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The Purpose of Boys: Helping Our Sons Find Meaning, Significance, and Direction in Their Lives Hardcover – 23 Apr 2009


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Family therapist, author and boy advocate Gurian ( The Wonder of Boys ; The Minds of Boys ) observes that many boys are struggling to find a sense of purpose, and society has not sufficiently stepped up to the plate to help. Gurian paints a grim picture of boys who have lost their footing; many are failing in school; turning to drugs, alcohol or gangs; and engaging in violent behavior. Gurian attributes this disturbing trend to a lack of purpose and urges parents to help their male offspring channel their energies into productive lives. By employing a three–family system, Gurian argues, parents can join together with other adults—leaders, mentors, coaches—and such institutions as schools and churches, to help boys refocus and get back on track. The author offers practical suggestions for helping parents address boys′ needs, tackling such issues as sexuality, work and overuse of electronic media. Particularly useful are Gurian′s boxed questions for discussion, which will help parents and educators communicate directly with boys themselves. He also includes suggestions to help boys succeed in academic settings, for example, using movement, project–driven curricula and debate. Gurian′s team approach to raising a son gives parents the tools and encouragement they need to help boys find direction and fulfillment. (Apr.) ( Publishers Weekly , March 2, 2009)

From the Inside Flap

From Michael Gurian, the groundbreaking author of the best–selling books The Wonder of Boys and The Minds of Boys , comes the final volume in his definitive trilogy on boys. In this remarkable work, Gurian presents a tool kit for parents who want to discover how to inspire the ultimate fulfillment of their son′s life. As he explains, purpose is vital for the success and happiness of every boy. Throughout the book, Gurian shows how parents can help boys build motivation, character, selflessness, meaningful and intimate relationships, a sense of responsibility to family and community, pride in their own good work, and mental and physical health. Based on the latest scientific research regarding how boys develop neurologically, The Purpose of Boys reveals what it takes to best support boys and address their unique needs, weaknesses, and strengths. The book offers an understanding of what is happening inside a boy′s brain as he grows up, from birth through early adulthood. The author also explores the roles of the nuclear and extended family, communities, and neighborhoods; the best schools for boys; and specific rite–of–passage experiences and how they influence a young man′s personal growth. The Purpose of Boys outlines a map parents can use to help their own sons wrestle with everyday life events and growth. And the book serves as a model to help all of our sons seek a successful future while still boys, adolescents, and young men.

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