Friday, August 23, 2013

For anyone who knows a boy or man

I'm reading "Raising Cain" which has an unfortunate title for a book everyone should read.
The premise is that boys have emotions, even more emotions than girls, from a young age.  They are taught to be a hammer and treat every emotion as a nail.  Their response to disappointment, success, sadness, jealousy, the whole spectrum of emotions(!) is aggression. 

It's written in a popular science style that is an enjoyable read.

Examples from the book that hit me were:
When a 4 year old boy asks his mom why someone is crying, the mom says "I don't know.  Don't stare, it's not polite to stare."  When a 4 year old girl asks the same, she is given an answer like "He does look sad.  Maybe he's hurt.  Sometimes you cry..."  The boy is taught to ignore the emotions of others.  The girl is taught to think of emotions and develop empathy.

On average, boys develop reading skills later than girls.  So the first 2 years, and now with pre-K, it becomes the first 3-5 years of their schooling,  are frustrating because they are too early.  It's crazy!  Imagine if people eating meat found it to be raw so they decided they should try cooking it less time and eating it more aggressively next time.

My experience is the opposite of the norm.  My younger brother read better and younger than I did.  P was also a young reader.  G is a young reader.  M and I are "slow" normal readers.

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