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***Why Boys Don't Talk and Why We Care

A Mother's Guide to Connection

by Susan Morris Shaffer and Linda Perlman Gordon

Reviewed February 3, 2004.
Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium, Chevy Chase, Maryland, 2000.  164 pages.
Available on for $11.96 in paperback.
Available at Sembach Library (649.132 SHA).

I hoped that this book would be a little more helpful than it is.  All the same, it had some nice tips for getting your sons to talk to you:  “Try small conversations instead of extended discussions or lectures.”  “Learn to find and use the teachable moment.”

Mostly the book was about what our culture expects of boys and how to counteract your son feeling that it’s not manly to show emotion.  They contend that we push sons away to help them stand on their own more than we do daughters.  The book is written in a scholarly style, but the information is good.

The authors talk about how gender stereotypes are reinforced with books that only show women in the nurturing, caring roles.  Yet why didn’t they call the book A Parent’s Guide to Connection?  I think that all of the information is also relevant to fathers who want to connect with their sons.

I wasn’t struck by any new ideas in this book, but it was a good reminder to make sure I keep working at connecting with my 9-year-old and 15-year-old sons.

Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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