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  • Meredith Shaw

Raising Boys: Easier or Harder? 

Why do boys currently make up less than half of college graduates? Why are boys identified with ADHD more frequently than girls? Why do boys tend to lag in language arts while girls are catching up in math & science?  

Are boys failing, or are we failing our boys?   

Emerging research on the brain and how boys develop can help answer these questions. Although every child is unique, there are gender-related predispositions. Our challenge is to explore “what makes boys tick” so we can better guide, support, and advocate for them in our family, classroom, and community.   

Has your son ever gotten in trouble for tapping his pencil? For many children, but especially boys, kinesthetic activity helps their brain work and eases the body and mind into a receptive state of relaxed alertness.  Encourage kids who fidget to squeeze a glob of clay or manipulate a small toy instead.  See if it helps him focus attention, process information, and attend to emotions.   

Some social demands are unique to boys. In “Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from the Myths of Boyhood,” Dr. William Pollack describes the pervasive and rigid messages of the Boy Code.  Parents and teachers can challenge negative stereotypes so a full range of behaviors and feelings, a healthier definition of boy-ness, is encouraged.  


It is neither easier nor harder to raise boys, but it is different. By better understanding the unique challenges and blessings of boyhood we can help our boys thrive and grow into fine young men.  Why is this important? In the words of Barry MacDonald, “boys are half our future.” 

To learn more about the wonderful world of boys, PK - 6 parents/caregivers and educators are invited to attend an encore of Boy Sense: Decoding the Developmental Needs & Nurturing the Resiliency of Boys, a presentation by local expert Stephanie Meegan on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 from 7 - 9PM at The Center at 10 Elm, Boxford.

Boxford Cable Television will be livestreaming and recording Stephanie's presentation. Find livestream link at: and go to Live Streaming Events This Week.

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