In all our years as therapists, we have never met a boy who didn't crave his parents' love and others' acceptance and who didn't feel crippled by their absence or redeemed by their abundance. Strong and healthy boys are made strong by acceptance and affirmation of their humanity. We all have a chance to do that every day, every time we are in the presence of a boy and we have a chance to say to him, "I recognize you. You are a boy -- full of life, full of dreams, full of feeling."
Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson with Teresa Barker (2000)
A compelling study of biological and environmental influences on young males in our culture, and an impassioned case for reframing conceptions about boys and men. The major themes are the culture of cruelty that develops among children, some of the influences on that culture, and the power of emotional literacy in helping boys grow into empathic and secure men able to enter into intimate relationships. The book provides a good balance of research data with anecdotal material, and is written in terms easily accessible for the general reader.
[Image: My son, age four.]