Why You Should Wrestle with Your Daughter

Dear Mr. Dad: I’ve got twins—one girl, one boy—and we love to wrestle together. I always thought I was treating them the same, but a few days ago, my wife told me that she thinks I play very differently with them—very physically with my son and much more gentle with my daughter. I started paying attention and I have to admit that she’s right. So now I’m wondering: is there any actual reason to be more gentle with my daughter? And should I be more gentle with my son?

A: No and no. Assuming you’re playing in a safe way and the kids are having fun (you should always take your cues from them), there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t be just as rough and tumble with your daughter as you are with her brother. As the father of three daughters, I can assure you that little girls are just as sturdy as boys. In fact, based on science, one might argue that girls are actually sturdier. Although more males are conceived, more die in utero. And while more boys than girls are born, boys are more likely to be arrive prematurely and they’re more susceptible to disease and death. Boys are more likely than girls to die from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) and less likely to survive the first year than girls. As they get older, boys are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with autism, learning disabilities, mental retardation, and many other conditions.
Despite all that, we still have this idea that girls are delicate and need to be physically coddled. That’s an idea that starts from the very beginning. What’s the first question people ask when someone has had a baby? Boy or girl? We ask because we want to know how to treat the child in question. Parents (both dads and moms) encourage independence and exploration more in boys than girls. They typically (and unconsciously) allow boys to cross the street by themselves at younger ages and wait a few seconds longer before picking up a boy who’s fallen than a girl. And, of course, they wrestle more with sons than daughters.
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The New Rules of Boy World


Rosalind Wiseman, author of Masterminds & Wingmen.
Topic:
The new rules of Boy World.
Issues: Popularity and groups; body image; schoolyard power; locker room tests; girlfriends; intimacy; the emotional lives of boys (which are more complex that we’re led to believe; why boys are lagging behind girls in education; why boys are more likely to commit suicide than girls.

Balancing the Big Stuff + Masterminds and Wingmen


Miriam Liss, co-author of Balancing the Big Stuff.
Topic:
Finding happiness in work, family, and life.
Issues: The search for balance; balancing multiple roles; balance as a parent; balance at work; balance is for men and women; balance at home; societal barriers to balance; beyond balance.


Rosalind Wiseman, author of Masterminds & Wingmen.
Topic:
The new rules of Boy World.
Issues: Popularity and groups; body image; schoolyard power; locker room tests; girlfriends; intimacy; the emotional lives of boys (which are more complex that we’re led to believe; why boys are lagging behind girls in education; why boys are more likely to commit suicide than girls.

Raising Girls + Raising Boys + The Paradox of Modern Parenthood

Steve Biddulph, author of Raising Girls and Raising Boys.
Topics:
How to help your daughter or son grow up to be happy, healthy, strong, and well-balanced.
Segment 1 (on girls): The five stages of girlhood and how to help them go smoothly; how to deal with bullying, mean girls, and social media; ways to ease the transition into the teen years; what you need to know about healthy body image, food, and eating disorders, the importance of girls’ friendships and how to support them.



Segment 2 (on boys): The three stages of boyhood and how to help them go smoothly; how testosterone changes behavior and what to do about it; how boys’ brain development differs from girls'; how to help boys cultivate a caring attitude about sex; the impact of competitive sports on boys, and how to ensure it stays positive; how to find boy-friendly schools.



Jennifer Senior, author of All Joy and No Fun.
Topic:
The paradox of modern parenthood.
Issues: How children compromise the autonomy parents have grown accustomed to; how children affect parental decision making, division of labor, and can strain a marriage; the true fun in having children is just sitting back, being passive, and enjoying kids being themselves; much more.

Manual to Manhood + Middle School Makeover


Jonathan Catherman, author of The Manual to Manhood.
Topic:
How to cook the perfect steak, change a tire, impress a girl, and 97 other survival skills for young men.
Issues: As a man in the making, you’ll need to know how to do stuff. You also need a strong moral character to back up your new abilities. Here are step-by-step instructions for just about everything you need to know.



Michelle Icard, author of Middle School Makeover.
Topic
: Improving the way you and your child experience the middle school years.
Issues: Helping your kid through real middle school problems, including social media, questions about sex, mean girls (and boys), and fitting in, dealing with bullies, fashion, peer pressure, dating, independence, and more.

Sheryl is Wrong: Bossy’s Fine. Let’s Ban Double Standards Instead

ban lies

As the father of three daughters, I support Sheryl Sandberg’s message that girls can lead. But I don’t support her other messages: First, it’s okay to use half-truths, twisted data, inaccurate and outdated information, and outright lies to get what you want. Second, women and girls aren’t smart enough to make their own life choices. Third, you don’t need to work hard to achieve success—the world owes you something just because you’re female.

Here are just a few examples.
Sandberg wants “equality” in the workplace, and drags out the old canard that there’s a male/female pay gap—and that that gap is the result of discrimination against women. The truth? Yes, the total amount of money earned by men is greater than the total earned by women. But that is largely a function of the different choices men and women make. Men put in about 50% more hours at work than women and, more importantly, men dominate in fields where there is less flexibility, more danger, and higher salaries, while women dominate in fields that offer more flexibility and, unfortunately, less income.

So, Sheryl, how much workplace equality do you really want? Ninety-five percent of people who die on the job are men. And two thirds of the unemployed are men. Where’s the outrage, Sheryl? Do you really want equal representation for males and females?
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