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The Way Of Boys: Raising Healthy Boys in an Age of Unfair Expectations, Diagnoses, and Pills »

Book cover image of The Way Of Boys: Raising Healthy Boys in an Age of Unfair Expectations, Diagnoses, and Pills by Anthony Rao

Authors: Anthony Rao
ISBN-13: 9780061707834, ISBN-10: 006170783X
Format: Paperback
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Date Published: June 2010
Edition: (Non-applicable)

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Author Biography: Anthony Rao

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.

Book Synopsis

Boys will be boys . . . It's time we stopped trying to "fix" them.

Boys today 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. 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 and smart young man.

Dr. Anthony Rao challenges some of the potentially harmful assumptions, attitudes, and behaviors we've developed toward young boyhood over the last few decades. 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.

Global Province: The Martketplace of Ideas

“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 filled with case by case examples of children trying to find their way.”

Table of Contents

1 Your Problem is Spelled B-O-Y 1

Faster Pace Equals Higher Demands

Other Contributing Factors

He's Just a Boy

2 Little Girls Aren't Like This 17

The Machine

Systems Approach

Differing Responses to Stress

3 He Doesn't Have any Friends 29

Almost Every Boy is Normal

Social Skills at Play

What's His Style of Play?

Action Leads to Talk

Encouraging Emotional Awareness

Why is He Playing Alone?

Socializing in School

Attachment and Separation

Separation Anxiety

4 He's a Bully 49

Impulse Control

Practicing Boundaries at Home

Reading Social Cues

Sharing and Turn Taking


Boys are Empathetic Late Bloomers

What are Appropriate Social Skills for Young Boys?

Bullying at School

How to Deal with the Bullying Label

What is a Bully?

Why is He Doing This?

Strategies for Containing Behavior at School

Setting Reminders

Practicing Calm

Be Patient

5 He Won't Sit Still! 75

Energy to Burn

Signs That He's Not Moving Enough

Activities for Younger Boys

Activities for Older Boys

The Myth of Team Sports

Shouldn't He Learn to Sit Still?

Practicing Sitting Still

Get Outside

Causes of Movement

6 He Runs the Household 93

What's Wrong with Time-outs?

Take it Away

Detention: The New Time-out

Time-Away is Better Than Time-out

What if He Won't Stay Put?

Wild Things

It's Not Just a Punishment

Diana's Story

The Long View

7 He has to Win, or Else 107

What is Competition Good For?

Age-Appropriate Games

Keep it Fun

How Boys Learn About Winning and Losing

The First Loss

Losing Gracefully-or Not at All

The Battle Against Disappointment

Cheating is Developmental

What About Athletic Games?

Older Boys Who Struggle with Competition

8 He Wants to be the Bad Guy 127

What's Good About Being Bad?

Role Playing

Violent Toys

How Much is Too Much?

How to Join in

Rules for Joining in

How to Set Limits

When He Crosses the Line

Why Consequences Work

He's Not Ready

When he Obsesses

The Link Between Bad Guys and Fear

Bad Boy Play Long Term

9 He's Suddenly Fragile 147

Growing up isn't Easy

He Wants to Be the Best

He Won't Leave My Side

The Empathy Check

Where Have I Seen This Before?

I Hate You

The Mini-Manipulator

Learning Self-Talk

An Anger Plan

Give Him Headlines

10 He Hates School 163

Why School isn't a Good Fit

Boosting His Behavior at School

The Short Course in Behavioral Adjustment

Making Home More Like School

Relating to the Teacher

Practice Adult Empathy First

Making the Home-School Connection

Talking to Your Son

Take the Direct Approach at Home

Labels aren't always the Answer

Techniques for Home and Classroom

Keep the Relationship Positive

Problems are Often Situational

The Pressure to Fix it

The End of Summer

11 The Teacher Thinks He Needs Testing 195

When is Testing Helpful?

When is Testing not Useful?

When Testing Goes Awry

What's an IEP, Anyway?

Ignore Diagnostic Language

If They Say Your Son Needs Testing

Listen Even if You don't Agree

Know Your Own Style

The Parent-Teacher Conference

Keep Track of What's Said

Updates from Home

Communication Breakdown

Intervention-Style Meetings

Practice Moderation

But I don't want him Tested

Useful Accommodations

When to Refuse Accommodations

Changing Schools

Getting More Support and Help

12 He Has Already Been Labeled 223

The Criteria of a Symptom

Tracking His Behavior-Is It a Real Problem?

What are the Tests?

Other Tests You May Encounter

What's the Rush?

What a Diagnosis Fails to Say

Get a Second Opinion


Sadness and Anxiety

What about Placebo Effects?

13 What Will He be Like as a Grown Man? 243

Brett-the Boy in Charge

Kenny-Mr. Inflexible

Ben-the Worrier

Ronny-Mr. Meltdown

Some Final Thoughts

Acknowledgments 267

References 269

Index 281