The stunning success of Reviving Ophelia, Mary Pipher’s landmark book, showed a true and pressing need to address the emotional lives of girls. Now, finally, here is the book that answers our equally timely and critical need to understand our boys.

In Raising Cain, Dan Kindlon, Ph.D., and Michael Thompson, Ph.D., two of the country’s leading child psychologists, share what they have learned in more than thirty-five years of combined experience working with boys and their families. They reveal a nation of boys who are hurting—sad, afraid, angry, and silent. Statistics point to an alarming number of young boys at high risk for suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, violence and loneliness. Kindlon and Thompson set out to answer this basic, crucial question: What do boys need that they’re not getting? They illuminate the forces that threaten our boys, teaching them to believe that “cool” equals macho strength and stoicism. Cutting through outdated theories of “mother blame,” “boy biology,” and "testosterone,” Kindlon and Thompson shed light on the destructive emotional training our boys receive—the emotional miseducation of boys.

Through moving case studies and cutting-edge research, Raising Cain paints a portrait of boys systematically steered away from their emotional lives by adults and the peer “culture of cruelty”—boys who receive little encouragement to develop qualities such as compassion, sensitivity, and warmth. The good news is that this doesn't have to happen. There is much we can do to prevent it.

Kindlon and Thompson make a compelling case that emotional literacy is the most valuable gift we can offer our sons, urging parents to recognize the price boys pay when we hold them to an impossible standard of manhood. They identify the social and emotional challenges that boys encounter in school and show how parents can help boys cultivate emotional awareness and empathy—giving them the vital connections and support they need to navigate the social pressures of youth.

Powerfully written and deeply felt, Raising Cain will forever change the way we see our sons and will transform the way we help them to become happy and fulfilled young men.
From the New York Times bestselling co-author of Raising Cain, It’s a Boy! is the first major parenting book to chart every stage of a boy’s life. This upbeat, authoritative, and reassuring guide–written by psychologist Michael Thompson, Ph.D., a leading international expert on boys’ development, and journalist Teresa H. Barker–shows how a boy’s inner life progresses through infancy, childhood, and adolescence.

What do boys actually need? How exactly does a healthy boy look and act? It’s a Boy! has the answers, providing expert advice on the developmental, psychological, social, and academic life of boys from infancy through the teen years. Exploring the many ways in which boys strive for masculinity and attempt to define themselves, Dr. Thompson identifies the key developmental transitions that mark a boy’s psychological growth and emotional health, and the challenges both boys and parents face at each age.

• Expecting a Boy: how our deeply held hopes, fears, and family histories shape our expectations of boys and our parenting techniques
• Baby Boys (birth to 18 months): falling in love with your son, healthy attachment, trust, and temperament
• Toddler Years (18 months to 3 years): boys on the go, bold steps, blankies, budding language, and rambunctious physicality
• Powerful Little Boys (ages 3 and 4): superhero ambitions, penis play and potty talk, learning to manage the force of his anger, and celebrating the power of the boy group
• Starting School (ages 5 through 7): developmental cues for school readiness, transitional challenges, girl cooties and boys-only play, tough talk, tender hearts, and first friends
• Boys on a Mission (ages 8 through 10): striving for mastery in sports, screen games, and boy society, organizing the boy brain for school success, and glaring academic gender gaps
• The Preteen (ages 11 through 13): puberty, posturing and popularity, the culture of cruelty, hidden sensitivity, and stoic silence in the middle school years
• Early High School (ages 14 and 15): the secret life of boys, powerful peer groups, sexuality, school strategies, the shift away from Mom (she knows too much), and yearning for Dad’s respect and attention
• On the Brink of Manhood (ages 16 through 18): the quest for independence, sex, love, driving, drinking, and other choices and challenges of life

Practical, insightful, wonderfully engaging, and filled with instructive true stories any parent of a son will recognize, It’s a Boy! is the definitive guide to raising boys in today’s world, revealing with humor, compassion, and joy all the infinite varieties of boys and the deep and profound ways in which we love them.
Friends broaden our children’s horizons, share their joys and secrets, and accompany them on their journeys into ever wider worlds. But friends can also gossip and betray, tease and exclude. Children can cause untold suffering, not only for their peers but for parents as well. In this wise and insightful book, psychologist Michael Thompson, Ph.D., and children’s book author Catherine O’Neill Grace, illuminate the crucial and often hidden role that friendship plays in the lives of children from birth through adolescence.

Drawing on fascinating new research as well as their own extensive experience in schools, Thompson and Grace demonstrate that children’s friendships begin early–in infancy–and run exceptionally deep in intensity and loyalty. As children grow, their friendships become more complex and layered but also more emotionally fraught, marked by both extraordinary intimacy and bewildering cruelty. As parents, we watch, and often live through vicariously, the tumult that our children experience as they encounter the “cool” crowd, shifting alliances, bullies, and disloyal best friends.

Best Friends, Worst Enemies brings to life the drama of childhood relationships, guiding parents to a deeper understanding of the motives and meanings of social behavior. Here you will find penetrating discussions of the difference between friendship and popularity, how boys and girls deal in unique ways with intimacy and commitment, whether all kids need a best friend, why cliques form and what you can do about them.

Filled with anecdotes that ring amazingly true to life, Best Friends, Worst Enemies probes the magic and the heartbreak that all children experience with their friends. Parents, teachers, counselors–indeed anyone who cares about children–will find this an eye-opening and wonderfully affirming book.
The push for students to excel at school and get into the best colleges has never been more intense. In this invaluable new book, the bestselling co-author of Raising Cain addresses America’s performance-driven obsession with the accomplishments of its kids–and provides a deeply humane response.
“How was school?” These three words contain a world of desire on the part of parents to know what their children are learning and experiencing in school each day. Children may not divulge much, but psychologist Michael Thompson suggests that the answers are there if we know how to read the clues and–equally important–if we remember our own school days.
School, Thompson reminds us, occupies more waking hours than kids spend at home; and school is full not just of studies but of human emotion–excitement, fear, envy, love, anger, sexuality, boredom, competitiveness. Through richly detailed interviews, case histories, and student e-mail journals, including those of his own children, Thompson illuminates the deeper psychological journey that school demands, a journey that all children must take in order to grow and develop, whether they are academic aces or borderline dropouts. Most of us remember this journey, if we are honest with ourselves, but our children must experience it in their own way, for better or worse.

In stories that are by turns poignant, shocking, uplifting, and inspiring, we see students grapple with the textured reality of their lives, devising their own unique strategies to survive and thrive in school. For parents, this book reveals the hidden emotional landscape of the school day and points toward the answers we both desire and dread as we seek to help our children find success in school and beyond.
Bridging the worlds of the growing and the grown-up, and told in Thompson’s compassionate voice as both psychologist and father, The Pressured Child shows us how to listen for the truth of our children’s experience–and how to trust, love, and ultimately let go of a child. It is a crucial book for our stressful age–and an ideal resource for families struggling to survive it.
From the acclaimed authors of Best Friends, Worst Enemies, here is the perfect companion volume: a practical, how-to guide for parents to help their children navigate the sometimes harsh terrain of social life at school, on the playground, and in the neighborhood.

Almost everyone agrees (and remembers): Childhood can be a traumatic time. Kids frequently face peer rejection, name-calling, bullying, after-school fights, esteem-crushing cliques, and malicious exclusion by the popular kids. And parents often feel powerless to console their children. Now help is here. Mom, They’re Teasing Me is a specific, hands-on guide for concerned parents who want to give their children the tools they need to cope with social cruelty. Through vividly written case studies and a reader-friendly question-and-answer format, this compelling book shows parents what a child may confront with other children, and then offers concrete advice on handling each situation.

Mom, They’re Teasing Me deals in-depth with specific aspects of social cruelty: the four major types of children at risk for social isolation and their unique problems; the ordinary pain of those children not at risk—but who, nevertheless, cause their parents concern; and bad class dynamics in the school and neighborhood. Through thoughtful discussion and insightful suggestions, parents will discover

• The difference between real risk and normal social pain
• The appropriate time to intervene—and when to step back
• Tips on how to mediate between children—without appearing meddlesome
• Essential advice for parents who worry too much
• The importance of teaching and encouraging leadership
• The redemptive power of friendship

Mom, They’re Teasing Me answers key questions on the many manifestations of social cruelty, offers compelling descriptions of prime “teasing” scenarios, and illustrates how to counter them. It is an indispensable book for every involved parent who wants to make their child’s formative years rich and rewarding.
Friends broaden our children's horizons, share their joys and secrets, and accompany them on their journeys into ever wider worlds. But friends can also gossip and betray, tease and exclude. Children can cause untold suffering, not only for their peers but for parents as well. In this wise and insightful book, psychologist Michael Thompson, PhD, and children's book author Catherine O'Neill Grace illuminate the crucial and often hidden role that friendship plays in the lives of children from birth through adolescence. Drawing on fascinating new research as well as their own extensive experience in schools, Thompson and Grace demonstrate that children's friendships begin early-in infancy-and run exceptionally deep in intensity and loyalty. As children grow, their friendships become more complex and layered but also more emotionally fraught, marked by both extraordinary intimacy and bewildering cruelty. As parents, we watch, and often live through vicariously, the tumult that our children experience as they encounter the "cool" crowd, shifting alliances, bullies, and disloyal best friends. Best Friends, Worst Enemies brings to life the drama of childhood relationships, guiding parents to a deeper understanding of the motives and meanings of social behavior. Here you will find penetrating discussions of the difference between friendship and popularity, how boys and girls deal in unique ways with intimacy and commitment, whether all kids need a best friend, and why cliques form and what you can do about them. Filled with anecdotes that ring amazingly true to life, Best Friends, Worst Enemies probes the magic and the heartbreak that all children experience with their friends. Parents, teachers, counselors-indeed anyone who cares about children-will find this an eye-opening and wonderfully affirming book.
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