Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys

Daniel J. Kindlon, Author, Michael Thompson, Joint Author, Teresa Barker, With Ballantine Books $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-345-42457-0
A genuine enthusiasm for their subject shines through the pages of this enormously compelling book, as the authors share insights on boys' emotional development from birth through the college years--an increasingly high-profile topic in the wake of disheartening statistics about adolescent suicide and violence. In much the same way that Reviving Ophelia offered new models for raising girls, therapists Kindlon and Thompson argue that boys desperately need a new standard of ""emotional literacy,"" showing how our culture's dominant masculine stereotypes shortchange boys and lead them toward emotional isolation. The authors turn a spotlight on the inner lives of boys, debunking preconceptions about gender, explaining the importance of nurturing communication skills and empathy in boys as well as girls, and steering boys toward a manhood of emotional attachment, not stoicism and solitude. They also challenge the ways in which, in their view, traditional school environments put boys at a disadvantage (why not hold off on reading instruction a year or two? they ask; why not five short recesses a day?). Such issues as drinking, drugs and the ""culture of cruelty"" among adolescents, in which ""anything a boy says or does can and will be used against him,"" also meet with sensitive treatment. Separate chapters examine the relationships between fathers and sons and mothers and sons, and show how these can be protected and redefined. This thoughtful book is recommended for parents, teachers or anyone with a vested interest in raising happy, healthy, emotionally whole young men. Agent, Gail Ross of Lichtman, Trister, Singer and Ross. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1999
Release date: 04/01/1999
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-345-43485-2
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-553-52714-8
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