98 episodes

Ever wonder why do boys DO that? Join co-hosts Jennifer L.W. Fink, mom of four boys, and Janet Allison, parenting coach & educator, as they explore and explain boy behavior. Their weekly conversations include a healthy dose of humor & insight, and feature take-away tips you can use right now, at home or in the classroom, to help boys grow into healthy, happy men. Whether your boys are teens or toddlers, you’ll find a big dose of support, encouragement and camaraderie at On Boys.

ON BOYS Podcast Janet Allison, Jennifer LW Fink

    • Kids & Family
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

Ever wonder why do boys DO that? Join co-hosts Jennifer L.W. Fink, mom of four boys, and Janet Allison, parenting coach & educator, as they explore and explain boy behavior. Their weekly conversations include a healthy dose of humor & insight, and feature take-away tips you can use right now, at home or in the classroom, to help boys grow into healthy, happy men. Whether your boys are teens or toddlers, you’ll find a big dose of support, encouragement and camaraderie at On Boys.

    Family Meetings & The 9-Year Change

    Family Meetings & The 9-Year Change

    Family meetings can you help adapt your parenting to fit the changing needs of your family. 



    Photo by August de Richelieu from Pexels



    One of the most challenging (and demoralizing) aspects of parenting is realizing that you must constantly revise your parenting strategies. The tips, techniques and discipline strategies that worked so well when your little boy was 2 don't work at all when he's 6 -- and whatever you do when he's 6 won't work when he's 16.



    It can be hard for parents to adapt to their kids' development changes. The very fact that we have to change our approach often comes as a surprise. "Nobody tells us, 'Oh yeah, you figured it out all these years, but now you gotta do something different," Janet says.



    Children often experience significant intellectual and emotional growth around age 9, a phenomenon Waldorf educators call the "9 year change." It's a time when children begin to realize that others have different thoughts, when they begin to question the world -- and their parents.



    "Their opinions might be one way on Monday and completely different by Thursday. But that's all part of the growth process," Janet says. "That's all part of them expressing their thoughts, expressing their opinions."



    As boys grow, parents must shift their role from Director to Collaborator. Family meetings can be helpful as parents and sons navigate this shift, as the meetings create opportunities for everyone in the family to share their ideas and concerns.

    In this episode, Jen & Janet discuss:



    * The 9 Year Change

    * Disrespect vs. developmentally appropriate questioning

    * Coping with kids who "know it all"

    * Moving toward a collaborative form of parenting

    * How to start and plan family meetings

    * Benefits of family meetings

    * Tips for successful family meetings



    In this episode, Jen & Janet discuss:

    The Simple but Critical Purpose of Family Meetings: To Listen -- Washington Post article by our friend Meghan Leahy (if you haven't listened to our podcast episode w her, do so now!)



    Parenting Teenage Boys with Joshua Wayne -- ON BOYS episode mentioned at about 24:00



    BoysAlive.as.me -- Schedule a FREE Breakthrough Session w Janet



    STAY CONNECTED WITH JANET & JEN:



    Join the Building Boys FB group and the Boys Alive! FB group



    Be sure to opt-in at  Boys Alive! .com for your free report “3 Simple Tips to CONNECT with Your Boy.”  And subscribe to Building Boys Bulletin, a weekly email newsletter filled w boy-specific info & inspiration.



    Follow us on Instagram:  @on.boys.

    • 30 min
    Managing Screen Time During the Pandemic

    Managing Screen Time During the Pandemic

    How are you managing screen time during the pandemic? 



    According to at least one survey, kids' time online has more than doubled since the pandemic began, and many kids now spend more than 6 hours per day online, in front of screens. And no wonder -- screens are now our portal to school, work, socialization and extended family.



    Which means that now is great time to examine our response to screens.



    Seriously.



    Many adults have a visceral, negative reaction to the sight of kids-on-screens, but the truth is that screen time itself is neither good nor bad. Digital devices are tools that can be used in a variety of ways.



    "Screens are not a monolith," says Devorah Heitner, author of Screenwise and founder of Raising Digital Natives. Instead of lumping all things digital into "screen time," she says, parents really should look at what their kids are doing.



    As much as possible, parents should adopt an observant (vs. judgmental) stance to their sons' technology use. Adults can also role model responsible tech usage. Our kids should see us "using technology in an ethical, thoughtful, mindful way," Devorah says.





    In this episode, Jen, Janet & Devorah discuss:



    * Why all screen time isn't equal

    * Dealing w parental guilt

    * Role modeling responsible internet usage

    * Tech "addiction"

    * Helping kids gain control of their screen time

    * When to seek professional help

    * Managing online, in-game purchases

    * Financial literacy in the digital age

    * Helping boys recognize and respond to racism, sexism and extreme ideologies in memes

    * Mentoring vs. monitoring



    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    Raising Digital Natives -- Devorah's website



    Screenwise: Helping Kids Survive (& Thrive) in Their Digital World -- Devorah's book



    Screens & Boys -- ON BOYS episode



    Raising Kids to Thrive in a Connected World w Jordan Shapiro -- ON BOYS episode



    iGen - ON BOYS episode



    Decoding Boys w Dr. Cara Natterson -- ON BOYS episode mentioned at 18:50



    The Role of Memes in Teen Culture -- NYT article by Jen



     



    STAY CONNECTED WITH JANET & JEN:



    Join the Building Boys FB group and the Boys Alive! FB group



    Be sure to opt-in at  Boys Alive! .com for your free report “3 Simple Tips to CONNECT with Your Boy.”  And subscribe to Building Boys Bulletin, a weekly email newsletter filled w boy-specific info & inspiration.



    Follow us on Instagram:  @on.boys.podcast and @boys.

    • 38 min
    Listener Q & A – Parenting Teen Boys

    Listener Q & A – Parenting Teen Boys

    Parenting teen boys is not easy.



    They're bigger than us. Stronger than us. They speak in a language we don't necessarily understand -- if they choose to speak at all. Their focus is turning outward, just as we parents realize how little time we have left to teach them all the things they need to know before they leave home.



    Miriam asks:

    How do you find balance between keeping the bond strong and giving them freedom?

    Teri also asks about letting go:

    How do other parents find the balance between holding your son accountable and staying involved vs letting him make mistakes? At age 14, do I need to let go completely? I want him to be independent but not miss opportunities to help him grow and develop.

    Brooklyn wonders how she should handle teenage "attitude":

    I have a son who's always been a bit attitudinal. Now the bar is raised and I want to find the balance of tolerance (knowing some of this is "normal") and also holding a line around how to treat others.

    Stephanie asks:

    How do I get my reserved and very quiet teen boy to talk to me...about anything??

    Mary wants to know:

    How to help boys through obsessions with their phones and social media...especially when they are ages 16 and over

    Jeen worries about easy access to highly sexualized images:

    How do we deal with the constant attempts to search up "girls in bikinis?" If the results were somewhat tasteful, I'd be OK with it, but wow! One step from porn in most cases...

    Alicia asks:

    How do I discuss the imminent arrival of wet dreams? How do I explain what to expect?

    In this episode, Jen & Janet discuss:



    * Teen boy lingo

    * The pressure felt by parents of teen boys

    * Staying close to teen boys

    * Giving teenage boys freedom & guidance

    * Releasing control over homework, grades and school

    * Dealing w teenage attitude & disrespect

    * Setting boundaries

    * Screens, social media and porn

    * Wet dreams and nocturnal emission (Note: wet dreams typically start between ages 13 and 17, according to the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. Average age is about 14.5)

    * Self-care for parents of teens



    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    The Truth About Parenting Teen Boys -- classic Building Boys post



    Parenting Teenage Boys w Joshua Wayne -- ON BOYS episode mentioned at 10:53



    Talk to Boys about Sex -- ON BOYS episode featuring Amy Lang, mentioned at 29:13



    Which Apps are APPropriate? -- ON BOYS episode w Jo Langford, mentioned at 30:24



    High Speed Internet Porn and the Experiment Generation -- film mentioned at 33:13



    STAY CONNECTED WITH JANET & JEN:



    Join the Building Boys FB group and the Boys Alive! FB group

    • 40 min
    Preparing Boys for the World of Work

    Preparing Boys for the World of Work

    One of our most important jobs as parents is preparing our boys for the world of work.



    The work world, though, has changed dramatically over the last few decades. "There's been a shift from the competitive dog-eat-dog/rat race to a flatter, faster and fairness-focused world of work," says Ed Frauenheim, co-author of Reinventing Masculinity: The Liberating Power of Compassion and Connection.



    Increasingly, organizations want (and need!) employees and leaders who are flexible and eager to learn and collaborate. They need (and want) employees who can admit their own vulnerabilities, who respect the contributions of others. The work world of today is not particularly friendly to what Ed calls "confined masculinity," or the traditional norms that governed male behavior for millennia.



    "In confined masculinity, there are limited roles you can play as a guy: provider and protector," Ed says. Males are expected to be stoic, self-reliant and competitive. Those traits aren't bad, but restricting boys and men to those roles and responses is quite limiting and unhealthy. Liberating masculinity does not throw away those traits but rather adds to them. The "5 Cs" of liberating masculinity are:



    * Curiosity

    * Courage

    * Compassion

    * Communication

    * Connection



    Helping our boys realize that we are in community with others and that it's okay to follow your heart is one way we can prepare boys for work. "In the work world that's emerging, what we're seeing is that the most successful people are givers; they are not takers," Ed says. "They are the ones that are empathetic and willing to share."





    In this episode, Jen, Janet & Ed discuss:



    * Shifting masculine norms

    * Masculinity & work

    * Liberating masculinity vs. confined masculinity

    * How professional male athletes are modeling liberating masculinity

    * Equipping boys to deal with sexism and racism in the work world

    * Moving beyond stereotypical masculinity in the trades

    * What boys & men should look for a in a place of employment



    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    Reinventing Masculinity: The Liberating Power of Compassion and Connection -- Ed's new book



    Great Place to Work -- "the global authority on workplace culture"; includes lists to "best workplaces"



    Sponsor Spotlight: Hiya Health



    HEALTHY children’s vitamins — no sugar or “gummy junk” included! Made from a blend of 12 farm-fresh fruits & veggies, Hiya Health vitamins are the easy way to get your boys the nutrition they need.  Use discount code ONBOYS at checkout to save 50%. 



    STAY CONNECTED WITH JANET & JEN:



    Join the Building Boys FB group and the Boys Alive! FB group



    Be sure to opt-in at  Boys Alive! .com for your free report “3 Simple Tips to CONNECT with Your Boy.”  And subscribe to Building Boys Bulletin, a weekly email newsletter filled w boy-specific info & inspiration.

    • 37 min
    Teach Boys Money Management

    Teach Boys Money Management

    How do you teach boys money management?



    34% of American teenagers don't have bank accounts and rely predominantly on cash, according to a 2019 Junior Achievement USA survey. In fact, 1 in 5 teens have never been into a physical bank and nearly a third of teens surveyed don’t have a bank account. 



    Like many parents, Benny Nachman initially started paying his boys' allowance in cash. But -- like many of us -- Benny doesn't often use cash and occasionally found he didn't have enough cash on hand to cover allowances. His boys were less disturbed by this fact than Benny thought they'd be. He soon learned that cash isn't all that exciting to kids who live in an increasingly digital world. In their lives, digital money, including iTunes and Amazon gift cards and Vbucks, are a lot more valuable.



    That's one reason why he founded Jassby, a mobile wallet and chore app for families. The other reason is because he thinks it's absolutely critical to teach boys money management and financial literacy. Most states do not include financial literacy or personal budgeting in the public school curriculum -- and, as a result, 70% of college students can't answer basic questions about money, interests, loans and investments.



    Talking to our kids about finances is not the solution. "I talk to my kids about money all the time -- about what a bank does, what a credit card is," Benny says.  "But I can see their eyes glaze over when I lecture them. After about 15 seconds, it's OK, dad, whatever."



    Practical experiences with money management is much more effective. So, in lieu of buying football cleats for his sons, Benny gave them each $90 (the most he was willing to spend on a pair of cleats) and allowed them to shop. He told them they could keep whatever money they didn't spend on cleats and use it however they liked.



    "The guys spent the weekend researching cleats," Benny said, and ultimately bought a pair that was $55. In the process, the boys learned more than there would from dozens of hours of lectures.



    Giving your boys the space and freedom to make financial choices can be difficult, especially if you see your son about to make what you're sure will be a costly mistake. But allowing them to make financial mistakes in their youth may spare them from making ever bigger mistakes in adulthood.



    "You never learn any better than by making your own mistakes," Benny says. "The failures are important."





    In this episode, Jen, Janet & Benny discuss:



    * Allowance policies -- to tie to chores, or not?

    * Why cash isn't as valuable to kids today as digital money

    * How to teach boys the value of money

    * Why you must give boys the opportunity to manage money

    * How not to raise entitled jerks

    * Allowing boys to make financial mistakes

    * Talking about family finances



    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    Jassby.com -- Benny's chore & mobile allowance app



    The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous and Smart About Money, by Ron Lieber -- book mentioned at 19:40



    Just Don't Be an A*****e -- ON BOYS episode featuring Kara Kinney Cartwright



    a href="https://on-boys.blubrry.

    • 41 min
    Parenting Outside the Lines with Meghan Leahy

    Parenting Outside the Lines with Meghan Leahy

    Parenting outside the lines frees us up to connect with our children in an authentic way.



    It allows us to skip over the "must do's" and simply, instead, do the next right thing in any given moment. And if the "right thing" ultimately takes us a direction we don't want to go, it gives us the opportunity to apologize and course correct. It encourages us to trust the wisdom deep within.



    "I haven't yet found a parent who's really changed their parenting based on 'studies say,'" says Meghan Leahy, a mom of three, parenting coach and author of Parenting Outside the Lines: Forget the Rules, Tap Into Your Wisdom and Connect with Your Child. "I've never told a parent, 'Well, studies say if you don't yell, your kid will be happier,' and had the parent say, 'oh my god, I didn't know that! Now I'll stop yelling.'"



    Early in her career as a parenting coach, Meghan taught parents strategies they could use to manage their kids' behavior. But only some parents were successful with those strategies. Other parents used the same exact techniques and did not see the positive changes they were expecting. She learned that "strategies are neither here nor there. One may work; one may not. But if the underpinning of compassionate, boundaried connection isn't there, it doesn't matter."





    In this episode, Jen, Janet & Meghan discuss:



    * The importance of connection

    * Learning to trust yourself

    * How modern culture has made parenting more difficult

    * Why it's OK to not know what to do

    * What to do when your son doesn't want to do an activity he once loved

    * Parenting during the pandemic

    * The link between kindness and resilience

    * Screen time (and why you need to look at your screen habits before tackling your kids' screen time)

    * How to enjoy parenting



    Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode:

    Parenting Outside the Lines: Forget the Rules, Tap Into Your Wisdom and Connect with Your Child -- Meghan's book



    Meghan's Washington Post On Parenting columns



    mlparentcoach.com -- Meghan's website



    How to Raise a Boy with Michael C. Reichert -- ON BOYS episode mentioned at 07:11



    The Neufield Institute -- courses, events and resources from Gordon Neufield, PhD (mentioned at 8:47)



    Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids, by Kim John Payne and Kim Ross -- book mentioned at 16:07



    My Suddenly Sedentary Teen Seems Stuck. How Much Should I Push Him to Move? -- Meghan's column about the soccer player (mentioned at 17:24)



    Sponsor Spotlight: Hiya Health



    HEALTHY children’s vitamins — no sugar or “gummy junk” included! Made from a blend of 12 farm-fresh fruits & veggies, Hiya Health vitamins are the easy way to get your boys the nutrition they need.  Use discount code ONBOYS at checkout to save 50%. a href="https://www.on-boys-podcast.

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

Top Podcasts In Kids & Family

Listeners Also Subscribed To