It is unrealistic to expect to get the best from and for boys without the ability to communicate well with them.

This book explores new and novel ways to communicate with school-aged boys around topics relevant to their age – topics such as behaviour management, anger, self-esteem, bullying, fear, risk, homework and organisation, resilience, strength, exaggerated behaviour, discrimination and leadership.

The newness and novelty emanate from good, solid theory; from grounded experience; from research among boys, teachers and parents … and most importantly, from open, dynamic communication with many boys.

Some of the issues contained in the chapters are primed to turn boys off. So how do we not only communicate with them around these topics … how do we interest and excite them and engage them with these topics? The book helps answer these questions.

Here you will read about boys’ development through childhood and the teen years and the implications for you, their carer, be you parent or teacher. You will read of establishing communication based on noticing – a manner of communication that actually meets the other. You will read of creating a meaningful relationship with boys, about dealing with male anger and actually appreciating anger, about resilience, about fear and risk, about motivation and organisation, about discrimination and how a pet snake helps educate boys in simple yet profound ways. You will receive help in establishing a community of people interested in promoting boys’ wellbeing – including teachers, parents, chaplains, nurses, partner groups … and of course, boys. Boys have a voice in this book and they let you know what works and what doesn’t as you attempt to communicate with them.

Boys are acknowledged as co-educators in this book and their invaluable and skilled contribution is outlined.

This book speaks of boys’ wellbeing and the educational endeavour as twinned realities. Boys are only enabled to give of their best when their wellbeing needs are met and promoted.

So, happy reading. My hope is that this book will increase your ability to draw the best from and for boys in your care.

Inside The Book
Fact 1 Boys move through predictable developmental phases
Fact 2 Communication – you can stuff it up and you can get it right!
Fact 3 Teaching is a relational reality
Fact 4 A brat is not necessarily a brat
Fact 5 Boys’ exaggerated behaviour is usually a protective cover
Fact 6 Stinking thinking leads to stress
Fact 7 You can move those mountains of sh** – homework & organisation
Fact 8 Anger – it can be good, it can be dangerous – your choice
Fact 9 Depression and self-esteem – you can raise them both
Fact 10 Actors and reactors – they separate the boys from the men
Fact 11 When the going gets tough you need resilience
Fact 12 Atticus Finch got it wrong!
Fact 13 Fear and Risk – you need these experiences!
Fact 14 Little pricks discriminate and are unhappy
Fact 15 Boys can tell adults what works and what doesn’t in terms of communicating with them
Fact 16 Boys can be educators (1). A group of angry boys can be positively powerful and a group of socially withdrawn boys can become effective communicators
Fact 17 Boys can be educators (2). Boys can conduct informative parent evenings
Fact 18 Medusa, the pet snake, aids therapy
Fact 19 Teachers know what works and what doesn’t in educating boys
Fact 20 This wellbeing model for schools, works!
Appendix: Photocopy Materials

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