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129 Grief with Tom Golden - ON BOYS Podcast

One of our jobs, as parents and educators of boys, is to help them learn how to deal with tough emotions -- including grief. As much as we want to, we can't protect our boys from hurt. Loved ones die. Parents divorce Friends move. Boys fail to achieve important goals, and experience rejection from peers. Grief hurts. It comes and goes. Or it just stays and never seems to go away... Everyone handles grief differently. Boys tend to handle grief MUCH differently - we may be surprised AND...


128: 21st Century Sex Ed with Jo Langford - ON BOYS Podcast

The standard "birds and bees" sex talk doesn't work any more. (If it ever really did!) Today, parents have to address pornography, homosexuality, gender and consent. If you feel nervous tackling those topics, don't worry. You're not alone. Sex educator and therapist Jo Langford routinely helps parents navigate these tricky conversations. Langford is the author of Spare Me the Talk!: A Guy's Guide to Sex, Relationships and Growing Up and The Pride Guide: The Guide to Sexual and Social Health...


127: Help! My Son Has a Girlfriend! (Listener Q & A) - ON BOYS Podcast

"My son just turned 14 & his girlfriend is 13, and he doesn't understand why I won't leave them alone in my house. Am I being over protective of BOTH of them? I feel a duty of care to his girlfriend. I know how easily things can turn from innocent to not-so-innocent. They are both physically mature. Help!" -- Kathleen Helping boys (and girls) navigate the ins-and-outs of relationships isn't easy. It's also one of our most important jobs. The groundwork and guidelines we establish will set...


126: Helping Teachers Understand Boys - ON BOYS Podcast

A listener asked us, "How do you gently encourage/educate your boy's teacher on what boys need and how to help them, rather than shame them, when they have gone into anger?" The short answer: It ain't easy, but it's so, so worth it! Many teachers know very little about the specific developmental trajectory and needs of boys; teacher training often does not include a course that delves into gender-related differences in learning and communication. Some teachers naturally "get" boys; others...


125: Anxiety & Depression in Boys - ON BOYS Podcast

1 in 2 children will develop a mood or behavioral disorder or substance addiction by age 18. We parents like to think that if we "do everything right," our kids will be mentally and physically healthy with nary a care in the world. But that's not the case. The truth is that mental health challenges, including depression and anxiety, affect people of all ages from every segment of society -- including Jen, who was diagnosed with double depression in her mid-30s. Sadly, boys & men are far less...


124: How to Help Your Boys Have a Great School Year - ON BOYS Podcast

It's back to school time! But despite the smiley faces pictured in many back-to-school ads, the start of a new academic year doesn't exactly generate feelings of enthusiasm and excitement in many boys (or their parents). For many families, back-to-school time is synonymous with dread, fear and anxiety. In fact, the number of boys who don't like school has increased over the past generation. In 1980, 14% of boys said they didn't like school. By 2001, 24% of boys -- nearly one-quarter -- said...


123: The Good News About Bad Behavior with Katherine Reynolds Lewis - ON BOYS Podcast

If your kids always do what they're told, consistently treat others with kindness and never over-react to unintended slights, you can skip this episode. If not -- WELCOME! Your child is 100% normal, and you're going to love this conversation with Jen, Janet and Katherine Reynolds Lewis, author of The Good News About Bad Behavior. In her book, Lewis writes: If you look around and see misbehaving, undisciplined children everywhere, it's not just imagination. Children today are fundamentally...


122: Co-Parenting with Brandie Weikle - ON BOYS Podcast

The word co-parenting is typically associated with divorce, but maybe it's time to change that association. After all, the term refers to shared responsibility for parenting. In the world of divorce, it means that both parents share responsibility for big decisions (like healthcare and education), and both parents share the mundane, day-to-day responsibilities of parenting, like feeding the children and getting them to and from activities. Shared parenting is another term that's often used...


121: Sibling Stress: How to Handle Bickering, Fighting & More - ON BOYS Podcast

If you have more than one child, you have sibling stress. Bickering! Fighting! Maybe even bullying. Seeing -- and hearing -- our children torment each other is major source of stress and family conflict. We wonder, Have I failed? Are my children doomed to become jerks? Will they EVER get along? Should I intervene? Or let them work it out on their own? Jen and Janet are here to tell you that sibling stress is NORMAL. Your kids' arguing and bickering does not mean that they hate one another --...


120: Hygiene Help for Tween & Teen Boys - ON BOYS Podcast

Have a boy who hates to shower? You are not alone! When a mom recently asked the Building Boys Facebook group, "Anyone else have a teenage boy who hates to shower?" she was quickly inundated with support and sympathy. Personal hygiene, it seems, is not a priority for most tween and teen boys. Lots of moms said they're dealing with the exact same issue. Others said that their boys spend a lot of time in the shower, but come out with unwashed, still-dirty hair. Is this lack of interest in...


119 Consent with Mike Domirtz - ON BOYS Podcast

Kids want the skill set to empower them to make the right choices. -- Mike Domritz, founder of The Date Safe Project & father of 4 boys Talking to boys about consent is a must. It's also incredibly challenging and a bit intimidating. Let's face it: if adults were consistently good at consent, there wouldn't be a constant slew of headlines alleging sexual assault and misconduct. The good news about the #MeToo movement is that it's moved the issue of consent into the national conversation....


118: Business Tips from a 12-Year-Old Entrepreneur - ON BOYS Podcast

Boys can learn a lot by starting and running a business. Jen's youngest son, Sam, bought his older brother's lawn business two years ago, when the older brother moved to Tennessee (where he has since started another lawn care service). At age 12, Sam has a roster of 18 clients. He cuts and trims lawns and performs most of the necessary maintenance on his machines. In this very special episode, Sam shares the story of his business, as well as some tips for would-be entrepreneurs and their...


117: Summer Jobs - ON BOYS Podcast

Does your son have a summer job? Most boys don't. In 1978, 60% of teens had summer jobs; today, that number hovers between 35 and 40%. Boys today are more likely to spend their days playing sports, brushing up on academics and traveling with family or as part of mission teams. (And playing Fortnite.) Years ago, getting a job was an expected rite of passage for teens. In today's hyper-competitive world, more and more parents focus time, attention and energy on "enrichment" activities designed...


116: Why Risk Is Important for Boys - ON BOYS Podcast

How comfortable are you with risk? Do you respond with fear or encouragement when your son wants to try something new? How about when you find him climbing atop your tree house? Or doing flips off a public staircase? Adults' desire to keep boys safe often interferes with boys' ability to take chances and try new things. But "protecting" boys from risky activity can actually cause harm. Boys (and girls) need to try scary, challenging things that are just beyond their current skill set in...


115: The Boy Crisis with Warren Farrell - ON BOYS Podcast

Your son is not the only one struggling. According to Dr. Warren Farrell -- and a slew of research -- boys in 63 of the largest developed nations are faring worse than girls. They're doing worse academically. They're falling behind in the workplace. And their physical and mental health is failing as well. In his new book, The Boy Crisis: Why Our Boys Are Struggling and What We Can Do About It, Farrell (and his co-author, John Gray) examine the many factors contributing to the boy crisis....


114: Sleepovers, Camp, and Separation Anxiety - ON BOYS Podcast

'Tis the season for sleepaway camp and summer sleepovers! For some parents and kids, though, the prospect of a night away from home is scary. There are so many ‘what-if’s' that could happen: what if they’re cold? what if they get homesick? what if...what if...what if... But what if you let your kid go anyway? What if you work together to tackle any fear and uncertainty, and give your son the opportunity to test his skills and stamina? Time away from home is an opportunity for boys to:...


113: Lying, Risk, & How to Advocate for Boys (Listener Q&A, Part 2) - ON BOYS Podcast

Welcome to Part 2 of our first Listener Q & A! This week, Jen & Janet tackle 3 more questions: "What strategies do you use to deal with a sudden increase in lying in pre-teen boys?" "What's the best way to allow young boys to be adventurous/risky physically while maintaining a clear, safe boundary and being a responsible parent?" "How do you talk about the needs of boys and the help they need without sounding dismissive of girls or anti-feminist? For example, as the mother of a boy, I'm not...


112: Potty Talk, Vaping & School (Listener Q&A, Part 1) - ON BOYS Podcast

When we put out a call for listener questions, you sent us some doozies! In this, our first-ever Listener Q & A (Part 1), we tackle three of your questions: "I just finished listening to the podcast episode with Amy Lang. I know she says we should begin talking to boys about bodies at 5 but wonder if this still applies to boys who are always using potty words and have horrible filters? My son unfortunately goes to school and talks to his friends about poop and butts." "At what age is...


111: Self-Esteem and Boys - ON BOYS Podcast

According to the Oxford Living Dictionaries, self-esteem is "confidence in one's own worth or abilities; self-respect." That's something we want for our kids. We're not talking about participation trophies simply for showing up; we're talking about a true sense of pride that comes for knowledge of your capabilities. Nurturing that kind of self-confidence is a crucial part of helping boys grow into healthy men. But how do we do that? It's not as hard as we adults often think. In this episode,...


110: Talk to Boys about Sex with Amy Lang - ON BOYS Podcast

Amy Lang is a sex educator -- and the mom of a teenage boy who is utterly mortified by his mom's career. If anyone understands just how awkward talking about sex with your son can be -- and how important it is to push through despite your the discomfort -- it's Amy. Amy is the creator of Birds + Bees + Kids, a fantastic resource for parents, childcare providers and educators. She speaks frequently about sex education and has written two books about sexuality and dating. She's down to earth...