Licensed marriage and family therapist, Korinne Bouwhuis, gives us a few helpful tips on how to create a positive climate for boys' development.
- Developmentally Appropriate and Boy-Friendly
- Expectations to sit still may not be appropriate for age. If in doubt if a child is ready for demands of school, it may be best to wait a year to increase the chances of positive early experiences with school. Some classrooms have started making accommodations so sitting is not overemphasized to the kids who have challenges with that. Competition can be used to motivate boys in learning. 'Nobody loses, everybody`s a winner' policies have undermined excitement in learning, especially for some types of boys
- Real-World and Hands-On Connections
- If a boy has a chance to hold and touch a frog, he`s much more interested in hearing about one. Connecting information to knowledge about the way things work helps education come to life, which is especially important for many boys.
- Engage in REAL Life
- Watch for the Balance of Technology Based vs. Lived Experiences
- Turn off Video Games
- Playing online with 'friends' does NOT count as being social. When you turn off the video games, give a real-life experience to replace it. Give a chance to really ride a motorcycle, or race a car. If games of choice have been violent, consider putting that boy into physical contact sports.
- Engage with Positive Male Role Models
- 'A boy is likely to become the kind of man he sees around him.' Cultures differ in what is considered masculine behavior, but some things are consistent. Boys need to be shown the way to become gentlemen, that is not a biological development of manhood.
You can get more information on Korinne here.