According to the book, there are 5 factors driving the decline of boys:
5)Devaluation of masculinity
There was a ton of information to digest. I’m not going to go into it all because that would be boring to most people reading this. The top two things really stood out to me.
There were the obvious issues with violence in some games. That didn’t surprise me. The part that I thought was a good reminder was that video games can cause your child to disengage from real life. It needs to have a proper place in the life of the child: after school work, after time with friends, after physical activity. Boys have a desire to compete and to win at something. There are better ways to tap into that. Video game worlds give a false idea of what reality is.
The other issue was with teaching methods. Since we homeschool, this resonated with me. I noticed right away with teaching Ethan, that Kindergarten curriculum is not the same now as it was when I was 5. We ask a lot more of kids at this young age then we did not that long ago. The author spoke on a study on brain development in boys and girls and said that, “. . .the language areas of the brain in many five year old boys look like the language areas of the brain of the average three and a half year old girl.”
Many 5 year old boys are not developmentally ready for some of what we’re asking of them in Kindergarten. The risk is that the child’s first experiences with school are negative. It’s too hard and he thinks he’s not smart enough or good enough.
The other possible school issues for boys include:
- Not enough real-life experience/field trips/nature.
- Giving assignments that cater to girl brains: asking boys to write essays on how they would “feel” if they were a certain person/character when their brains aren’t developed in that area until they are older.
- Eliminating competition.
I enjoyed the book. There were some great reminders of the differences between boys and girls. I also took away some practical things I could do to help my boys succeed. The author is a family physician and a research psychologist. Background in both of those areas made the book more compelling.