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Book Review: How to Raise a Boy by Michael C. Reichert

What does it mean to be a man in modern society? How do we raise our sons to be good men? It’s a topic fraught with nuance, but Michael C. Reichert tackles it with thoughtful, honest insight in How to Raise a Boy: The Power of Connection to Build Good Men. A clinical practitioner specializing in boys and men (as well as a father and grandfather), Reichert breaks down the realities of boyhood in the 21st century and offers actionable advice for countering damaging influences.

With goals of meeting boys where they are and working to reduce negative behaviors, Reichert explains how the traditional masculine paradigms are hurting our sons.

For tween and teen boys who are navigating the complexities of adolescence, society’s pervasive messages can be both confusing and destructive to their development. Reichert encourages parents to build healthy relationships with their sons and provide positive influences to counter the harmful examples of masculinity they may absorb from media and culture.

Reichert supports his advice with numerous anecdotal stories from his own clinical work, backed with extensive research in the fields of psychology and neuroscience. Parents, as well as teachers, coaches, and mentors, will appreciate Reichert’s insights for helping boys develop socially and emotionally on their own terms.

Encouraging adolescent boys to reach their full potential is all about connection. As the adults in our sons’ lives, it is our responsibility to make sure they feel seen for who they really are. Doing that requires building and maintaining connected, supportive relationships. “A young man’s self-confidence is not accidental or serendipitous,” Reichert writes, “but derives from experiences of being accurately understood, loved, and supported.”

How to Raise a Boy is a solid, comprehensive, and contemporary guide to raising kind, compassionate, and confident young men. The book’s various sections cover a range of valuable topics, including “Brotherhood and Boys’ Clubs”; “Love, Sex, and Affection”; and “Violence, Bullying, and Vulnerability.” Throughout, Reichert’s advice rings true—offering parents both hope and encouragement for raising boys to be their most authentic, happy selves.

Kristina Wright is the digital editor at Your Teen.

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