“Be a man.” “Boys don’t cry.” “Don’t be a sissy.”
Boys hear these things all the time – from parents, from teachers, from friends and peers. What does it do to their emotional lives when they crave close relationships but society tells them to keep emotional distance from others?
Join my guest Alan Turkus and me as we quiz Dr. Judy Chu, who lectures on this topic at Stanford and was featured in the (awesome!) documentary The Mask You Live In.
This episode is a must-listen if you’re the parent of a boy, and may even help those of you with girls to understand more about why boys and men treat girls and women the way they do.
Don’t have a boy? Check out How To Raise A Girl With A Healthy Body Image.
Folks, this one is personal for me. As someone with an ~ahem~ family history of disordered thinking about body image, it is very, very high on my priority list to get this right with my daughter. Dr. Renee Engeln, author of the book Beauty Sick, helps us sort through issues like:
- Should I tell my daughter she’s pretty?
- What should I say when she asks me if she’s pretty?
- Is teaching our daughters about media literacy – the ability to critique images they see in the media – enough to protect them, or not?
- …and so much more!
I know there’s a lot more to raising a girl than just this issue, and in time I hope to find another expert to discuss how we can raise daughters who aren’t limited by broader societal expectations, but there’s enough on this topic to make it an episode by itself.
In the show, we discuss a prompt you can use to write a self-compassionate letter to yourself as a way of recognizing all the amazing things your body can do; Professor Engeln actually sent me two of them. If you’re reading this from an email you received about the show, click through to the episode’s page to see those.
Waaaay back in Episode 3, we wondered whether we had missed the boat on teaching our babies to read (didn’t you teach your baby how to read?). We eventually decided that we hadn’t, but given that many parents have a goal of instilling a love of reading into their children, what’s the best way to go about doing that? And what if your child is the kind who wriggles out of your lap at the mere sight of a book?
Our second-ever repeat guest, Dr. Laura Froyen, helps us to delve into the research on this topic. We conclude by talking through some of the things parents can do to promote a love of reading, because it turns out it’s not as intuitive as one might think! Dr. Laura has consolidated the most important of these suggestions into a FREE infographic that you can put up on the fridge. Get your copy – free! – by clicking here.
Do you have to start teaching a second language from birth? Does it help to get a nanny who speaks a second language? Is there any way your child will retain the language you speak even though you’re currently in a country where another language is dominant? Does learning a second language lead to any developmental advantages beyond just the benefits of learning the language?
Several listeners have actually written to me requesting an episode on this topic, and one has been particularly insistent (you know who you are!), so I was very glad to finally find an expert!
Dr. Erica Hoff leads the Language Development Lab at Florida Atlantic University and studies language development and bilingualism in children. She gives us the lowdown on the best ways to raise a bilingual child (and doesn’t mince words on how difficult it is) – and also answers my burning question: I’m not planning to teach my daughter a second language at the moment, so am I a terrible parent?
When should I start potty training? What books should I read? Can I do it in a day (or a week)? Do I need stickers (for rewards)? Does it have to be stressful?
I get these kinds of questions pretty often, and I’d resisted doing an episode on potty training because there are so many books on it already, and everyone has their opinion, and I really didn’t want to wade into it. But ya’ll kept asking and my resolve has finally crumbled, so today we’re going to talk all about what the research says, what the books say, and how there’s essentially no correlation between the books and the research. We’ll review the “do it in a day!” methods and what makes them successful, and we’ll also look at child-led methods. You’ll leave this episode with a clear picture of which is probably going to work best for you, and some concrete tools you can put to work (today, if you need to!) to start what I prefer to call the “toilet learning” process.