ISBN 978-1-45973-139-4 Dundurn Press, Toronto
Raising emotionally healthy children is not just about what we need to do, but what we need to avoid doing.
We all know that repressing our feelings can be damaging, and that emotional repression is an especially prevalent issue among males. From a very young age, boys are socialized to hide their emotions. Girls, on the other hand, are encouraged to learn a much broader range of emotional expression. The long-term repercussions of this imbalance are profound.
Many of the problems we face, both as a society and as a species, are directly affected by how we raise our boys. We are all products of nature and nurture combined. The conscious and unconscious lessons we give our children often enhance and improve their human natures, but can sometimes degrade them, too.
As we come to the end of thousands of years of patriarchy, we are being challenged to redefine masculinity. Our boys are lucky to be living in such a time, and luckier when they have adults in their lives who are aware of how their minds function and what they need. If we want to raise men who are strong, confident, and whole in the best sense of these words, then parents around the world urgently need a conversation about what we teach — and don’t teach — our boys.
Raising Boys in a New Kind of World
ISBN 978-1-45970-043-7 Dundurn Press, Toronto
From video games to the Internet, technology and popular culture are having a profound effect on today’s boys. Boys need guidance more than ever. How can we help them do better in school? How can we keep the lines of communication open?
Raising Boys in a New Kind of World is a passionate call for greater empathy. The more we know about boys, the more realistic our expectations of them will be. We need to stop seeing normal boy behaviour as a problem and learn to understand a boy’s need for movement, his unique learning styles, and his personal methods of communicating.
Michael Reist writes from the front lines. As a classroom teacher for more than 30 years and the father of three boys, he has seen first-hand the effects that changes in modern culture are having on boys.
Raising Boys in a New Kind of World is an inspiring and entertaining collection of positive, practical advice on many topics, including discipline, homework, video games, and bullying, and provides numerous tips on how to communicate with boys.
What Every Parent Should Know About School
ISBN 978-1459719040 Dundurn Press, Toronto
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Click here to read an excerpt published in The Globe and Mail
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School is our children’s second home. They will spend more time there than anywhere else in their formative years. We all need to talk honestly about the nature of this environment, how it works, and how it doesn’t work. Our kids are depending on us to create a school system where they can learn as well as feel happy. The more we know about how school works, the better we will be able to navigate our way through “the system” and help our children do the same. What Every Parent Should Know About School is an honest, positive, thought-provoking look at what schools are today and what they could be in the future.
The Dysfunctional School: Uncomfortable Truths and Awkward Insights on School, Learning and Teaching
ISBN 978-1425752774 X-Libris Corportation
Here is a book that looks at schools from the inside, from the point of view of a classroom teacher who has spent a career trying to understand how schools work – and don’t work.
In a collection of short reflections, the author describes some of the dysfunctional attitudes and behaviours that diminish learning and hurt children.
The Dysfunctional School is a call to all adults responsible for the care of young people to question the traditional approaches of what Michael Reist refers to as “factory schooling.”
“The processes of school have lead to the loss of the love of learning in most students. If you go into any kindergarten class, you will see a hive of enthusiasm for learning – a sea of hands raised for every question posed by the teacher. Fast forward to the grade 12 class. You see stress, fear, apathy and “acting out.” What has happened in between? School has happened.”
“Institutions become dysfunctional when they do not accomplish the purposes for which they were created. Schools were created to be places of true learning, places where the true natures of children would be allowed to grow and flourish. By this definition, there are too many students for whom school is not ‘working.'”