Home' Aurora : Aurora May 2011 Contents 17
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What kind of a boy were you?
I was quite a shy boy but very lucky. Not
only did I have my parents and family, I
had an aunt and uncle who owned a farm
so I got to play and roam. My neighbours
also adopted me and I had breakfast
with them every morning until I went to
What are the joys that boys offer?
Boys are gung ho, wild, touchy pranksters
who love stories, games, jokes and
mucking about. They are the masters
of minimalism. If you ask them to
write 50 words on something and they
write 51 words, they think they have
overdone it. They are the practitioners
of just-in-time management which is why
they will leave almost any chore to the last
It s tough raising boys -- right?
Keep boys busy and it's pretty
straightforward. They want to know you are
there for them but they don't want you in
their face. Let them know that you respect
them and even though they will pretend
that they don't want to hear you, make
sure that they know you love them.
What is the single biggest challenge
facing boys today, and how might parents
We've narrowed the definition of success
so much that many kids, girls as well as
boys, think they are failures and cannot
succeed. We can be the antidote to this
craziness by insisting on our children's
right to be individuals and to find success
in their own ways. Be the person who
turns to young people and says, "I have
no idea what you are going to do with your
life or how you are going to get there but I
know you will be an absolute world beater."
Believe in them.
If you could give parents of boys one piece
of advice, what would it be?
Mothers of boys need to know that
they provide a role model for his future
relationships with women. Care for sons
but don't be too ready to rescue them.
Love them but expect them to solve
problems. Don't let them wriggle out of
hugs or conversations with you. Know
when to 'become invisible' when their
friends are around but be there as a
Fathers of sons need to learn to stop
trying to improve their sons. If a father can
accept his son for who he is and believe in
him, he does more to build his confidence
and self-esteem than all advice and
lectures put together.
If you could give teachers of boys one
piece of advice, what would it be?
Boys thrive best as part of a 'gang'.
The most important gang they will ever
belong to is their family. The second
most important gang is your classroom.
Run your classroom like a gang! Have
clear rules and high expectations. Be the
leader of the gang. Let boys know how to
succeed and they will shine. Also know
that boys' love of games and competitions
overrides any lack of motivation they
may feel so run your classroom like a
mix between a computer game and a
Visit clinical psychologist Andrew Fuller's
site inyahead at www.andrewfuller.com.au
and learn more about The Federation at
For details of the local conference at which
Danni and Andrew will speak,
P Linda McNeil 4979 1303 or
Participants are encouraged to register
before 31 May.
If you could give teachers of girls one
piece of advice, what would it be?
See her as a whole person not just an
academic candidate. Don't dismiss her
personal issues. If a teen is fighting
with a friend, that matters most
to her. You can forget learning until
there is a resolution! It is strange
to me that we never take time to
explicitly teach such vital skills as
resolving conflict. When we work with
girls in schools they hang on our every
word when we help them learn how to
make sense of "Girl World"! We have
a generation of young women who
are being expected to cope with an
increasingly complex world, yet they
may only have child-like strategies to
fall back on.
and learn more about educator,
businesswoman and mother Danni's
initiative, Enlighten Education.
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