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Boys of Few Words: Raising Our Sons to Communicate and Connect

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When parents feel separated from their sons by a curtain of silence or a wall of resistance, they're right to be concerned. Boys of few words--the ones who limit their expression to a timid shrug or an indifferent grunt--need our help. Whether the problem is rooted in "nature" or "nurture," boys who grow up unable to talk about their thoughts and feelings find it hard to connect with others at school, home, and eventually in business and personal relationships. Psychologist Adam Cox helps parents understand all ...
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Boys of Few Words: Raising Our Sons to Communicate and Connect

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When parents feel separated from their sons by a curtain of silence or a wall of resistance, they're right to be concerned. Boys of few words--the ones who limit their expression to a timid shrug or an indifferent grunt--need our help. Whether the problem is rooted in "nature" or "nurture," boys who grow up unable to talk about their thoughts and feelings find it hard to connect with others at school, home, and eventually in business and personal relationships. Psychologist Adam Cox helps parents understand all the factors that may be limiting their son's ability or willingness to communicate--from social pressures to brain differences, from personality traits to a simple lack of vocabulary. Based on these insights, parents can choose specific strategies to help their son improve the language and social skills needed to express himself. Mothers and fathers everywhere will see their own boys in this book, and will come away prepared to help them overcome obstacles, connect with others, and succeed in school and beyond.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Dr. Cox's book is important, insightful, and timely. His ideas about helping boys of all ages will be useful to parents, to teachers, and indeed to all of us who have a stake in boys' emotional health--which is, in fact, everyone."--Mary Pipher, PhD, author of Reviving Ophelia

"Thanks to Dr. Cox's help, my grandson now has a smile on his face: he's learned to advocate for himself and command respect. In this book, you too can discover the tools to nurture and guide 'boys of few words' into articulate, healthy, and happy young men."--Hedy Perkin-Geist, grandmother of a 9-year-old

"We now know that boyhood is a lot more complex than 'snips and snails and puppy dog tails.' In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Cox explains the importance of language in boys' development and their future success and happiness, and provides useful, field-tested strategies for improving and enhancing crucial language capabilities. This compelling, readable, and insightful book will contribute immeasurably to your understanding of the boys in your life. I recommend it highly to parents, teachers, and coaches."--Richard D. Lavoie, author of It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend

"Dr. Cox is onto something important, and his suggestions for helping boys develop critical communication skills are both readable and practical. Parents and teachers will be grateful for this information--and in due time, so will the boys."--Jane M. Healy, PhD, author of Your Child's Growing Mind

"This book is a wonderful source of practical wisdom on how to bring out the best in boys for whom communication does not flow easily, help them to be happier people, and lead them to fulfill their potential. There is no better book offering humane, clinically informed, valuable advice in this essential area."--Simon Baron-Cohen, PhD, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology and Director, Autism Research Centre, Cambridge University, UK; author of The Essential Difference: The Truth about the Male and Female Brain

"Adam Cox provides parents of boys with important tools to raise sons with the social communication skills critical for both personal and professional success today. Filled with excellent teaching strategies, this important book will empower parents to raise sons with social competence, in addition to the academic and athletic competence on which parents of boys have traditionally put so much emphasis."--Kathryn Pengilly MA,CCC,SLP, speech-language pathologist and mother of three boys

"It was such a relief to learn there are reasons why my son behaves the way he does--and that the challenges he faces can be overcome. No one has all the answers, but Boys of Few Words answered a lot of my questions."--Jayne Febbraro, mother of an 11-year old

"Dr. Cox not only explains why boys struggle with communication, but gives parents numerous practical ideas on how to help them live up to their full potential. Most importantly, this book recognizes that all boys are different, and gives not just one but many approaches to help us be better parents. Boys of Few Words will be a reference for us until our son reaches adulthood."--Clark and Barbara Finnical, parents of an 8-year-old

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

"Peppered with punchy anecdotes, exclamation points, and savvy quotes from parents and children, Cox's book froths with a friendliness that many parents will find reassuring. He tosses in metaphors that help parents better comprehend their children's behavior and offers shrewd parenting advice....Numerous checklists, questionnaires, and actual sample phrases to use will prove particularly constructive for parents wondering where to begin. Whether for the parent or practitioner, Boys of a Few Words is a valuable and timely resource toward understanding and teaching children and adolescents how to communicate and connect meaningfully, rather than wondering, frustrated, what their wall of silence is 'made of.'"--Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

"Many inventive, effective techniques encouraging boys to speak meaningfully with their parents are described....Parents will appreciate the empathy Cox shows them when he suggests concrete, enjoyable tactics likely to work with uncommunicative boys."--PsycCRITIQUES
Library Journal
Clinical psychologist Cox has written a thoughtful book exploring how nature and nurture combine with common "boy" issues like shyness, withdrawal, anger, and aggression to discourage the development of broad, deep, and verbally dexterous social and emotional vocabularies. His detailed real-life examples, suggested interventions for specific situations, and ten principles to help parents focus will help parents mold their sons into skilled communicators. As a result, the boys will be better able to cope with conflict, express themselves, manage stress, and sustain long-lasting relationships. Less how-to and more self-help, this work offers much to contemplate. Though readers may tire of exhortations about the consequences of failing to provide for boys' self-expression, this dense, well-written book will resonate with the same caring, college-educated parents who enjoyed Mark O'Connell's The Good Father: On Men, Masculinity, and Life in the Family. Recommended for large public libraries and collections serving mental health professionals (especially guidance counselors).-Douglas C. Lord, Connecticut State Lib., Hartford Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593852085
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/15/2006
  • Pages: 337
  • Sales rank: 723,616
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Adam J. Cox, PhD, is a board-certified clinical psychologist who directs a private group practice focusing on children's mental health and emotional well-being, with a special emphasis on emotional literacy, learning disabilities, and ADHD. Dr. Cox became a psychologist through a nontraditional path. As an artist in Hoboken, New Jersey, he opened his studio doors to neighborhood children, many of whom he taught painting and drawing. The mentoring experience prompted him to enter graduate studies in counseling psychology, and subsequently to become a national advocate for children's mental health. Dr. Cox has been quoted in Time magazine and Family Circle, and he has appeared on national parenting and family radio programs, including NPR's Voices in the Family.
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Table of Contents

I. The Communication Divide
1. Is Your Son a Boy of Few Words?
2. Why Words Matter
3. "Why Doesn't He Talk to Me?"
4. Without Words for Emotion
II. Especially Challenging Boys
5. Encouraging Shy and Withdrawn Boys
6. Reducing the Resistance of Angry and Antisocial Boys
7. Navigating the Challenges of Learning and Attention Problems
III. How to Make Lasting Differences
8. Ten Commitments to Boys' Communication
9. Leading Boys across the Divide: Building Bridges to Social Communication
10. Working with Schools
11. When Professional Help Makes Sense
Epilogue. The Men They Will Become
Helpful Resources
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