Decoding Boys: New Science Behind the Subtle Art of Raising Sons

February 16, 2020 - Comment

When boys enter puberty, they tend to get quiet—or at least quieter than before—and parents often misread their signals. Here’s how to navigate their retreat and steer them through this confusing passage, by the bestselling author of The Care and Keeping of You series and Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys. “For rational, evidence-based

When boys enter puberty, they tend to get quiet—or at least quieter than before—and parents often misread their signals. Here’s how to navigate their retreat and steer them through this confusing passage, by the bestselling author of The Care and Keeping of You series and Guy Stuff: The Body Book for Boys.

“For rational, evidence-based advice on how to talk to your son about every internal and external force he’ll experience from fourth grade through college, Cara Natterson’s zippy, bighearted Decoding Boys is the guide you need.”—The New York Times

What is my son doing behind his constantly closed door? What’s with his curt responses, impulsiveness, newfound obsession with gaming, and . . . that funky smell? As pediatrician and mother of two teenagers Cara Natterson explains, puberty starts in boys long before any visible signs appear, and that causes confusion about their changing temperaments for boys and parents alike. Often, they also grow quieter as they grow taller, which leads to less parent-child communication. But, as Natterson warns in Decoding Boys, we respect their increasing “need” for privacy, monosyllabic conversations, and alone time at their peril. Explaining how modern culture mixes badly with male adolescent biology, Natterson offers science, strategies, scripts, and tips for getting it right:

• recognizing the first signs of puberty and talking to our sons about the wide range of “normal” through the whole developmental process
• why teenagers make irrational decisions even though they look mature—and how to steer them toward better choices
• managing video game and screen time, including discussing the unrealistic and dangerous nature of pornography 
• why boys need emotional and physical contact with parents—and how to give it in ways they’ll accept
• how to prepare boys to resist both old and new social pressures—drugs, alcohol, vaping, and sexting 
• teaching consent and sensitivity in the #MeToo culture 

Decoding Boys is a powerful and validating lifeline, a book that will help today’s parents keep their sons safe, healthy, and resilient, as well as ensure they will become emotionally secure young men.

Praise for Decoding Boys

“Comforting . . . a common-sensical and gently humorous exploration of male puberty’s many trials.”—Kirkus Reviews

Comments

Anonymous says:

Excellent book to prepare parents for parenting boys! Decoding Boys covered a variety of topics that parents need to know as their boy enters puberty. Cara Natterson covers pertinent topics such as when puberty happens, how to talk about body changes, vaping, sexting, and other difficult topics.I found this book especially helpful, since as the author pointed out, there are not a lot of resources for male puberty. As a parent I’ve also found that we struggle to know when the right time for the “growing up” and “birds and bees”…

Anonymous says:

I feel more equipped and less naive after reading this book. 5 Stars for Decoding Boys by Cara Natterson! Not my typical book genre, Decoding Boys is a book for moms of boys. Cara covers uncomfortable (at least for me) territory that addresses the concerns a lot of moms face today when it comes to understanding their boys.Cara Natterson uses her experiences as a pediatrician and mom to shed some light on physiologically what is going on in the pubescent and pre-pubescent boys in our lives. She clears up some misinformation and dives right…

Anonymous says:

Critical information for parents of boys AND girls In full transparency, I know Dr. Natterson and have seen her speak many times. I think she is brilliant. I’m so glad she applied her brilliance, and empathy, to this topic, a much overlooked area that needs to be addressed. I’ve really loved her even-handed approach and attention to helping parents understand boys. I recommend the book highly to anyone.

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