Why Boys don’t Talk is a good read for parents of a teen boy. For those of us with sons who won’t come to the dinner table, have difficulty getting off the sofa with the war games and crime t.v. shows, and don’t let you into their emotional world, this book provides some insight.
Insights I keyed in on included:
Continue to try to connect with your son no matter what.
Share your emotions with him and maybe eventually he will feel secure enough to share some of his.
Teen boys will do anything not to be shamed. Don’t embarrass him under any circumstance (sort of hard when everything you do as a parent seems to be embarrassing to him).
Try to interest him in non-typical male teen things (something other than Music or Sports).
Try to decrease the amount of violent stuff he is seeing on t.v. and video games. Comment that the way men look and act on t.v. is generally not realistic. Look for t.v. shows that show men and women in a more realistic light.
Try not to be overly controlling or overly permissive — both can be damaging.
I was shocked by the rate of successful suicide for teen boys in the U.S. I knew it was high but not that high! Appendices in the book cover signs of depression and joining gangs. Yes, I know some of this is uncomfortable stuff. You want to believe it won’t happen to your kid. However, I believe knowledge is better than wishful thinking. Let me know if you have come across good books on working with teens.
Shaffer, Susan Morris & Gordon, Linda Perlman. (2005). Why boys don’t talk and why it matters: a parent’s survival guide to connecting with your teen. New York: McGraw-Hill. 219 pages, including appendices and index. $14.95. ISBN 0-07-141787-7. http://www.amazon.com/Why-Boys-Dont-Talk-Matters/dp/0071417877/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330288236&sr=1-1