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Blogging about Boys

While working at a busy branch library and parenting two sons,  I've noticed over the years that there are indeed some unique aspects to raising boys.  I like a holistic approach that recognizes that our children have physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects, and have appreciated being able to find at the library many books that address these.

One of my favourite authors who writes with great empathy for boys and men  throughout their life cycle is Michael Gurian. I especially liked The Wonder of Boys and The Minds of Boys: Saving our Sons from Falling Behind in School and Life.  (Gurian also writes about girls The Wonder of Girls, but that is the topic for another blog!)  Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys is another great book, as is  How to Say it to Boys: Communicating with Boys to Help Them Become the Best Men They Can Be.


I always found it fascinating that such a large number of boys appeared have common interests at similar ages.  Dinosaurs, fantasy creatures, and the knights, dragons and weaponry of the middle ages.  Many parents will have noticed that even if they did not allow toy guns in their homes, or violent programs on television, that their little ones would spontaneously create little toy guns and other shooting instruments from their Lego® Blocks or Play-Doh®  Killing Monsters:  Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes and Make-Believe Violence sheds light on this curious phenomena.

Sometimes boys can be reluctant readers and this can be a concern for parents. The Library is rich with resources to help out in this case with books for parents such as Me Read? No Way! A Practical Guide to Improving Boys' Literacy Skills and a whole list of Literacy Supports including the very successful R.E.A.D. one-on-one tutoring program.

If your child doesn't like to read books he might enjoy looking at some these websites National Geographic For KidsWild: The Wildlife MagazineYes Mag: the Science Magazine for Adventurous Minds, or   Sports Illustrated for Kids. Many of them present neat activities and intriguing  facts in a fun and interactive way.   Most libraries also have copies of these magazines to sign out and bring home.  He also might enjoy visiting the Central Library to learn first-hand from experts in their field neat facts about nature and wild-life at this very popular instructional series:

Nature In The City 2008 (family, children 10+)
7:30–8:30 pm, Tuesdays, Jan. 15-Feb. 19
A six-part series of illustrated talks on nature within the City of London, organized by the
McIlwraith Field Naturalists - an opportunity to meet a sampling of our fellow residents.

Jan. 22 - URBAN INSECTS: An Array of Colourful and Vibrant Lifestyles
Jan. 29 - FROGS AND THEIR KIN: Jump, Swim, Walk or Crawl – Amphibians Do It All
Feb. 5 - NATIVE WILDFLOWERS OF SUMMER: Splashes of Colour in aWorld of Green
Feb. 12 - MAMMALS: London’s Furry, Four-footed Citizens
Feb. 19 - KOMOKA PARK: A Natural Gem on London’s Western Flank
Straddling the Thames River, Komoka Provincial Park contains a rich and wonderful array of landforms, habitats and species. Ecologist Sandy Dobbyn of the Ministry of Natural Resources introduces the special features of this little-known jewel.

Older boys might enjoy copies of Transworld Skateboarding, Mad magazine, or perhaps the increasingly popular graphic novels usually found in the library's Teen area.  As your boy starts to head towards puberty, a really good book to share with him is Changes in You and Me: A Book About Puberty Mostly for Boys.

I'm just barely scratching the surface of all the possible ways that you can support your son's growth throughout the life cycle.  Librarians at all locations are happy to help you with any issues that might arise by providing programs, reading materials,  or referals - just give us a try!