At a time when many boys are in crisis, a much-needed roadmap for helping boys grow into strong and compassionate men
Over the past two decades there has been an explosion of new studies that have expanded our knowledge of how boys think and feel. In How to Raise a Boy, psychologist Michael Reichert draws on his decades of research to challenge age-old conventions about how boys become men.
Reichert explains how the paradigms about boys needing to be stoic and "man like" can actually cause them to shut down, leading to anger, isolation, and disrespectful or even destructive behaviors. The key to changing the culture lies in how parents, educators, and mentors help boys develop socially and emotionally. Reichert offers readers step-by-step guidance in doing just this by:
• Listening and observing, without judgment, so that boys know they're being heard.
• Helping them develop strong connections with teachers, coaches, and other role models
• Encouraging them to talk about their feelings about the opposite sex and stressing the importance of respecting women
• Letting them know that they don't have to "be a man" or "suck it up," when they are experiencing physical or emotional pain.
Featuring the latest insights from psychology and neuroscience, How to Raise a Boy will help those who care for young boys and teenagers build a boyhood that will enable them to grow into confident, accomplished and kind men.
“No one writes more powerfully about how much boys need loving relationships to become healthy men. With the training of a researcher and the soul of a clinician, Michael Reichert has looked deeply into their hearts and lives; he sees behind their under achievement and gaming addictions and recognizes their yearning for connection and friendship. If you are the parent or teacher of a boy, if you love a boy, you should read How to Raise a Boy.”
—Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D., author of Raising Cain and Best Friends, Worst Enemies
“In the ten years since my book about boys’ troubles came out, I have spoken to countless parents and educators about their worries. Over this same period things have not gotten any easier for boys—in fact, it is more important than ever for families to nurture men of character, emotional intelligence and resilience. In this groundbreaking book, Michael Reichert combines a unique blend of research, clinical insight, and personal experience to offer an encouraging approach to raising our sons. If you have a son, or a grandson, or a nephew or a brother, buy this book.”
—Peg Tyre, New York Times bestselling author of The Trouble with Boys
“A thoughtful, honest, and ultimately hopeful map for raising a son today . . . Michael Reichert does what he has done for so long for so many: give brilliant insight and advice that help so many boys become confident men of purpose and character.”
—Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes and Masterminds and Wingmen
“Michael blends the wisdom of being a loving parent and a caring clinician to help us listen to, understand, and honor our sons and the boys in our lives, in order to assist them to be their best and truest selves.”
—David L. Bell, MD MPH, Medical Director, The Young Men’s Clinic, New York Presbyterian Hospital/ Columbia University Medical Center
“How to Raise a Boy is a book of positivity and hope for navigating the complex and often fraught journey of raising boys to be good men in today’s world. Through fascinating stories from boys and their caregivers, it provides valuable and practical insight into the utmost significance of relationality and the power of connection in dismantling the harmful gender norms of the ‘boy code’ that compromise the lives of all of us.”
—Amanda Keddie, Professor of Education, Deakin University (Australia)
“Michael Reichert weaves a lovely tapestry of stories, experiences, insights and reflections acquired over a long distinguished career guiding boys and young men. A must read-- not only for parents of boys but also for educators, administrators and counselors entrusted with the responsibility of championing boys’ education and development.”
—David M. Armstrong, Executive Director, International Boys’ School Coalition
“Michael Reichert's highly readable and important book not only reveals how we have failed boys by gendering our human capacities to think and feel, with the latter being considered girly and gay and thus put on the bottom of our hierarchy of values. He underscores the similarities between boys and girls, or among all humans, in their social and emotional needs and capacities. Recognizing this simple and empirically proven fact is key to his proposed solutions to foster boys' natural capacities to connect to themselves and others. A must read for all who care about boys and men.”
—Niobe Way, Professor of Developmental Psychology, New York University, and author of Deep Secrets: Boys Friendships and the Crisis of Connection
“This book is a must-read for anyone who has, or expects to have, a boy in their life. Dr. Reichert punctuates theory and research with real life vignettes from his own extensive clinical practice, powerfully bringing the pages to life. He explodes many of the myths about boys that stand in the way of healthy relationships with their parents and peers. He carefully guides parents through strategies that enhance their positive influence on their sons, thereby ensuring that they can thrive in an increasingly confusing and complicated world.”
—Dennis J. Barbour, Esq., President and CEO, The Partnership for Male Youth
“In this important new book, Michael Reichert draws on years of experience in the field and his vast knowledge of research on gender and adolescent development to present helpful ideas to parents and educators who seek to raise healthy boys and young men. Written in a sensible, clear and compelling manner, this book is chock full of wisdom and practical suggestions. At a time when we have so much evidence that many boys are in trouble, we finally have a book that offers the insights and practical guidance we need to raise boys!”
—Pedro A. Noguera, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Education, Faculty Director, Center for the Transformation of Schools
“Michael Reichert has woven together a must-read that thoughtfully describes how to support boys to thrive. He draws on findings from cutting edge research (his own and others), practice as a clinician and educational consultant, and first-hand experience as a parent, to illustrate their needs for us to appreciate them as individuals, and to work to have meaningful relationships with them.”
—K. Ann Renninger, Dorwin P. Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action, Department of Educational Studies, Swarthmore College
“Michael Reichert has spent three decades working to understand how boys think, feel, and act. In How to Raise a Boy, he distills that learning into ten chapters that focus on the challenges boys face today, and on how the adults in their lives can help boys navigate the risks and develop into good men. His advice: purposefully intrude on your son's privacy to become part of his life! Boys are equal to girls in their capacity to commit their hearts--but only to those they trust. Highly recommended for all parents and educators.”
—Dr. John Nagl, Lieutenant Colonel, US Army (Retired), Ninth Headmaster, The Haverford School
“From years of work with boys and young men, Michael Reichert is well-positioned to explain the dire consequences of how we raise boys to be men. With deep compassion guiding both his work and his writing, he points to positive directions to bring change. A must read for parents, teachers and, really, for us all.”
—Michael Kaufman, author of The Time Has Come: Why Men Must Join the Gender Equality Revolution
“How To Raise a Boy seeks nothing short of redemption for our young men and for our country. Through a range of topics including Love, Violence, Integrity, Self-Respect, Hope, Social Development, Peer Bullying and Peer Support, Dr. Reichert has written a treatise for anyone seeking to know young men of today and to set in motion the necessary steps to improve the trajectory of young men’s lives.
His analysis of the issues elevates our understanding of how to combat and better prepare the youth for an ever-changing society; strengthening their chances for safety, satisfaction and success.
Dr. Reichert offers specific strategies to guide adults who play a key role in the development of boys. His good counsel speaks directly to the men and women of our nation providing a “roadmap” to move us away from old and false ideas and toxic stereotypes, that do nothing but constrict, and replace them with fresh beliefs and empowering practices that redefine and enlighten masculinity in healthy ways.
How To Raise a Boy is vital for educators and parents across the United States who grapple with young men whether they are withdrawn, lack direction, are egotistical, disengaged, or who suffer with substance abuse or hyper-masculinity as well as those struggling to find direction in their lives as well as to find their identify."
—David C. Banks, President & CEO, The Eagle Academy Foundation, Inc.
“The battle for our sons’ souls rages on. Parents, policymakers and teachers are worried, as they should be. Pundits debate whether boys should ‘man up’ or whether it’s manhood itself that is the problem. Into the debate Michael Reichert offers this bright light: boys need more connection, not less. They need care, not carelessness. They need parents, teachers and all of us being courageous enough to let boys simply be the full-hearted human beings they want to be. And to love them and support them all along the way. How to Raise a Boy is a much-needed contribution to the discussion.”
—Gary Barker, Founder and CEO, Promundo
About the Author
Michael C. Reichert, Ph.D., is founding director of the Center for the Study of Boys' and Girls' Lives at the University of Pennsylvania, and a clinical practitioner specializing in boys and men who has conducted extensive research globally.