Congratulations on your silver book award!
We want to raise well-rounded human beings—we’re just not quite sure how best to do it. Confounded by rapidly changing gender norms, today’s parents are attempting to raise kind, compassionate, emotionally sensitive boys in a society that simultaneously rewards stereotypical masculinity and is increasingly hostile to boys. Surrounded by messages of female empowerment, young boys ask their parents, “Why don’t they ever say that boys can be anything they want to be?” Teaching boys to respect others will help them in the future—but can make life awfully difficult in the here and now. Making the world a safer place for women and girls is not the only reason to rethink our boy raising practices. Current culture harms our boys too—and they need (and deserve) as much support as girls and women.
Building Boys is written by an in-the-trenches #boymom who intimately understands male development and the challenges currently facing boys and their families. Fink offers ten rules that parents can use to guide their parenting choices throughout their sons’ lives—guidelines that are as relevant to parenting toddlers as they are to parenting teenagers. These rules range from emphasizing emotional intelligence to letting your son struggle and ultimately accepting him as he is. Fink explains both the science and research behind each rule as well as stories and anecdotes from families, including her own. Parents are taught how to apply the rule to a variety of common parenting challenges. And because these rules are broad, they are as applicable to boys with ADHD, autism and learning challenges are they are to neurotypical boys.
Jennifer L.W. Fink has been parenting boys for more than two decades. An award-winning freelance journalist, she is also the author of The First-Time Mom’s Guide to Raising Boys: Practical Advice for Your Son’s Formative Years. Jennifer is the founder and creator of BuildingBoys.net, a website and global community for parents of boys, and co-host of the podcast ON BOYS: Real Talk About Parenting, Teaching, and Reaching Tomorrow’s Men. She lives in Wisconsin with her family.