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Boys To Men

November 14, 2012

by Dr Neville Vines

When it comes to protecting men’s health, start by protecting the emotional life of boys.

So say Kindlon and Thompson in Raising Cain (NY: Ballantine, 1999), who write about teaching boys “emotional literacy”.

Veteran teachers are often stunned by the power of boy anger and disruption in their classes.  So often, adults excuse boy behaviour as “harmless immaturity”, as if maturity will arrive like puberty, magically transforming a boy’s emotional life.

Boys’ “emotional ignorance” imposes on others, but it costs them dearly, too.  Without an “emotional education”, boys meet the pressures of life with the typical “manly” responses of anger, aggression and emotional withdrawal.

So, in Movember, spare a thought for every man who was once a boy, and help men show the world’s boys how emotions belong in the life of a man.

Teach boys emotional literacy and men’s health won’t be such a major health issue.

Dr Neville Vines is the principal psychologist at Life Resolutions Springfield Lakes.  He has 30 years of private practice experience and is passionate about men’s health.  He’s in a fortunate, long-lived marriage, and has two adult sons. He enjoys physical conditioning, swashbuckling movies, dark chocolate, and western novels.

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