ON BOYS Podcast

Janet Allison, Jennifer LW Fink

Real Talk about Parenting, Teaching, and Reaching Tomorrow's Men

  • 50 minutes 2 seconds
    Brendan Kwiatkowski: Connecting w Teen Boys

    Brendan Kwiatkowski knows that connecting with teenage boys requires understanding, patience, and a willingness to create a safe emotional space.

    Kwiatkowski, PhD, a renowned researcher specializing in boys’ emotions, experiences, and masculinities, says that teen boys “assume most people don’t want to hear about their negative emotions.”

    Helping Boys Express Their Emotions

    One of the key factors in a boy’s ability to express his emotions is his parents’ response to his distress. If a boy knows that his anger, sadness, or frustration will upset his parents’ equilibrium, he is more likely to stifle his emotions. On the other hand, if he feels that his parents will respond with calm compassion, he is more likely to share his feelings honestly.

    It’s important for parents to create a supportive environment where their sons feel safe to express themselves. This means responding to their emotions without judgment or immediate solutions, simply listening and validating their feelings. Don’t fret if you don’t always respond perfectly. It’s okay to miss the mark sometimes. Research has shown that parents can miss the mark 70% of the time and still raise well-adjusted children, as long as they apologize and strive to make things right when they falter.

    Encouraging Teen Boys to Talk

    Interestingly, Kwiatkowski’s research shows that teenage boys are often most comfortable opening up to women. Therefore, moms have a unique opportunity to foster a deeper connection with their sons by being approachable and supportive listeners.

    Modeling authenticity and vulnerability is another powerful way to encourage boys to open up. Kwiatkowski emphasizes the importance of being genuine and honest with your own emotions. “I never would expect a teenage boy to be honest with me if I’m not demonstrating that myself,” he says. Acknowledging the contradictions and tensions in being a boy or man and discussing these openly can help create a more trusting and open dialogue.

    PHOTO-Brendan-K-min-1024x589.png


    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    remasculine.com — Brendan’s website

    Re: Masculine — Brenda’s album about masculinity

    Hold Onto Your Kids: Why Parents Matter More Than Peers, by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate — book recommended by Brendan Kwiatkowski

    What You Need to Know About Boys & Suicide (w Katey McPherson) — ON BOYS episode

     

    Sponsor Spotlight: Lumen

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     Sponsor Spotlight: Dabble & Dollop

    Natural bath products for kids. Visit dabbleandollop.com/onboys to get 20% OFF your first order!

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    11 July 2024, 11:00 am
  • 48 minutes 30 seconds
    Teacher Tom on Connections & Play-Based Learning

    Teacher Tom says “kids haven’t changed at all” over recent decades.

    “Kids still need freedom to play, to follow their own curiosity,to ask and answer questions,and to learn how to get along with other people,” he says.

    Nurturing Kids & Building Connections

    The first five years of a child’s life “should be about how to live with these complicated things called emotions,” Tom says.

    Children also need time and space to navigate emotions and social interactions. But “too often, we step in too soon,” Tom says. When adults hear bickering, arguing, or tears, they frequently step in and problem solve for the kids — which can adversely affect child development.

    “We rob them of the chance to learn that basic skill of self-governance and self-control,” Tom says. Give the kids time. Left to their own devices, kids often come up with innovative solutions.

    PHOTO-Teacher-Tom-624x1024.png

    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    Teacher Tom — Tom’s blog

    Teacher Tom’s World — includes links to Teacher Tom’s courses, books, & speaking events

    Teacher Tom’s Facebook page

    Teacher Tom Talks About Boys, Emotions, & Play — ON BOYS episode

    The Gardener & the Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents & Children, by Alison Gopnik — book mentioned by Teacher Tom

    The Link Between Freedom & Video Games — BuildingBoys post

    Why You Need to Stop Focusing on Your Boys’ Bickering — BuildingBoys post

    Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Harari — book mentioned by Teacher Tom

     

    Sponsor Spotlight: Lumen

    Understand your metabolism! Go to lumen.me/ONBOYS to save 15% on Lumen

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    Sponsor Spotlight: Dabble & Dollop

    Natural bath products for kids. Visit dabbleandollop.com/onboys to get 20% OFF your first order!

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    4 July 2024, 11:00 am
  • 43 minutes 21 seconds
    Women are America’s Safety Net & That’s a Problem for Boys

    Women are America’s safety net. 

    Women provide the vast majority of child and elder care and care for the disabled. Women do the bulk of home- and community-tending, and they create and reinforce the ties that bind us together. Most of that labor is unpaid — and the little that is paid is typically poorly compensated.

    This imbalance is clearly problematic for women, who are often exhausted and overworked. But it’s also a problem for boys, men, girls, and, well, everyone. If we don’t talk about this imbalance, our sons will grow up in a system that still devalues care work. They’ll see women, predominantly, as caregivers, and may conclude – incorrectly – that they’re not capable of childcare or elder care. Others may also assume that our boys and men aren’t capable of care.

    How Our DIY Society Tricked Us All

    Other countries use social safety nets to manage risk, says sociologist Jessica Calarco, author of Holding It Together: How Women Became America’s Safety Net. In contrast, the US “tries to DIY society,” Calarco says, essentially telling people “that if they just make the right choices for their kids and families, then they won’t actually need any support.”

    That’s a lie, though. We all need help and support at various time throughout life. But “women’s unpaid and underpaid labor is maintaining this illusion that we can get by without a social safety net” in the United States, she says.

    Busting Gender Stereotypes

    From the time girls are old enough to hold a baby doll, we’re training them to be mothers. We don’t do the same for boys, at least not on a society-wide scale.

    “Boys are often denied the opportunity to learn to be caregivers,” Calarco notes.

    Despite the ubiquity of the Mars/Venus myth, which suggests that females are better suited to caregiving than males, there’s no solid scientific evidence to back up that assertion. “If anything, much of what we perceive as these innate gender differences roots back to early socialization,” Calarco says. “Even as young as infancy, adults treat babies differently if they perceive it to be a girl versus if they perceive it to be a boy.”

    Research shows that the more caregiving experience an individual has, the more that person’s body will respond physiologically — by pumping out hormones like oxytocin — to caregiving activities. “This happens for both men and women,” Calarco says. “The more experience you have in caregiving capacities, the better at it you get.”

    But while parents (and society at large) are now widely supportive of girls who bend traditional gender boundaries, they are much less comfortable with boys who bend and challenge gender stereotypes. Many parents (and grandparents) still aren’t comfortable giving boys dolls or letting them play house.

    “This is a place where we can intervene,” Calarco says. “We can hold up examples of kids and adults pushing back against these boundaries and binaries. We can let them know ‘there’s many, many different ways to be a girl and many different ways to be a boy.’ And I think the more that we can encourage that kind of gender flexibility for both our boys and our girls, the better off they will be.”

     

    Screenshot-2024-06-05-at-8.37.04%E2%80%AFAM-min-1024x531.png

    Takeaways:

    • Women are the safety net of America, providing unpaid and underpaid labor that holds everything together
    • Systemic issues affect boys and families
    • Devaluation of care work impacts societal perceptions of caregiving roles
    • How neoliberalism and the myth of individualistic success have led to the exploitation of women’s labor
    • The Mars/Venus myth perpetuates gender stereotypes and societal attitudes that devalue caregiving and reinforce gender hierarchies
    • Fundamental shifts in societal attitudes and policies are necessary to address systemic issues and create a more equitable society
    • Change begins at home, with the need to challenge gender roles and encourage caregiving experiences for both boys and girls

    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    Holding It Together: How Women Became America’s Safety Net — Jessica’s book

    Kate Mangino on Teaching Boys to Be Equal Partners — ON BOYS podcast

    Nursing, Boys, & Gender Stereotypes — 4-15-24 Building Boys Bulletin

    Sponsor Spotlight: Dabble & Dollop

    Natural bath products for kids. Visit dabbleandollop.com/onboys to get 20% OFF your first order!

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    Sponsor Spotlight: Armoire

    Clothing rental subscription that makes getting dressed easier. Visit armoire.style/ONBOYS to get up to 50% OFF your first month.

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    27 June 2024, 11:00 am
  • 43 minutes 27 seconds
    Navigating Parenthood Beyond Stereotypes with Jaimie Kelton

    Like most moms, Jaimie Kelton has “so many thoughts & fears on raising a boy.”

    “I question myself constantly,” says Jamie, host of The Queer Family podcast and mom to two children, a 10-year-old daughter & a 6-year-old son. She knows that gender is a social construct — and also knows that gender stereotypes are extremely powerful and prevalent. When she was pregnant with her son, Jamie says, she worried that she wouldn’t be able to connect with him.

    In this episode, Jaimie shares her journey and thoughts on raising a boy within a society that holds strong gender stereotypes, while also highlighting the unique challenges and joys faced by queer families.

    Key Topics:

    • Parenting Fears & Self-Doubt: Jaimie opens up about the common fears and constant self-questioning she experiences as a mom. Despite her awareness that gender is a social construct, she acknowledges the pervasive influence of gender stereotypes in society.
    • Facing Stereotypes: While Jaimie and her wife offer their son a variety of toys and activities, he gravitates towards traditionally “boy” interests such as cars, trucks, planes, and the color blue.
    • Support & Acceptance: Jaimie discusses the importance of supporting children in becoming their true selves. She emphasizes the need to parent the child you have, not the one you envisioned.
    • Intentional Parenting: As part of a queer family, Jaimie highlights the intentionality required in their parenting journey. From conception to daily life, every step is deliberate and meaningful.
    • Challenging Norms: Facing societal prejudice, including attempts to ban books featuring families like hers, queer families must continually think outside the box. Often, they discover joy in creating a unique lives that defy conventional paths.
    • Encouragement for Other Parents: Jaimie underscores the idea that joy and fulfillment can be found by embracing one’s unique family structure and parenting style.

    Memorable Quotes:

    • “We want our kids to feel free to be who they are.”
    • “We’re really good at thinking outside the box because we don’t fit the normal path.”
    • “These are the most intentional parents. There’s no accidents in how we make a family.”

    Jaimie-Kelton-1024x596.png

    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    The Queer Family podcast — Jaime’s podcast

    Supporting LGBTQ+ Kids — ON BOYS episode

    Understanding Gender with Dr. Alex Iantaffi — ON BOYS episode

    Sponsor Spotlight: Armoire

    Clothing rental subscription that makes getting dressed easier. Visit armoire.style/ONBOYS to get up to 50% OFF your first month.

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    20 June 2024, 11:00 am
  • 44 minutes 17 seconds
    Emily Edlynn on a Healthier Approach to Tech

    Child psychologist Emily Edlynn says a healthier approach to tech is good for the whole family. 

    As she wrote in her Substack newsletter, the currently popular shame-blame-restrict approach to social media, screens, and gaming isn’t working particularly well. Emily sas:

    Parents’ hyper-focus on screen time, gaming, or phones can have more negative effects than the technologies on their own. Parents can become so fixated on maintaining the limits that the fixation itself causes a child’s or teen’s frustration and subsequent distancing from their parents.


    Social Media, Video Games, & Phones Aren’t the Cause of Mental Health Problems

    Contrary to popular belief, smartphone and screens are not solely responsible for the current mental health crisis.

    “I’m always skeptical is there’s a straight line drawn from any one thing to mental health,” Emily says. “That’s not how mental health works. It’s very complex, nuanced, layered, and full of contributing factors.” In fact, tech overuse can be a symptom, not a cause of mental health problems.

    “It’s really important not to blame the tech but to get under it & explore what’s going on,” Emily says.

    So, parents: take a breath. Giving your child a smartphone does not doom them to anxiety or depression. It is much healthier to step away from the fear and approach technology as a tool.

    “When parents take more of a mentorship approach to online activity and social media, the kids do better with it,” Emily says.

    Fighting About Tech Isn’t Helpful. Here’s a Healthier Approach to Tech.

    Parents and children often have vastly different views of (& goals for) technology. These differing views often come into conflict. And in many cases, that escalates into a problem.

    “The conflict around technology can cause more harm than the technology itself,” Emily explains. Kids may feel misunderstood, alienated, and not trusted. And parental guilt and stress around technology is harming both parents & kids.

    Although it may not seem like it during the tween & teenage years, our kids want to be connected with us. When they don’t feel connected to us due to high and constant conflict, they suffer (often, in ways we can’t see).

    Focus on the connection with your child instead of focusing on the tech.

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    Photo by Photo by KoolShooters via Pexels

    Takeaways:

    • Parents should focus on balance and individualized approaches to technology use rather than blaming technology for mental health issues.
    • Open dialogue and empathy are key in discussing technology use with children and teenagers.
    • Technology can be addictive, and it is important to develop critical thinking skills and awareness of its impact.
    • The goal is to raise children who have a good internal sense of balance and can make healthy choices in the digital world.

    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    Autonomy-Supportive Parenting: Reduce Parental Burnout and Raise Competent, Confident Children, by Emily Edlynn

    www.emilyedlynnphd.com — Emily’s website

    The Art & Science of Mom — Emily’s Substack (Be sure to check out Fortnite Creep)

    Fortnite is Not a Waste of Time — Building Boys post

    Autonomy-Supportive Parenting — ON BOYS episode featuring Emily

    How Our Feelings About Technology Affect Our Kids — newsletter by Melinda Wenner-Moyer (mentioned by Emily)

    Melinda Wenner Moyer: Raising Boys Who Aren’t Assholes — ON BOYS episode

    Sponsor Spotlight: Armoire

    Clothing rental subscription that makes getting dressed easier. Visit armoire.style/ONBOYS to get up to 50% OFF your first month.

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    13 June 2024, 11:00 am
  • 42 minutes 6 seconds
    Adam Price: “He’s Not Lazy”

    Dr. Adam Price’s book, He’s Not Lazy, is one that parents of teenage boys frequently recommend to each other.

    There’s good reason for that: He’s Not Lazy: Empowering Your Son to Believe in Himself addresses parents’ fears and concerns about their “unmotivated,” “under-performing” teenage sons.

    Stop Worrying About Your Boys

    Fear is usually at the heart of parents’ concern about their sons’ apparent lack of motivation. We know how important persistence and effort are to success and happiness in life, and we worry that our teenage sons will fail. But our worry is misplaced — and unhelpful, Dr. Price says.

    “It’s imperative that you stop worrying,” he says, noting that “it’s the worrying that often causes us to make the wrong decisions in parenting.”

    Don’t project into the future, he says. Focus on the here and now. Connect with your son; trust in his development.

    Motivating Boys

    Human beings are motivated to do the things we want to do. We are not necessarily motivated to do things we have to do.

    That truth applies to our boys as well – & explains why so many boys are “unmotivated” to do their homework or chores. To get boys to do things, we need to give them more autonomy. And we need to let them experience consequences and emotions.

    Too often, parents take on all the emotional and psychological labor related to boys’ performance in school. “We end up absorbing like a sponge all the negative feelings: You’re not going to do well. You’re not going to get into college,” Dr. Prica says. “What that actually does is free kids up to not worry about it because they know that we’re worrying about it.”

    It’s better to let kids feel that conflict and struggle, to allow them space to worry about their future. Their concern for their future will motivate them in a way your concern never will.

    Do NOT say, “you’re not living up to your potential.”

    “When you tell someone, ‘You’re not living up to your potential,” you’re telling them, ‘You’re not good enough,'” Dr. Price says. Instead, focus on connecting with and empowering your son. Give him autonomy and continued support. Set limits, establish structure, and be patient. Give him the opportunity to grow and mature.

    Hes-Not-Lazy.jpg

    Takeaways:
    • Parents should try to stop worrying excessively about their underperforming teenage boys and trust in their growth and development.
    • Teenagers are still young and have a lot of time for growth and change.
    • Motivation comes from doing things one wants to do, not things one has to do.
    • Parents should allow their sons to experience the consequences of their decisions and not shield them from negative feelings.
    • Recognize and value different forms of achievement, including skills in video games.
    • Parents should praise the process and effort rather than just the end result.
    • Gender expectations and societal pressures can influence boys’ motivation and self-esteem. Challenge negative assumptions about boys’ motivation and behavior.
    • Set realistic expectations and give kids the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions.
    • Recognize that development takes time and maturity may happen at different rates.
    • Trust the relationship with your child and focus on building a positive and supportive environment.

    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    He’s Not Lazy: Empowering Your Son to Believe in Himself, by Adam Price

    hesnotlazy.com — Adam’s website

    Listener Q & A:Getting Curious & Motivating Boys — ON BOYS episode

    Maggie Dent on How to Motivate Boys — ON BOYS episode

    Trust Your Boys — Building Boys blog post

     

    Sponsor Spotlight: Dabble & Dollop

    Natural bath products for kids. Visit dabbleandollop.com/onboys to get 20% OFF your first order!

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    Sponsor Spotlight: Armoire

    Clothing rental subscription that makes getting dressed easier. Visit armoire.style/ONBOYS to get up to 50% OFF your first month.

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    Jen in an Armoire dress




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    6 June 2024, 11:00 am
  • 44 minutes 53 seconds
    BoyMom Ruth Whippman on Reimaging Boyhood

    BoyMom Ruth Whippman has spent significant time reimagining boyhood.

    As a mom of 3 boys, she knows that raising boys today is a complex endeavor. As she writes in her book, BOYMOM: Reimagining Boyhood in the Age of Impossible Masculinity, “Boys in America (and worldwide) are going through something of a crisis – not only academically but they make up the majority of perpetrators AND also the majority of victims and they are more likely than girls to engage in serious antisocial behavior, along with having mental health issues reaching epidemic levels…Understanding where we are going wrong with raising boys and trying to change those patterns is one of our most urgent cultural projects as a society.

    “This is a half-finished revolution.” 

    The #MeToo Movement, Boys, & Men

    Ruth was 8 1/2 months pregnant with her 3rd son when the #MeToo movement gained global traction.

    “That moment was a really complex moment for me,” she says. “On the one hand, my feminist self was like, Great! we’re finally talking about boys & men in a whole new way; we’re finally seeing this is a systemic problem…. But as a mother of boys, it was really complicated because there was this very negative conversation going on about boys and men, which I don’t think is particularly psychologically healthy for boys to grow up hearing.”

    It’s important to recognize and address all of the issues that lead to some men behaving badly, but, she says, it’s important to also “give boys a more hopeful vision.” Focusing on what’s wrong with boys and men won’t likely solve anything & may instead alienate and harm boys & men.

    Cultural Blind Spots

    Like many women, Ruth was well aware of the all ways in which gender & sex shape (& limit) females’ experiences in the world. But she didn’t understand that boys are affected by similar pressures. Until she had sons.

    We “have so many blind spots around raising boys,” she says. And while our society has made great strides in encouraging girls, women, nonbinary, and genderfluid humans, cis boys are still hemmed in by cultural expectations and stereotypes. In our current cultural moment, conversations about boys frequently focus on their potential to cause harm.

    That’s problematic, Ruth says.

    “I want my boys to have a narrative about themselves that’s rooted in something other than harm and violence,” she says. “I don’t want their story to just be ‘I’m this potential predator and the best that I can hope for my life is that I won’t rape anybody.‘ I want them to also be able to thrive and find pride, joy, and connection.”

    BoyMom-1024x512.png

    In this episode, Jen, Janet, & Ruth discuss:
    • Parenting boys as a feminist
    • Why politicizing boys’ issues isn’t helpful – & why we need to listen to diverse viewpoints
    • Seeing boys as more than potential predators
    • Boys & school
    • Male development
    • How “undercare” harms boys
    • The stories we share w boys
    • Boys’ friendships
    • Listening to boys
    • The “contradictory pressures” on boys

    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    BOYMOM: Reimagining Boyhood in the Age of Impossible Masculinity — Ruth’s book

    ruthwhippman.com — Ruth’s website (includes links to her upcoming events)

    I Blame Society — Ruth’s Substack newsletter

    Masculinity in the Land of #MeToo — ON BOYS episode

    Men are Not Monsters – 2015 essay by Jen


    Sponsor Spotlight: Dabble & Dollop

    Natural bath products for kids. Visit dabbleandollop.com/onboys to get 20% OFF your first order!

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    Sponsor Spotlight: Armoire

    Clothing rental subscription that makes getting dressed easier. Visit armoire.style/ONBOYS to get up to 50% OFF your first month.

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    Sponsor Spotlight: ByHeart 

    Get 10% off your first order using code ONBOYS at byheart.com

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    30 May 2024, 11:00 am
  • 51 minutes 49 seconds
    Connecting With Boys & Answering Your Questions
    In this episode, Jen & Janet discuss:
    • The end of an era (Jen’s last son finishes high school!)
    • What Jen will NOT miss about having a kid a school
    • How parenting is like labor & birth
    • Transactional vs. relational communication
    • Letting boys take control of aspects of their life
    • Rebuilding trust
    • Apologizing to your kids
    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    Emails & Phone Calls from Teachers — ON BOYS episode

    Why Boy Moms Need Mentors Too — ON BOYS episode

    Sponsor Spotlight: Dabble & Dollop

    Natural bath products for kids. Visit dabbleandollop.com/onboys to get 20% OFF your first order!

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    Sponsor Spotlight: Armoire

    Clothing rental subscription that makes getting dressed easier. Visit armoire.style/ONBOYS to get up to 50% OFF your first month.

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    Sponsor Spotlight: ByHeart 

    Get 10% off your first order using code ONBOYS at byheart.com

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    23 May 2024, 11:00 am
  • 44 minutes 56 seconds
    Opioids & Narcan: What You Need to Know

    If you think you don’t know anybody who takes opioids, have you asked?

    Those are the words of Julia Pinksy, an Oregon-based mom who lost her son to an opioid overdose.

    “It’s been 10 years since he passed,” she says,”which seems unbelievable.”

    In the years since, Julia has devoted herself to opioid overdose education and prevention. Today, she teaches others about opioids & Narcan.

    Opioid Addiction Can Affect Anyone

    Opioids don’t discriminate. Although some people may be more biologically or psychologcially susceptible to addition than others, anyone can become addicted.

    “Anyone — it doesn’t matter how intelligent, how educated, how knowledgable about drugs you are — it doesn’t stop your body or mind from becoming reliant on it,” Julia says.

    Narcan Saves Lives

    Naloxone (better known as Narcan) can immediately reverse the effects of opioids – & save lives. That’s why Julia thinks that every parent should have – & learn how to use — naloxone. It’s also a good idea to teach your kids how to use it.

     

    In this episode, Jen, Janet, & Julia discuss:
    • Why all parents need to know about opioids & narcan
    • Why some people are so susceptiable to opioid addiction
    • Appropriate management of prescription opioid medication
    • How Narcan works
    • Signs of an opioid overdose
    • How to administer naloxone

     

    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    Max’s Mission – non-profit organization dedicated to overdose education & prevention

    Real Talk About Fentanyl, Opioids, & Marijuana — ON BOYS episode

     

    Sponsor Spotlight: ByHeart 

    Get 10% off your first order using code ONBOYS at byheart.com

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    Sponsor Spotlight: Winona

    Menopause care made easy!

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    Sponsor Spotlight: EZ Melts

    Get a FREE 3-month supply of D3 w your 1st purchase at try.ezmelts.com/onboys

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    Sponsor Spotlight: Dabble & Dollop

    Natural bath products for kids. Visit dabbleandollop.com/onboys to get 20% OFF your first order!

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    Sponsor Spotlight: Armoire

    Clothing rental subscription that makes getting dressed easier. Visit armoire.style/ONBOYS to get up to 50% OFF your first month.

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    16 May 2024, 11:00 am
  • 46 minutes 32 seconds
    Do Schools Create “Problem Boys?”

    Boys don’t do as well in school as girls. On the whole, they earn lower grades and more disciplinary referrals. You will typically find more boys in detention than at the top of the class.

    Are boys the problem? Is there something about masculinity, something about male biology that contributes to these disparate outcomes? Or, are schools the problem? Does the curriculum and environment somehow inhibit boys’ success?

    Yes. Boys mature more slowly than their female peers, so they’re generally not as well-equipped for the challenges of school as their similarly-aged female peers. Current masculinity standards also ridicule academic achievement or effort and make it difficult for boys to ask for help. And, most school curriculum and practices don’t align well with boys’ needs.

    In far too many cases, though, adults make things worse rather than better for boys in school. Adult misunderstanding of male development, coupled with intrinsic bias (and intensified by the fact that educators are now being asked to do too many things, with too few resources & too little support), causes many adults to inadvertently exacerbate boys’ problems. And that’s a problem for all of us.

    pexels-mikhail-nilov-7929449-683x1024.jpg

    Photo by Mikhail Nilov via Pexels

    In this episode, Jen & Janet discuss:
    • Why boys struggle in school
    • How adults unintentially exacerabate boys’ problems
    • Setting boys up for school success (Choose a play-oriented preschool instead of an academically-oriented one!)
    • Meeting boys’ needs in school

    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    When Your Kid is the Classroom Problem Child — The Cut article

    Why Are Kids Being Forced to Eat Lunch in Silence? — Guardian article

    Schools — Not Boys — Behaving Badly — Jen’s Building Boys Bulletin about both these articles

    Boys & School — Building Boys post about the black walnut incident

    Moving Into the Red: Boys & Education — article by Jen about her son’s kindergarten experience

    Gifted & Twice-Exception (2E) Boys — ON BOYS episode

    Sponsor Spotlight: My Life in a Book

    My Life in a Book

    Sponsor Spotlight: Armoire

    Clothing rental subscription that makes getting dressed easier. Visit armoire.style/ONBOYS to get up to 50% OFF your first month.

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    Sponsor Spotlight: Winona

    Menopause care made easy!

    Visit bywinona.com/onboys & use code ONBOYS to get 25% your first order.

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    Sponsor Spotlight: ByHeart 

    Get 10% off your first order using code ONBOYS at byheart.com

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    Sponsor Spotlight: EZ Melts

    Get a FREE 3-month supply of D3 w your 1st purchase at try.ezmelts.com/onboys

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    Our Sponsors:
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    9 May 2024, 11:00 am
  • 43 minutes 52 seconds
    FBI: Sextortion Targets Boys

    Sextortion disproportionately affects boys.

    Between October 2021 & March 2023, the FBI & Homeland Security Investigation received more than 13,000 reports of online sextortion of minors. Most of the victims were boys. At least 20 boys have already died by suicide after experiencing sextortion.

    The FBI is so concerned about these trends that they reached out to ON BOYS podcast. Agents are working to shutdown sextorionists, but they know that parents play a key role in keeping boys safe too.

    “This trend of targeting boys for financial sextortion — where photos are taken or provided by the boy and then used to extort them for funds, under the impression that they will be shared online — is a scheme that seems to have emerged in the last few years,” says Chris Crocker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI St. Louis division.

    Protecting Boys From Sextortion

    Boys ages 14-17 seem to be the primary targets. Sextortionists connect with boys via online platforms (including gaming sites and social media; they often represent themselves as attractive teenage girls, show a lot of interest, perhaps share a sexy photo of “themselves,” and then ask the boy to reciprocate. When he does, they threaten to share the image unless the boy sends them money.

    “The boys we’ve seen fall for these schemes are not dumb kids. They’re not kids that were necessarily obviously at any sort of risk. They’re good kids, good students, athletes, model kids, the kind of boys you would want your son to grow up to be,” Chris says. “These are not bad kids; these are good kids who make poor decisions. Every person is susceptible to doing that from time to time.”

    Talk to your boys about sextortion, so they will talk to you if it occurs to them (or a friend). Make sure they know that you will help them, not yell at them or punish them.

    “It is very important for parents to constantly reassure their children that they can come to them with something like this. Building that trust with your child is really important to avoiding these things – maybe not from occurring ever, but from reaching the worst possible outcome,” Chris says.”This is a really complex issue and there’s no easy way to handle it, but spreading awareness will prevent more of these outcomes.”

    Chris-Crocker-FBI.png

    Chris Crocker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI St. Louis Division

    To Report Sextortion:

    To contact the FBI, dial 1-800-CALL-FBI or use tips.fbi.gov to provide information online.

    The FBI’s partner at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children provides guidance on how to remove nude photos online that were taken before a person was 18 years oldhttps://takeitdown.ncmec.org/


    In this episode, Jen, Janet, & Chris discuss:
    • What sextortion is
    • Why boys are often victims
    • How to talk to boys about sextortion
    • What to do if someone is experiencing sextortion
    • What happens when your report sextortion
    • What social media sites are doing to combat sextortion

    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    Sextortion: A Growing Threat Preying on Our Nation’s Teens

    A Teen’s Death in a Small Michigan Town Led the FBI & Police to an Online Sexual Extortion Scheme

    This Boy’s Story Highlights Why Instagram’s Taking a New Stance on DMs

    Instagram to Crack Down on Teen Sextortion

    Maggie Dent: What Teenage Boys Really Need — ON BOYS episode

    Talk with Boys Like a PRO (about anything & everything!) — Jen & Janet’s upcoming course (starts May 7, 2024)

    Sponsor Spotlight: EZ Melts

    Get a FREE 3-month supply of D3 w your 1st purchase at try.ezmelts.com/onboys

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    Sponsor Spotlight: ByHeart 

    Get 10% off your first order using code ONBOYS at byheart.com

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    Sponsor Spotlight: My Life in a Book

    My Life in a Book




    Our Sponsors:
    * Check out Lumen: lumen.me/ONBOYS


    Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands

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    2 May 2024, 11:00 am
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