University administrator. Commuter cyclist. Dad, husband. Loves books of course. Aspiring Jedi Knight and Warder.
Among non fiction, very high.
How much society is now structured to foil and confound the natural progression of boys. If your son struggling with school, you should listen to this book. It is very powerful. It is well researched and when combined with the research you'll see that the Dr. Sax's recommendations are actually common sense. We've really overdone and overthought society and this book is a call for us to go back to more modest times.
There are aha! moments throughout the book.
I'm an administrator at a university and I wanted to consider information about why young men are not being successful at university. I'm now researching mentoring programs exclusively for men. Because of this book!
Dr. Sachs has a very compelling theory suggesting that there are 5 critical elements that are major factors in the alarming number of men in America that are unmotivated and lack initiative. The changes in early childhood education, the frequent use of ADD medications for young boys, the lack of male role models, and other factors are laid out in a very easy to digest style. He references many patients he has seen, and offers an extensive number of research studies worldwide to support his theory. This would be especially valuable for parents of young boys who are showing behavioral issues where the signs are pointing toward ADD medications. Learning what current brain research shows will make you think more than twice about medicating with Adoral or Ridilin. And for those who are interested in learning about alternative early childhood programs and same sex education, there are some eye-opening examples and case studies.
Artfully presented case examples.
This book has some interesting parts on understanding boys and why they do the things they do. I think some parents would greatly benefit from the chapter on ADD (I think this may be the strongest part of the book).
I also wish I held back my son, as the author recommends, and had him start school later rather than earlier as he did.
I think the main weakness of the book is in the section on video games. There have been many studies on the impact of video games on boys, many of them conflicting each other. However, there seems to be a clear indication that there are benefits in playing video games and it appears they are not so far detached from reality as the author states.
What about surgical operations via remotely controlled robots? What about pilot trainers which allow pilots to prepare for real flights without endangering anyone's life? What about NASA astronauts who practice each aspect of their flights on electronic simulators? Aren't all these real life "video games"?
The part on video games was one of the main reasons I picked up this book hoping that it may provide some clarity on the subject. Unfortunately, the author missed the mark here. I was truly hoping to hear some suggestions on how parents could create a healthy balance of all important aspects in the typical boy's life including video games, outdoors activities, reading books, and doing well in school.
Hello, I'm excited to connect with you. My interests are, but not limited to: Philosophy, Psychology, Entrepreneurship, Male Oppression, Alternative Nutrition & Health, Cycling, and my Yogic practice :-)
I think the narration quality was top notch; didn't appreciate the character he injected into the section where Sax quotes a variety of listener emails he received.
Unless he revises his theory on how to help "boys adrift", no. Sax brings to light some serious issues that are contributing to boys "checking out" and "failing to launch" but, I feel, only penetrates the surface. I found his final chapter, where he outlines a possible solution to the problem, disturbing. His response to the boy epidemic boils down to shaming ie. "You're a big boy now, time to leave the video games behind."
Again, I think Sax has done a great thing and a wonderful job of shining a light on the state of boys in 2013, but he's not asking the essential questions. In regards to the lack of motivation around boys in school - perhaps being forced to attend could have *something* to do with it? The Unschooling movement has developed some great thinking in this area that helps address the plight of both genders, and offers an alternative that isn't actually new, but old! Before the prison we call "public schools" was developed, all children were essentially given much more free reign to learn what they wanted and exercise their natural volition as a human being. Sax, based on this reading, is entirely pro public school which is disheartening.
He barely grazes the surface of how the ideology of Feminism has demonized masculinity - this is another important factor in exploring "boys adrift."
Overall: An okay book on a serious issue in society that is *not* getting enough attention - but ultimately drops the ball by supporting public schools, not shining more of a light on how parenting can effect the motivation of boys, and ends up patronizing and shaming the very subject of the book. Maybe this topic is just too hard for an older generation to observe clearly. I highly recommend the work of Dr. Warren Farrell for a more comprehensive look at boys and men today.
ps. *way* too much pandering to a female audience and female issues. You could fill a library with literature that addresses Female Oppression. Considering the severity of Men's Oppression, and society's nearly total ignorance of it, we need all the focus and empathy to be on men if we want positive movement to occur.
Adopted a more objective, balanced tone when offering the ideas of the book - but this fault might lay more with the author.
Cut the feedback emails back a whole bunch - it went on and on (phew!).
Yes, this book really sheds light on why so many boys and young men are struggling in our society.
I've always been a strong supporter of education of women, but women are now the ones excelling. While I won't stop supporting efforts for girls and women, I think we need to develop new ways to support boys and young men.
Some practical reasons why boys are adrift and what we can do about it.
Lots of real life boys.
Boys need strong men, a community, in their lives.
A must get for anyone working with boys.
Mu favorites are paranormal, supernatural, post-apocalyptic, and horror!
I don't believe that i am giving away any exciting spoilers by stating what this book is about. An underlying theory is that taking medications for ADHD as a kid, may result in a serious lack of motivation later in life. I imagine there could be a possible correlation between these two factors. It is an interesting idea, but I am suprised they were able to write an entire book about it. I am even more suprised that i bought the book in the first place. I am eternally interested in what causes people to act the way they do, but if i could go back, i would not purchase or read this book. i give it 2 stars b/c it is not poorly written, just not interesting to me. I do not recommend this book unless you are exceedingly interested in the present lack of motivation among young boys.
I like the way the author explored some controversial areas. He re-inforced a lot of my thoughts.
The conversation a parent may have with their son about restricting his time on computer games. I was listening to the conversations I have with my son and he is only 11!!!!
I can listen to it when I am ready to go to bed and my eyes are tired. His voice is very easy to listen to. Helps me go to sleep. That is a good thing.
The insights into plastics, computer games and learning through real life not text books. His comments about ADHD and ADD medication.
Really like the book.
Weekly Leader (http://weeklyleader.net)
Yes. Although there are sections that just did not resonate with me, overall it's a valuable listen for any parent, grandparent, guardian or teacher that has child diagnosed with ADHD.