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Masterminds and Wingmen

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Masterminds and Wingmen

Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World
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Books for a Better Life Award WinnerHere is a landmark book that reveals the way boys think and that shows parents, educators and coaches how to reach out and help boys overcome their most common yet...
Books for a Better Life Award WinnerHere is a landmark book that reveals the way boys think and that shows parents, educators and coaches how to reach out and help boys overcome their most common yet...
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Description-
  • Books for a Better Life Award Winner

    Here is a landmark book that reveals the way boys think and that shows parents, educators and coaches how to reach out and help boys overcome their most common yet difficult challenges -- by the bestselling author who changed our conception of adolescent girls.

    Do you constantly struggle to pull information from your son, student, or athlete, only to encounter mumbling or evasive assurances such as "It's nothing" or "I'm good?" Do you sense that the boy you care about is being bullied, but that he'll do anything to avoid your "help?" Have you repeatedly reminded him that schoolwork and chores come before video games only to spy him reaching for the controller as soon as you leave the room? Have you watched with frustration as your boy flounders with girls?

    Welcome to Boy World. It's a place where asking for help or showing emotional pain often feels impossible. Where sports and video games can mean everything, but working hard in school frequently earns ridicule from "the guys" even as they ask to copy assignments. Where "masterminds" dominate and friends ruthlessly insult each other but can never object when someone steps over the line. Where hiding problems from adults is the ironclad rule because their involvement only makes situations worse.

    Boy world is governed by social hierarchies and a powerful set of unwritten rules that have huge implications for your boy's relationships, his interactions with you, and the man he'll become. If you want what's best for him, you need to know what these rules are and how to work with them effectively.

    What you'll find in Masterminds and Wingmen is critically important for every parent -- or anyone who cares about boys -- to know. Collaborating with a large team of middle- and high-school-age editors, Rosalind Wiseman has created an unprecedented guide to the life your boy is actually experiencing -- his on-the-ground reality. Not only does Wiseman challenge you to examine your assumptions, she offers innovative coping strategies aimed at helping your boy develop a positive, authentic, and strong sense of self.

    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    It's Time to Enter Boy World

    Like many parents, I wake every morning with my mind filled with Post-It notes of all the things I'm behind on. On April 12, 2011, I opened my eyes with only one thought: it's time to write a boys' book. For years I've wanted to write a book for boys that would be a complement to one I'd written for girls, Queen Bees and Wannabes. When parents and teachers would ask me about the possibility, I'd thank them for their confidence and promise that I'd get around to it one day, not really sure that I would. Ironically, my two children are both boys, which always gets a laugh when I'm introduced as an expert on girls. How can that Queen Bees woman, that Mean Girls woman, be the mother of only boys?

    The truth is, I've always taught boys, and they constantly write to me for advice. But up until now I've never publicly shared their struggles and what I've told them. Some of their problems are important but small, like "How can I tell a girl I like her?" or "How do I tell a girl I don't like her?" or "How do I stop my friend from bugging me about how short I am?" Other questions are bigger, like, "I have a coach who screams 'faggot' at one of the kids. Some of the other guys are going after him too. I hate it, but what can I do?" "I want to quit the team but I can't tell my parents." Or, "My dad always, always thinks I'm guilty of something, or lying, or lazy. Every time he lectures me I just want to explode, but I smile and say nothing. My mom makes excuses for him. I can't live like this but I don't know what to do."

    I put off writing a book about boys because I wasn't certain I could deliver the level of insight that I'd been praised for in Queen Bees. Did I know boys well enough? Could I get them to tell me what I needed to know? I knew that boys are much more complex than popular culture gives them credit for. I knew there was a lot going on beyond their clipped responses like, "I'm fine." But I wasn't sure that I could write something that was equal to what boys, parents, and adults who care about boys need and deserve.

    I needed a sign.

    I got it when I was least expecting it. In the spring of 2011, I met with Cartoon Network's CEO, Stu Snyder, and Alice Cahn, the network's vice president of social responsibility, to discuss the possibility of working together on their "Stop Bullying: Speak Up" campaign. I'd brought along Emily Gibson, who helps me strategize new partnerships. As usual, Emily got right to the point. "Stu, I'm really glad we're meeting, but I'm not sure I understand why. Rosalind is more known for her work with girls, and we know most of Cartoon Network's viewers are boys, so why her?"

    Stu immediately answered. "You can see it in her eyes."

    What's in my eyes? I wondered. Do I have something weird in my eyes?

    "You can see she has boys in her eyes," Stu said. What was he talking about? Then I realized exactly what he was referring to. I'd seen that look. I'd even written about it in another book, Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads. I just hadn't realized it was my facial expression too. That look says to others: "I'm regularly attacked with Nerf guns as a display of affection. I'm not surprised to receive an email or phone call from the principal. There may have been a time, just once, when I realized the boys' principal was calling and I pressed Ignore because I just really didn't want to hear what the boys had done. At any moment I must cope with the following challenges: my children destroying something of high value, hurting themselves doing something mind-blowingly stupid, or facing a hygiene problem so severe that lesser beings would flee or vomit. But because I'm these kids'...

About the Author-
  • ROSALIND WISEMAN is an internationally recognized expert on children, parenting, bullying, social justice, and ethical leadership, and the New York Times bestselling author of Queen Bees and Wannabes and Queen Bee Moms and Kingpin Dads.

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    Crown Publishing Group
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Masterminds and Wingmen
Masterminds and Wingmen
Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World
Rosalind Wiseman
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Masterminds and Wingmen
Masterminds and Wingmen
Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World
Rosalind Wiseman
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