment. Boy, more often than not, read to discover how to do something. Directions, recipes, manuals, instruction books, graphic novels, dictionaries, and encyclopedias are all exciting reads for boys. They provide information in bite-size pieces and are usually accompanied by pictures and drawings.

Trust your gut.
Is he more interested in active play and less interested in reading? Will he focus with your encouragement? Does he seem interested but still struggles? Consider having his eyes checked by a Vision Therapist. This is more than just whether he needs glasses, it is checking to see that his eye muscles are strong and working in a coordinated way. Some children benefit greatly from Vision Therapy, correcting the issues that get in the way of efficient reading. Check with your eye doctor.

 

My Top 5 Tips for Getting Boys to Read

1. Let him move. Playing with blocks, drawing, or even just lying on the floor will help him listen better. Have him help to create a comfortable reading area – include beanbag chairs, pillows, and lots of floor space.

2. Include food! Boys will do pretty much anything if food is involved. Read menus and order pizza. Read recipes and bake a cake.

3. Provide ‘boy-friendly’ reading materials. Give him magazines, graphic novels, instruction manuals, diagrams, maps, catalogs, non-fiction, the sports pages, and joke books. Boys tend to read in shorter chunk-sizes than girls.

4. Show him men who read. Boys often see women and girls reading and think it isn’t for them. Ask the men in his life to share what they read and why they read. Check out guysread.com, their goal is to help boys become “self-motivated, life-long readers.” Consider hiring a high school boy to hang out and read with your son.

5. Turn off the media. Reading comes before screen time, always. Resist Kindles and ipads and encourage hands-on reading materials. Set a timer if you have to. You’ll know you’ve succeeded in capturing his reading interest when he doesn’t hear it ring.

He may not think of himself as a “reader” so be sure to point out to him all the ways that he does read.

Don’t forget to make friends with your local library. He will love having his own library card. They usually have great summer reading programs to give him added incentive to pick up a magazine, comic book, or graphic novel as well as a book.

Read together and keep it active!

Click here for your Boys Alive! Free Report: “6 Keys to Parenting Success”

“My child is having a hard time in school.”

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Click HERE or on the image to listen to this short video conversation.

Janet talks with Alison, mom of a 6 yo and a 4 yo, “My 6 year old is having a hard time in school. He is bright, charismatic, and a little nutty. It seems like being in first grade means a whole different set of expectations. He hasn’t made friends. He has a hard time listening. He gets up and moves around the room. He has hit some kids. Last week he was sent home twice.”

“If this school isn’t working for him, I’m not sure what kind of school will. It makes me wonder if there is a school out there that is right for him. Does he just have to tough it out?”

Janet reassures: You are not alone. Many boys (and some girls) struggle with school and this is most apparent in a physical way in the younger grades. Young, active children are adjusting to this new context and the expectations of behavior.

Developmental Trajectory – an important recognition of a child’s own developmental trajectory (Not everyone develops at the same rate or in the same areas at the same time – yet we’ve put same-aged children in the same classroom expecting them to be able to do the same things.) Boys are typically 1 to 1.5 years ‘behind’ girls in their development – especially heightened in the younger ages. This levels off and boys do catch up but full cognitive development for boys doesn’t happen until mid-to late- twenties! For girls, it happens in late teens and early twenties.

Let’s put school in perspective. In the ‘olden days’, which wasn’t that long ago…boys (and girls) were active on farms or even if they lived in an urban setting they walked to school, goofing with friends along the way, walking, biking, jumping, climbing, and expending a lot of energy before they were expected to “sit still, listen, and learn.”

What’s a parent to do?
Help your active child before they get to school:
• A mini-trampoline, a basement skateboard ‘park’, a chin up bar – provide acceptable ways to get his energy out at home.
• Walk, bike or skateboard to school – park a few blocks away and go from there – it’ll be a great wake-up for you, too!
• Organize. You aren’t alone – other boys (and girls) crave a physical outlet before school and your teachers may be too busy to make it happen. Check out Boks (Build Our Kids’ Success) for a movement program that you can start at your school.
• Nutrition is essential – include protein and water!
• Help him understand HIS learning style and strategies for success. What helps him be able to focus? Try a fidget or squeeze ball to channel his excess energy.

What’s a teacher to do?
Teachers are busy and striving to do their best. First of all, they’ll see a difference in the wiggly kids as you implement the strategies above. Then, recognize that they likely haven’t been trained to understand fundamental gender-based learning differences. Point them to resources like Boys Alive! and the Gurian Institute who work with teachers showing them how to increase academic achievement while reducing time spent on behavior management.

3 Quick Tips for Success:

1. Water. When ‘flight or fight’ stress chemicals (adrenaline & cortisol) build up, a child can react too quickly in anger, silliness, or wiggles. Water dilutes these chemicals in 5 minutes rather than having them in one’s system for 2 hours.

2. Brain boosts. It takes less than a minute to increase blood flow and energize students. A quick lap around the playground, jumping jacks in place, or a quick ‘happy dance’ increases breathing, laughter, and attention.

3. More Room. Boys generally take up more space for their play and learning than girls. If there are 4 girls seated at a table, it will be more comfortable to have 3 boys at that same size table. Boys can easily feel overwhelmed with too much visual stimuli – minimize the wall art and ceiling decorations.

With about 93% of elementary teachers being female, there are many who don’t intuitively ‘get’ boys. Advocate for your active sons (and daughters) and support teachers to learn more about gender-based learning differences and how to successfully implement active learning strategies. (They’ll thank you for it!)

Above all, reassure your son that he is not bad and not wrong. He may be in a context that doesn’t fit him. Then it is your job to advocate and change the context! Let me know how I can help!

Boy-Friendly Schools

Is He Going ‘Back-to-School’ in a Boy-Friendly School? –
Are you wondering how he is going to do THIS year? Is he in a boy-friendly school? Does he have a boy-friendly teacher?

A boy-friendly environment looks different.

As academics continue to get “pushed down” into younger and younger grades, boys often suffer. When the early years of play turn too soon to academics – what was once first grade curriculum is now taught in kindergarten – boys struggle to fit into these new constraints and school becomes stress-filled rather than joy-filled. Add to that teachers who are simply overwhelmed by boy energy and you’ve got trouble.

“Every behavior is useful in some context.”

Yet school is often a context that does not fit boys.

I’ve seen first grade boys completely bewildered when asked to follow multiple directions, complete fine-motor tasks, and sit still and be quiet — all at the same time. It is nearly impossible for them, which leads to frustration (melt-downs and/or tummy aches), stress (acting out / being silly) and generally making everyone around them a little bit crazy. It also leads to the dreaded question, “Shouldn’t we be testing him for ADD?”

What does a boy-friendly school look like?
– MORE ‘CHAOS’ – Classes are noisier with kids in motion more often. This is not a “sit still and learn” environment – and you don’t want it to be!

-LESS CLUTTER – Boys tend to be highly visual. Too much visual stimulation can be overwhelming. Boy-friendly classrooms are decorated with simplicity in mind. Rules & assignments are posted visually/graphically rather than just with words. There is more floor space to play, work with clipboards, work on projects etc.

– MORE RECESS/MOVEMENT – In addition to recess there are other opportunities to move during the day – most importantly a time to pause during lessons to get up and stretch or ‘take a lap’ when the wiggles get too overwhelming.

How can you create a more boy-friendly experience for your son (at home and school)?
– MOVEMENT – Make sure he moves before school. Park several blocks away and walk; promote a jump rope or shooting hoops club before school with parents supervising (teachers will be grateful – and girls will love it, too!).

– LITERACY – Reading is the key to success in school and in life. Yet, boys often don’t consider themselves readers. Make sure your son’s classroom has plenty of boy-friendly reading materials – manuals, catalogs, dictionaries, graphic novels, magazines. Boys tend to read for a purpose and read in shorter bursts. Start collecting materials now. (And make sure he sees the men in his life reading!)
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– ADVOCATE – Working within a parent organization, you can be the catalyst to begin a conversation at your school about the different ways that boys and girls learn and how to foster a boy-friendly environment (girls benefit, too!) An excellent resource is the book Boys and Girls Learn Differently by Michael Gurian.

When teachers and parents understand that boys need a different kind of structure at school and home, then discipline and behavioral issues decline and school enthusiasm increases. The contexts fit and our boys succeed!

What a great way to begin the year!

YOU must be the advocate for your son.

Boys Alive! has the resources to help you:

1. BOY TALK – Download interviews with parenting experts and expert parents on many all-things-boys topics: The Birds and The Bees; Coping with Grief; Boy-Friendly Schools; Peace with your Preschooler, and more!

2. HOST AN EXPERT – Janet Allison speaks nationally and internationally and creates programs designed for your specific school situation. Her talks are dynamic, engaging, and often have the highest turn-out of any school sponsored parent evening because of the compelling topic of boys! Discuss possibilities with her – EMAIL JANET>> janet@boysalive.com

3. JOIN THE CONVERSATION – Our private Facebook group is open to you! Join us as we help each other, share successes, and feature ideas and advice for making life with boys at home and school even more fun and successful. JOIN US HERE>>

Ready to understand your boy better? Sign Up. Inspiration and strategies are on the way!

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