Categorized as: Parenting Boys

Top 10 Books for Parent-Child Book Clubs with Tweens and Teens

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As the author of a book about mother-daughter book clubs, and as a parent who often read books with my daughter at home, I cannot speak highly enough about the transformative power of literature. My favorite part of sharing books with my daughter is having a discussion that begins with some aspect of the plot or the characters, and then watching it shift seamlessly to a discussion about something similar that is going on in her own life. Whether during our book club meetings or in private historically these were conversations that might otherwise have never arisen. In those magical moments, the awkwardness and resistance that often prevent kids from talking directly to their parents about things that really matter just melted away thanks to the distance a “fictional” story presented. Read more…

How Highly Gendered Toys Present an Exclusively Heterosexual Worldview to Children

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When girls and boys walk into a toy store in 2015, they see a significantly more gendered, heteronormative arrangement and selection of toys than I did as a girl forty years ago! Toys, grouped by gender, are prescriptive of gender roles. It is not only a problem of limiting the ways to be a girl or a boy, as I have written about extensively. It is also a problem of promoting an exclusively heterosexual worldview. Read more…

If Our Sons Were Treated Like Our Daughters

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Come with me. Let’s open the door to a parallel universe. You unlock this door with a key of imagination, just like on The Twilight Zone. Here in this parallel world, the rules are different because gender roles are flipped. Loving parents and teachers accept this strange culture as if it’s not so bad, or perhaps even good. As if the reverse of this culture could exist only in the minds of fiction writers or lunatics. Read more…

Reading Captain Underpants

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I used to hear a lot about Captain Underpants during lunch in the schools where I worked. You learn a lot about the lives of your students at lunch table duty! But I have not read Captain Underpants myself in years, so I stopped by the Concord Bookshop the other day and picked up a copy of the first book in the series and sat down and read it. Can I just say that I was laughing out loud? None of this ubiquitously hollow LOL stuff that peppers the internet. I mean, I was truly guffawing.  If I were in 3rd or 4th grade, especially if I were a boy, I would not be able to stop turning the pages. As a 47-year-old woman, I could not stop turning the pages! Read more…