Boys Need Affection

Several months ago I wrote an article on my Parenting blog, a post entitled 7 Words of Advice for Raising a Son.

The first of the 7 “words” of advice contained in the article states that a boy need loads of affection from his Parents. I said:

“When it comes to affection – love on them just as much as any girl. Some boys will want to cuddle, some will love being tickled and hung upside down. Some boys love to bump and bang and wrestle with dad, but they all need hugs and kisses! If anyone tries to tell you boys do not need loads of affection run from their advice.”

When I talk to parents about their sons and affection I usually hear two different concerns. Continue reading

Backyard Camping Adventure

I loved to camp in my backyard when I was a boy. OK, we owned an acre that was half wooded. We were the last house on a dead end street where a car driving on the street was a major event. So we were a bit secluded. But as an adult we lived in a typical Midwestern neighborhood with rows of houses but still allowed our children to camp in the backyard. So unlike my childhood camping, with fire on the ground and wooded seclusion, my kids were in tents on a manicured lawn. But they still had fun!

Decide on the following. Continue reading

Sticks and Stones – Toys and Treasures

Most children start out liking to play outside. There seems to be a natural desire to be out and about. But for many children this natural desire is slowly suppressed and supplanted. Just like killing off our natural taste buds with gobs of white processed sugar has cursed our nation’s citizens to unprecedented health issues and record numbers of children, teens and adults getting diabetes, I fear that similar consequences due to too much inside activity will lead to the dying of creativity, drive for discovery and satisfaction for accomplishing hard work. Especially among our boys.


However, my fear, just as a food industry’s response to unhealthy food like the Hostess Twinkie, the alternatives are not much better. Too many parents have turned to Pinterest and think outside activities have to be elaborate or staged events. Continue reading

A Boy and His Pocket Knife

When my kids were toddlers and I would help set the table my wife would tell me “only pour as much water as you are willing to clean up.”
Her advice proved to be wise as my children spilled their water many times. But her advice continued to be true well beyond the sippy-cup to drinking glass transition. Over and over I used her advice and would think about the truth of calculated risks.

Calculated Risks. Often worth taking.

Unfortunately when it comes to today’s child parents seem more concerned about any possible risks rather than calculated risks. Even when chances are extremely small, some parents simply won’t take the risk. With such restrictive views, our children are missing out on so many opportunities, including owning and using pocket knives. Continue reading

Sword Play

Minecraft, The Three Musketeers, Star Wars and other warriors use swords to defend their Kingdoms! Your son can engage in great imaginative swordplay fun with a little bit of ingenuity and very little cost.

I love when boys get involved in imaginative, non-screen, full body, outside play. The only problem is how do we get them to do that when they are ever drawn to those blasted screens? Well, simple, but fun swords to the rescue. Continue reading

Learn How To Play Marbles

Many generations of boys have played the game of marbles. While the game has basic rules, it can be tricky to master.

The game of marbles helps boys with fine motor coordination, sportsmanship and strategy, and even patience. It is remarkably inexpensive to obtain the “equipment” – basically one needs several “player” or “duck” marbles (typically 5/8 inch diameter) and one “shooter” marble (typically 3/4 inch diameter.)

Many purchased “sets” will come with both types of marbles and in a mesh bag. When I played marbles though, our bag was almost as important as the marbles. (I bet some creative moms could come up with a straightforward, easy way to sew marble pouch with a thick material and a drawstring. What a fun project that could be for a boy!) Continue reading

Recapturing Boyhood


Welcome to All Boy Life.

Somehow we lost our way.


My grandchildren on the kindle. Screen time should be limited for boys (and girls.)

The mystery and excitement we called boyhood got lost in the avalanche of homework, TV, video games, tablets, passive and entertaining toys, and electronics of all types. Even the once fun and wholesome children sports teams have turned into clinics, tryouts, statistics, ratings, traveling teams and mounting pressure.

Good stories and adventure books are all but gone. Replaced with video games filled with unrealistically macho, aggressive, unhappy and revengeful men and equally unrealistically voluptuous, sexy, scantily clad women viewed as objects.

But all hope is not lost. Continue reading