Sample text for Boys should be boys : 7 secrets to raising healthy sons / Meg Meeker.


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Introduction



_The Seven Secrets to_Raising Healthy Boys
_

I THINK OF THIS BOOK AS sort of The Dangerous Book for Parents._The bestselling The Dangerous Book for Boys was full of_fun information and projects that boys love but that too many_of us have tried to deny them. Tree houses? Too dangerous. The_boys might fall and break their arms. Insects and spiders? Yuck._And you want to teach them about hunting, how to make a bow_and arrow, and great battles of history? Are you crazy?_Actually, these are all things boys like, and there is no harm_in them. As a pediatrician, I've seen plenty of boys with broken_arms, spider bites, or who have scraped a knee playing soldier in_the woods. But these are just part of growing up. Too many of_us parents obsess about healthy diversions that active boys like_to do, while not recognizing what is truly dangerous for our_boys--like popular music, television, and video games that_deaden their sensibilities, shut them off from real human interaction,_impede the process of maturation, prevent them from_burning up energy in useful outdoor exercise, divorce them from_parents, and lower their expectations of life._

In this book I mean to cut through a lot of the misapprehensions,_misinformation, and misleading assumptions that too_many parents have. It's a book of practical advice based on my_clinical experience, relevant scientific data, and the sort of common_sense that too many of us managed to misplace from reading_too many politically correct "parenting" books. My concern_is not with what is politically correct, but with what is true and_what is best for our boys. I've seen, and I've learned, that when_it comes to raising sons, what is politically correct and what is_true are often at opposite ends of the spectrum. I think it's time_we put our sons first._

In this book you will learn how to raise healthy and happy_boys--boys who are honest, courageous, humble, meek (in the_sense of willingly withholding their power), and kind. There are_secrets to raising such boys. Among these secrets are the big_seven. I can mention them in passing here, but we'll look at what_they mean and how to use them in the chapters that follow._

■ Know how to encourage your son. One fault is babying and_spoiling him. But another is being so harsh that you lose_communication with your son and destroy his sense of selfworth._We'll look at how to strike the right balance._

■ Understand what your boys need. Guess what? It's not_another computer game; it's you. We'll look at how to get_the most of your time with your son._

■ Recognize that boys were made for the outdoors. Boys love_being outside. A healthy boy needs that sense of adventure--_and the reality check that the outdoors gives him._

■ Remember that boys need rules. Boys instinctively have a_boy code. If you don't set rules, however, they feel lost._

■ Acknowledge that virtue is not just for girls. Boys should,_indeed, be boys--but boys who drink, take drugs, and have_sex outside of marriage aren't "normal" teenagers, they have_been abnormally socialized by our unfortunately toxic culture._Today, my practice as a pediatrician has to deal with an_epidemic of serious, even life-threatening, problems--physical_and psychological--that were of comparatively minor_concern only forty years ago. A healthy boy strives after_virtues like integrity and self-control. In fact, it is virtues like_these that make a boy's transition to manhood possible._

They are necessary virtues, and he needs your help to acquire_them. I'll show you how._

■ Learn how to teach your son about the big questions in life._Many parents shy away from this, either because they are_uncomfortable with these questions themselves, or want to_dismiss them as unimportant or even pernicious, or because_they don't want to "impose" their views on their children._But whatever one's personal view, your son wants to know--_and needs to know--why he's here, what his purpose in life_is, why he is important. Boys who don't have a wellgrounded_understanding on these big questions are the most_vulnerable to being led astray into self-destructive behaviors._

■ Remember, always, that the most important person in your_son's life is you._

Being a parent can often seem a daunting task. But I'm here to_tell you that almost every parent has what it takes to raise_healthy sons. You have the intuition, the heart, and, yes, the_responsibility to change the life of your son for the better. This_book is a step toward showing you how._


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Boys.
Teenage boys.
Parenting.
Child rearing.