The Way of Boys
Raising Healthy Boys in a Challenging and Complex World
Publication Date: September 2009
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The problem isn't with boys, it's with our expectations of them
In a book that's part advice and part exposÉ, psychologist and expert on boyhood development Dr. Anthony Rao challenges some of the potentially harmful assumptions, attitudes, and behaviors we've developed toward young boyhood over the last few decades. This is not an indictment of medication therapies—in some important instances, Dr. Rao argues that medication is appropriate and necessary. Rather, The Way of Boys is a celebration of natural, constructive boyhood development and an expert, definitive handbook on what to look for and expect in normal growth. Ask yourself these questions:
Is his behavior serious enough to interfere with functioning? Does it keep him from sleeping, eating, attending school, or staying safe?
Does it persist over a few weeks or more? Does it show itself more than a few isolated times per day?
Does it happen in different settings? Has it been reported by different people?
If your answer is yes to any of these, your son may have symptoms that need further assessment by a pediatrician or other qualified developmental specialist. But a yes answer doesn't mean your son has a lifelong disorder or that the first line of defense is medication.
Boys are being bombarded with a slew of diagnoses—ADHD, Asperger's, bipolar disorder—at an alarming rate and at younger ages. The Way of Boys urges parents, educators, pediatricians, psychologists, and other developmental experts to reevaluate and significantly change how we deal with our youngest boys.
It's time we stopped trying to "fix" young boys. When parents understand the wide spectrum for normal boy development, they can successfully communicate with their son—and everyone in their son's life—and help him grow into a healthy, smart, strong man.
Anthony Rao, Ph.D., has more than twenty years of experience working with young boys from all over the country, both at Harvard Medical School and in his own practice, Behavioral Solutions. He holds a doctorate in psychology from Vanderbilt University and has trained medical residents and interns at Children's Hospital in Boston.
“Rao deftly admonishes quick fix psychiatrists and anxious parents to more patiently deal with children’s growth and problems even if their youngsters are not developing at the speed of light...Rao’s practical book...is filled with case by case examples of children trying to find their way.”
-Global Province: The Martketplace of Ideas
“Parents are often overhwhelmed when struggling with the behavior of growing boys. Dr. Anthony Rao provides the kind of customized wisdom that comes from decades of clinical practice and—most important—success for boys at home and at school. This book is an invaluable contribution for those families in need.”
-Jerome Groopman, MD, Racanati professor, Harvard Medical School; author of How Doctors Think
“This book offers clear understanding of the various and varied ways boys grow and develop into healthy, well-adjusted adults. Many of the modern obstacles to this development—and the parental confusion they cause—fall away after one reads Dr. Rao’s compassionate, specific, problem-solving book.”
-Michael Gurian, author of The Purpose of Boys