Live Better
 
 

Listen now: Tips on raising resilient boys to help them thrive

Tips on raising boys into being resilient, strong and loving men.

Maggie Dent is an expert in helping Australian parents raise resilient, strong and loving men. Her passion for helping boys comes from alarming statistics, revealing they’re more likely to take greater physical risks, get injured in accidents and sport, and face bigger mental health risks as they grow into men.

When Maggie holds parenting lectures, the room is full of mostly women – mums wanting the best advice on parenting their sons.

To hear her advice, listen to the interview below:

Help boys feel secure

Boys may be expected to be tougher than girls, but in reality, all children can feel berated and vulnerable in certain situations.

Tip: Give your boy small cues to remind them they’re loved. For example, a little tickle, wink or high-five.

Modify language

Boys develop language skills a lot later than girls. This is because the right hemisphere of the brain develops more so than the left. When boys become frustrated, they can sometimes default to anger since they don’t have the words to express how they’re feeling.

Tip: Use hand gestures as well as speech to explain what you need or want them to do. Boys also respond to visual signs more than verbal, so avoid calling out to them from another room.

Build bridges of connection

Building little love bridges, or moments of connection, makes boys feel like they matter. Boys need to see constant loving action as well as verbal affirmations of love.

When boys are naughty it can feel like they’re intentionally being disrespectful, rude or forgetful. Reframe that idea, and know that at times, they really can only focus on one thing, and that they’re not good with change. If we understand how our sons process information, and accept they are genuinely more forgetful than girls, more allowances can be made and frustration can be kept at bay.

Tip: Try to avoid enquiring about school immediately after the day has finished — they’re exhausted and need time. Allow them to come to you when they’re ready to talk, and create moments of loving connection that they can hold on to.

Curb physicality and roughness

Men are biologically wired to be physical. They have a larger amygdala and more testosterone, so their type of play can be quite rough.

Tip: Keep it safe by setting simple guidelines: try avoid hurting yourself, others, and damaging things.

Expect testosterone surges

Boys have testosterone surges around the ages of 4, 10 and 14. Be mindful that this can mean excess energy for them.

Tip: Keep boys physically active in large spaces outside the home. Also, set them exciting, challenging tasks that require concentration – they’ll be much calmer afterwards.

Latest Articles

Healthy Living

How a lack of sleep affects your mental health

Getting enough sleep is crucial for your mental wellbeing.

Read more
Healthy Living

How to conquer your fear of the dentist

Dr Merrilyn Hooley's tips for a less stressful appointment.

Read more
Healthy Living

Are you a cyberchondriac?

Dr Google could be making you anxious.

Read more
Healthy Living

Can you reduce the effects of PMS?

Up to 30% of women experience severe premenstrual syndrome.

Read more
Healthy Living

How to have a conversation about suicide

Reaching out to someone you care about could save their life.

Read more
Wellbeing

Can social media ruin your social life?

What’s social media doing to your mental state?

Read more
Health Insights

When should you worry about your teen?

Teenage angst or depression? How to tell the difference.

Read more
youtubeui-checkbox-tickui-checkbox-emptyui-checkbox-crosstwitterui-checkbox-tickWellbeing and mindfulness 1Physical Health 1Positive psychology 101 1Wellbeing and mindfulness 4All about gut health 1Understanding Genetics 4Planning for Pregnancy 2During Pregnancy 3The mind-gut connection 4The mind-gut connection 1New Parents 3Page 1Group 10During Pregnancy 2Page 1Physical Health 2Planning for Pregnancy 1Positive psychology 101 1Positive psychology 101 4Planning for Pregnancy 4Understanding Genetics 1Physical Health 4Planning for Pregnancy 3Nutrition 4New Parents 1New Parents 3 CopyMovement for your mind 4Wellbeing and mindfulness 2Nutrition 2sob-icon__mind-bodysob-icon__man-with-laptopAll about gut health 2Positive psychology 101 3Positive psychology 101 2Physical Health 3Wellbeing and mindfulness 3All about gut health 3genetics-changing-what-your-givenUnderstanding Genetics 2During Pregnancy 1Movement for your mind 2Movement for your mind 1Movement for your mind 3During Pregnancy 4