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Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – 1 Apr 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1 edition (1 April 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345434854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345434852
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 1.7 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 111,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Brilliant . . . This affectionate, encouraging book should be require reading for anyone raising--or educating--a boy."
--The Washington Post
"Raising Cain gives a long-needed insight into that mysterious, magical land, the psyches of boys. Every parent, teacher--or anyone who wants boys to flourish--should read this book."
--DANIEL GOLEMAN
Author of Emotional Intelligence
"ENORMOUSLY COMPELLING . . . In much the same way that Reviving Ophelia offered new models for raising girls, therapists Kindlon and Thompson argue that boys desperately need a new standard of 'emotional literacy.' . . . This thoughtful book is recommended for parents, teachers, or anyone with a vested interest in raising happy, healthy, emotionally whole young men."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"RAISING CAIN HELPS US UNDERSTAND THE INNER LIVES OF BOYS MUCH AS MARY PIPHER'S REVIVING OPHELIA SHED LIGHT ON THE STRUGGLE OF THE ADOLESCENT GIRL."
--The Tampa Tribune-Times"

From the Inside Flap

In Raising Cain, Dan Kindlon, Ph.D., and Michael Thompson, Ph.D., two of the country's leading child psychologists, share what they have learned in more than thirty-five years of combined experience working with boys and their families. They reveal a nation of boys who are hurting--sad, afraid, angry, and silent. Kindlon and Thompson set out to answer this basic, crucial question: What do boys need that they're not getting? They illuminate the forces that threaten our boys, teaching them to believe that "cool" equals macho strength and stoicism. Cutting through outdated theories of "mother blame," "boy biology," and "testosterone," the authors shed light on the destructive emotional training our boys receive--the emotional miseducation of boys.
Kindlon and Thompson make a compelling case that emotional literacy is the most valuable gift we can offer our sons, urging parents to recognize the price boys pay when we hold them to an impossible standard of manhood. They identify the social and emotional challenges that boys encounter in school and show how parents can help boys cultivate emotional awareness and empathy--giving them the vital connections and support they need to navigate the social pressures of youth.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys co-authored by Teresa Barker. Two of the country's leading child psychologists share their experiences of working with boys & their families. They reveal a nation of boys who are hurting - sad, afraid, angry & silent. Statistics point to an alarming number of boys at risk for suicide, alcohol & drug abuse, violence & loneliness.
Kindlon & Thompson set out to answer this crucial question: What do boys need that they're not getting? Through moving case studies & up-to-date research, Raising Cain portrays generations of boys systematically herded away from their emotional life by adults & the peer "culture of cruelty"; receiving little encouragement to examine their emotions & develop qualities like compassion, sensitivity & affection.
In Fathers and Sons: A Legacy of Desire and Distance, Kindlon & Thompson open up the sad, sad wound of unrequited love. When a grown man cries in therapy, it is almost always about his father & his yearning for his father's love. Into that yearning has been fed decades of anger, sadness & shame.
Why is it that fathers describe their sons as never listening, not understanding while their sons describe their fathers in similar terms of discontent? Why do sons rub their fathers the wrong way? Can fathers & sons have a close, loving relationship? How can they close the emotional gulf? Kindlon & Thompson have some good ideas, read'em & weep!
Kindlon & Thompson identify the social & emotional challenges boys must encounter in school & the streets & show us how we can help boys cultivate emotional awareness, empathy & health.
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I cannot recommend this book highly enough and it really should be handed out to every parent of newly born boys. Mine are now 3 and 5, and I rather wish I had had this book when they were born so I could have applied the information it contains from day one. To actually understand WHY boys act as they do, WHY they test their boundaries, WHY they 'drive us nuts' and how to not only cope with it all but to use the knowledge to point boys in the right direction instead of simply knocking them down, with criticism, with anger and with the shouted command. It explains how this course of action can so demoralize boys that it can show up in and even blight the rest of their lives. Boys SO need love and affection, they SO want to please, but at the same time they SO need to appear that they don't! It's a conundrum which many parents are probably not even aware of. I now am, and my boys and I are already starting to reap the benefits. But the book is so much more than a manual. Just reading the many case histories made we me weep to see how easily parents had gone wrong and changed their sons' lives for the worse, for ever. Buy it, read it, read it again. Then celebrate your youngsters' energy, and enrich each others' lives. For boys, and especially teenage boys, life is a jungle. This book will guide you through it, at every stage.
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I have not read the book from cover to cover yet, but most of it - concentrating on the bits most relevant to me/my two boys. It resonated well with my experience of boys; their emotional selves, delayed 'impulse-control', intense physicality and activity levels, slower verbal skills (as compared to most girls) and how this impacts on our understanding of boys and our relationships to them. Reading this has helped me to feel stronger in the face of old-fashioned thinking from grandparents about how boys 'should' be brought up. It has also helped my awareness of the particular challenges of early years education as experienced by boys.

Well worth reading for mothers and fathers alike. As I have never been a boy it helps to see the world from a boy's perspective; which I hope will help me support my sons to become the best men that they can be! I feel better informed about helping my sons verbalise their feelings and parenting that validates their emotional world.

It's also worth reading anything by Steve Biddulph on the subject and 'How to Listen So children will Talk... etc'

(Unfairly I only gave it four stars because it is so clearly American-centric).
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Anyone who reads this book will recognise the behaviour of the boys and men in their lives to some extent, and for the female reader it gives a window into a world very different to our own. Should be compulsory reading for everyone over the age of 18, especially for the type of father least likely to pick this kind of book up (It may yet help them discover their own emotional literacy and in doing so transform their lives as well as those of their sons). A chink of light at the end of a very dark tunnel for some.
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Not only am I the mother of 2 boys, but I am also a psychologist, and this book sparked my interest. I found it very easy to read, the sort of book that can be read in an afternoon. I have often reflected on many of the statements in this book, mainly in the raising of my sons.

I cannot express my love for this book; it is a must for parents of boys as it helps to understand their emotional needs. My husband and I are strong believers in showing love and affection and helping to expand the emotional language of our sons, and this book underpins that core belief.

It is enlightening and a beautiful view on how different boys are from girls and how we can see the vulnerability of males and help them to explore their own feelings.
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