Tag Archives: communicating with boys

Understanding Your Son’s World with Author Rosalind Wiseman

I had the pleasure of interviewing author, Rosalind Wiseman with Joanna Schroeder, Executive Editor of The Good Men Project. Rosalind Wiseman’s new book, Masterminds and Wingmen: Helping Your Son Cope with School Yard Power, Locker Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Realities of Guy World, shows what’s really happening in boys’ lives.

Ms. Wiseman shared key points about communicating with your son, understanding the social roles of boys as well as what boys need from parents to get through the daily challenge living up to the “Act Like a Man” box.



If You Want Your Son to Listen, Stop Talking!


Five minutes into a discussion with my son, I realize that I have lost a teaching opportunity and have plunged into a soliloquy. He is no longer interested in what I have to say because I talked too much. Even when I’ve told myself that I would not go into a William Henry Harrison speech (look it up), I’ve found myself repeating the same thing over and over. I really feel the need to drive the point. The problem is that my son stops listening once I became emotionally charged and start talking too much.

Research indicates that children retain 25% of what is said to them. If you want to get through to your son, W.A.I.T. Ask yourself, “Why Am I Talking?” How many times have you asked, “Why did you do this?” and before he can respond, you start in on why he shouldn’t have done it. Why did you ask a question, if you couldn’t wait for the response.

So, I’m learning to ask myself, “Why am I talking?” Am I talking to get clarity? Am I talking to set guidelines? Am I talking to explain something?  Am I talking to give reasonable explanations? Whatever the reason, the point is when speaking to boys, make sure you are concise and direct. Your words will have more impact when a boy has a clear of understanding of what you are saying. Going into long examples and related stories only create confusion and frustration. A boy doesn’t need examples of what happened 10 years ago to a friend/neighbor/relative. Ask yourself if what you’re about to say is necessary.

Communicating with boys needs to be purposeful. Listen with intent and ask questions when appropriate. If you have a hard time listening like I do, try this trick: Clasp your hands together on your lap when he is speaking. I will probably forget everything I just wrote some time this week and once again, start talking too much, but it takes time and practice to learn a new skill.

Today, before you speak, ask yourself: Am I going to say something useful right now?

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