What Parents of Boys Need to Know

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Photo by Gabriela Pinto via Flickr
Photo by Gabriela Pinto via Flickr

If I could tell parents of boys just one thing, this would be it: You are not alone.

Your boy is not the only getting in trouble at school for being wiggly.

Your boy isn’t the one one who likes to draw gory battle scenes.

Your son isn’t the only one who’d rather dig in the dirt than perform a carefully controlled experiment.

What you need to know is that the things your son is going through, and the things you’re going through as a parent of a boy, are common. Are your son’s specific issues unique? Perhaps. But the larger issues you’re struggling with on a daily basis are common to boys in this country.

Your son is not the only one who’s having a hard time with reading.

Your son is not the only one getting into major trouble for minor mishaps at school. 

What you also need to know: We will make more progress together than alone.

I can (and have) talked to my sons’ school about policies banning football and ball play at recess. I can (and have) talked to my sons’ school about supposed “inappropriate” drawings my sons have created. But when I work alone, my impact is small. Isolated. I’m just one parent, talking to one school.

When we work together — when a lot of us talk to our schools and our legislators, when we share our stories and experiences publicly and create a national conversation — we can accomplish real change that will benefit all boys. Together, we can advocate for recess, for boy-friendly instruction in our schools and for the abolition of zero-tolerance policies. Together, we can normalize, instead of pathologize, boy behavior.

Together, we can make a difference for our sons. Will you join me?

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