Octopus Mom

Life as a mom who has her hands full

The Trouble with Boys

I am currently reading a book titled ” The Trouble with Boys” and let me be the first to say that it is amazing. If you have a boy, you owe it to yourself to read this book. The author, Peg Tyre, sheds light on a troubling statistic—that our schools are failing our boys. Throughout the last few decades,  the school system has been changing. Different teaching styles, longer hours, less recess and different expectations have morphed schooltime. Boys, who notoriously need more “wiggle room”, find themselves crammed into desks, punished for fidgiting and as a result, begin to slip behind in school. By the time boys enter middle school, the majority of them are not living up to their academic potential and the majority of  “behavioral” problems in school are boys. More “honor students” are girls and more women are attending college then their male counterparts.

If you are a parent with a young boy, you know all too well that “circle time” has become the dreaded regiment they all must conform to before they head off to kindergarten. Many boys are inappropriately labeled as ADD or ADHD when 40 years ago they would’ve been just a normal kid.

Cultural changes have also changed the way boys are allowed to play. Good ol fashioned games of tag have been replaced by adult driven “kiddie soccer” classes. Free time spent lazily swimming in rivers and creeks have been replaced by “swim lessons” with a certified instructor. No splashing, no running.  Boys are discouraged from aggressive play to “prevent” them from becoming aggressive bullys. Sword fights and gun fights are discouraged and video game have replaced board games.

As a result of society’s changes, the school system inevitably changed as well. Now, it favors girls and the style of learning that is best suited for the female gender. Boys need to learn in a more hands on way and need to have access to sports and recess throughout the day. If our school systems fail to see what a diservice they are doing to our boys, we may end up with a generation of slackers and underachieving men.
As a mother of 2 sons, I found Peg Tyre’s analysis of the problems boys face in the school system  absolutely enlightening. I encourage all mothers with boys and all educators to read her incredible book. If you are a mother struggling with your boy in school, you need to read this book and realize that it is not your fault….and it is not his fault. It is the school system that is failing them and unless we speak up, the situation will only get worse.

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One comment on “The Trouble with Boys

  1. watcat
    March 16, 2009

    Hi this blog is great I will be recommending it to friends.

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This entry was posted on March 12, 2009 by in Musings and Anecdotes and tagged , , , , , , .

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