Most helpful critical review
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More Bookish Thoughts...
on January 24, 2012
In "Raising Boys in a New Kind of World" Michael Reist encourages a retooled approach to rearing boys in a media-saturated culture. While he admits that screen time contributes to boys falling behind in school, he also outlines the benefits of video games: allowing kids to relieve stress, offering an outlet for aggression and fostering bonding through shared activity.
After a slow and tedious introduction, Reist explains boys' year-and-a-half difference in both biological and cognitive development compared with girls - how it can cause social discomfort and a poor educational experience. He writes that boys have a love and need for movement and prefer actions over words; much like a computer going into sleep mode, the male brain can act in a similar way when it's not stimulated.
Unfortunately, the chapters covering technology and social media, the central themes of Reist's book, felt the least relevant to my own parenting. I much preferred Reist's general discussion of child psychology and his advice on connecting with boys: "I think one of the greatest gifts we can give the child is freedom to live their [sic] own lives in whatever path they choose."