[EDEQUITY Male Dialogue] Young boys and relating

From: Cornelia Janke (cjanke@edc.org)
Date: Fri Dec 15 2000 - 10:36:14 EST

Hello everyone and thank you for what has been for me a very enlightening
discussion. I am new to this list and this topic, so have been lurking and
learning in the background. Thinking about Cate and others' recent emails
regarding boys' need for more a 'relational' way of interacting, I wonder
if anyone could point me to research that has been done with very young
boys regarding when/how the social pressusre starts for boys to hold back
or re-direct their emotions and behavior. What are some of the typical
behaviors or social exchanges (both between adults and children, and among
the children themselves) that happen between the ages of 3-5? It seems that
if we can identify these things as early as possible, we can work
consistently to provide balancing feedback. I also wonder : is it that
(older) boys don't know how to connect emotionally, or is it rather that
the way in which they express this connection is not conducive to dialogue
and 'gentler' exchanges of emotion? For me it would be helpful to be able
recognize boys' various attempts at or styles of connection, both among
themselves and also with girls and adults, so that a) I can respond to
their attempt (I guess it's frustrating and ultimately counter-productive
for boys to try--however inappropriately--and not feel heard), and b) I
might model alternate approaches.

Thank you in advance for your comments.

Cornelia Janke

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