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
    • 4.6, 49 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.

    Sexual Abuse Affects Boys Too (w Lawrence Cohen)

    Sexual Abuse Affects Boys Too (w Lawrence Cohen)

    Photo by Lee Carson via Flickr



     1 in 5 boys experience sexual abuse before their 18th birthday. 



    More than one-quarter of male victims of a completed rape (27.8%) experienced their first rape when they were 10 years of age or younger.



    And 43% of men report experiencing some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime.  



    Today's guest, psychologist Lawrence Cohen, founded one of the first therapy groups for male survivors of sexual abuse. As recently as the 1980s and '90s, there was little public awareness that males could be victims of sexual abuse. Indeed, even today, parents and teachers spend much more time talking to girls than boys about the possibility of sexual abuse or harassment. Girls are taught how to stay safe & how to call for help; boys are mostly told to not sexually abuse or harass females.



    "The lack of awareness, education and understanding leaves boys very vulnerable," Dr. Cohen says. Societal expectations also contribute to boys' vulnerability to sexual abuse. Consider:



    * Boys are socialized to believe that males should want sex at any time, anywhere, with anybody

    * Boys aren't encouraged to feel or express their emotions

    * Boys are not cuddled, loved and nurtured in the same way girls are



    "Boys walk around hungry for that kind of nurturing, touch and gentleness, and unfortunately, there are people who will exploit that and take advantage of that," Dr. Cohen says.



    The #MeToo movement has brought the issue of sexual assault and harassment into public conversation, but the "dominant [public] view is that men are the perpetrators and women are the victims," Dr. Cohen says. Which means that it is absolutely essential for parents and teachers of boys to counter that prevailing narrative. Boys need to know that they (or their friends) can be victims of sexual assault or harassment. They need to be taught red flags that indicate questionable behavior, and they need to know how to safely reach out for help.



    NOTE: We know our sound quality is less-than-ideal on this episode. Jen's desktop computer AND laptop crashed right before we were scheduled to record, which meant she had to use her phone to join the conversation. Please forgive the poor sound quality; we had Larry on the line and thought his message was important enough to power through our technical challenges.

    In this episode, Jen, Janet & Lawrence discuss:



    * Why so many men & boys don't disclose sexual abuse

    * How sexist stereotypes and unhealthy expectations of masculinity increase boys' vulnerability to abuse

    * Why you must teach young boys about emotions

    * Educating boys about consent and boundaries

    * The importance of acknowledging sexual pleasure -- & the fact that bodies may respond, whether or not the touch was wanted or welcome

    * Violent vs seductive sexual abuse

    * Grooming leading to sexual abuse

    * The emotional impact of abuse

    * How to support a boy or man who discloses abuse

    * What to do if you have a "gut feeling" that something is wrong

    * How roughhousing teaches boys about healthy touch





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

    PlayfulParenting.com -- Lawrence's website



    Stop Sexual Abuse with These 6 Steps -- classic BuildingBoys post



    a href="https://buildingboys.

    • 30 min
    Why Boys Need Chores – with Victoria Prooday

    Why Boys Need Chores – with Victoria Prooday

    Chores, Victoria Prooday says, are the most efficient way to build our boys' emotional muscle.



    Prooday, a psychotherapist, occupational therapist and speaker, is convinced that self-regulation is the key to success -- and science backs up her assertion. As early as 1998, psychologists were publishing papers and chapters stating that, "Self-regulation has major, important implications for success in life...People who are good at self-regulation show a multitude of advantages over other people, in both task performance and interpersonal relations."



    Meanwhile, our best parenting intentions led us astray. "Even thought we know the the key to success in life is self-regulation, what we offer our children is a lifestyle that promotes the exact opposite," Prooday says. "They are constantly entertained. There is not a moment of boredom. No responsibilities, no chores."



    The answer, she says, is to "educate our children about what will actually make them successful," Grades and popularity don't guarantee success or satisfaction. Instead, our children need to develop the ability to work hard and persist despite challenges and boredom.



    Chores can help our children develop self-regulation, but (as you've likely already learned), simply telling your child (OK, yelling at your child) "You need to help me around the house!" is not effective. That's why Prooday explains the why to children.



    "Your brain is just like a muscle," she says. "You train it the same way you train a physical muscle; you train your emotional muscle." Prooday emphasizes that fact that regular chores -- which must be done even though they're boring and regardless of whether or not one feels like doing them -- help the brain develop persistence and the ability to delay gratification.





    In this episode, Jen, Janet & Victoria discuss:



    * How good intentions can lead us astray

    * Regulation vs. dysregulation

    * How chores build self-discipline

    * Why parents should talk to children about the effects of technology on the brain

    * Balancing physical activity with screen time during the pandemic

    * The 20-20-20 rule -- when using screens, look away every 20 minutes, for 20 seconds, to a distance of 20 feet

    * Setting kids up for success

    * How frequent breaks can fuel productivity (& decrease fighting about online school!)

    * The importance of handwriting

    * Benefits of handwritten assignments vs. screen-based assignments

    * Tapping into boys' desire to contribute to the greater good



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

    yourot.com -- Victoria's website



    The Silent Tragedy Affecting Today's Children -- Victoria's 35 million download blog post



    Screens and Boys -- ON BOYS episode

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    • 40 min
    Single Parenting w Wealthy Single Mommy Emma Johnson

    Single Parenting w Wealthy Single Mommy Emma Johnson

    There are 10 million single moms in the United States. Many are raising boys.



    And despite the naysayers, many are doing a great job!



    Is single parenting difficult, especially during a pandemic? Absolutely. But single moms have more power and potential than they realize, says Emma Johnson, aka Wealthy Single Mommy.



    Johnson, a single mom of two (a boy and a girl), is the author of The Kickass Single Mom: Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self and Raise Fabulous, Healthy Children. She's also the founder of Wealthy Single Mommy and a strong advocate for shared parenting.







     

    In this episode, Jen, Janet & Emma discuss:



    * Parenting during the pandemic

    * Single parent stressors

    * How single moms can give to others

    * Building systems of support

    * Co-parenting -- & how to navigate co-parenting during a pandemic

    * How (& why) moms need to to include fathers





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

    Wealthy Single Mommy -- Emma's website



    The Kickass Single Mom: Be Financially Independent, Discover Your Sexiest Self, and Raise Fabulous, Happy Children, by Emma Johnson



    Single Mom Stimulus Grant - Emma is currently giving away $500 each week to a single mom, no strings attached. Apply here



    Moms for Shared Parenting --  an activist organization promoting equally shared parenting



    Is Shared Parenting Best for Boys After Divorce? -- BuildingBoys blog post



    Millionaire Single Moms -- Emma's FB group



    Being a Single Mom During This Pandemic is No Small Feat -- Your Teen article



    In Defense of Single Moms Raising Boys -- BuildingBoys blog post



    Tips for Single Moms Raising Boys -- BuildingBoys blog post

    LIKE THIS EPISODE? Share it with your friends (and thanks!):

    Twitter:



    Facebook:



    Linkedin:

    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 opt-in at  BuildingBoys.net, too!



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



    Twitter:  @ParentAdvisor and @BuildingBoys 



    LinkedIn:  use this link for Janet and a href="https://ww...

    • 38 min
    Mom is in Control with Heather Chauvin

    Mom is in Control with Heather Chauvin

    Is mom in control at your house? 



    We don't mean "in control" in the dictator sense, or in the mom-is-storming-around-the-house-yelling-at-everyone way. We don't even mean "in control" to mean "your house is neat and orderly and your children do exactly as you say."



    We mean in control of YOURSELF.



    After all, the only thing you can really control are your thoughts and actions.



    "The first thing I always say is, if you want to feel in control in your life, you have to give up control," says Heather Chauvin , a strategic parenting expert and mom of 3 boys, currently ages 7, 10 and 15. "Because when you're trying to control you children's behavior, when you're trying to control and plan with no flexibility and then this happens and your routine is blown up, you will feel out of control."



    So, let go. Figure out where you want to focus your time and energy. Figure out how you want to feel. Then, make choices that reflect those priorities.



    It's OK to insert a pair of ear plugs when you need some peace and quiet. (In fact, Heather recommends investing in a pair of noise-canceling headphones!) You do not need to be available to your children, your partner, your work or your friends 24/7. You too deserve down time and time to work on personal projects -- and you will be a better mom if you give yourself that time.



    "When you're able to figure out how to protect yourself -- your space, your energy -- you're literally teaching your children how to respect themselves," Heather says.





    In this episode, Jen, Janet & Heather discuss:



    * Coping with increased screen time

    * Why you should invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones

    * Boundary setting

    * Motivating boys

    * How you can change the energy in your home -- & get your boy to come out of his room

    * Dealing with online school

    * Letting go of other people's expectations

    * Helping our kids handle anxiety and uncertainty



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

    heatherchauvin.com -- Heather's online home



    Mom is in Control -- Heather's podcast



    Mom is in Control Business podcast -- Heather's business-oriented podcast

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    • 47 min
    Understanding Gender with Dr. Alex Iantaffi

    Understanding Gender with Dr. Alex Iantaffi

    A generation ago, few people thought much about understanding gender.



    Then, gender seemed simple and straightforward: boy or girl, male or female.



    Things are different today. Merriam-Webster declared they the 2019 word of the year, and there's increasing recognition of the fact that gender is not strictly binary.



    What does this have to do with boys? Well, our boys are living in a time when it's okay to openly discuss and think about gender. Many of our boys have peers who self-identify as gender-fluid or genderqueer -- and even if they don't have personal friends or acquaintances who are navigating the gender continuum, our sons are growing up in the world in which they (and we) can't assume a person's gender based on physical appearance or anything else. Also: some of us are learning that children we pegged as our daughters might actually be our sons.



    For many parents (and teachers) -- who grew up in times and places where gender wasn't discussed or pondered but assumed -- this "new" reality can be a bit confusing. But as Alex Iantaffi tells us, gender fluidity has been a part of human experience for millennia.



    "Gender creativity has always existed across time and space," says Dr. Iantaffi, a licensed marriage and family therapist, parent and author of numerous books about gender. "But at some point in modern science, we have developed this idea of a gender binary and now we think that's 'normal' and 'natural.'"



    This is a must-listen episode for modern parents who are interested in understanding gender.

    In this episode, Jen, Janet & Alex discuss:



    * Real-life pandemic parenting

    * All the terms: LGBTQ+, LGBTQIA, LGBTQ2S, cisgender, trans, non-binary, pansexual, gender fluid, intersex, heteronormative

    * The difference between gender & sexuality

    * Is the internet responsible for gender curiosity?

    * Gender creativity throughout history

    * How to support a child who is questioning gender

    * What to do if your boy tells you he's a girl

    * Inclusive language

    * Protecting a gender-nonconforming child in the larger world

    * Harassment of trans, nonbinary and LGBTQ childre



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

    alexiantaffi.com -- Alex's online home



    Gender Stories -- Alex's podcast



    Gender Reveal -- another podcast, recommended by Alex



    Life Isn't Binary: On Being Both, Beyond and In-Between, by Alex Iantaffi and Meg-John Barker



    How to Understand Your Gender: A Practical Guide to Exploring Who You Are, by Alex Iantaffi and Meg-John Barker



    Why Inclusive Sex Ed is So Important -- article by Jen

    Additional Resources Recommended by Alex:

    Sorted: A Memoir of Growing Up, Coming Out, and Finding My Place (A Transgender Memoir), by Jackson Bird



    a href="https://www.goodreads.

    • 41 min
    Parenting Your Adult Children

    Parenting Your Adult Children

    The phrase "adult children" is an oxymoron: the words adult and children clearly describe very different things, and it's impossible to be an adult and a child at the same time.



    Except it's not. Most of us are adult children; Jen is 47 and a bona fide adult, but she's also still the child of Al & Pat Wondra. She's also the parent of at least one adult child, a 22 year old who's been living independently for 4 years.



    Of course, the parent/child relationship changes as children grow into adults -- and that transition can be fraught and confusing for both parents and children.



    Jen & her 2 oldest boys



    "Our kids grow and change, and so do we as parents," Janet says. Supporting our emerging adults' ambitions isn't always easy. Sometimes, their goals -- to move far away, for instance -- conflict with our personal preferences. Sometimes, we're genuinely concerned for our grown kids' well-being because our years of living have alerted us to dangers our children haven't yet encountered. It's not easy to thread the needle between support and protection.



    "I've had to step aside and quietly support the choices my children have made," Janet says -- including her daughter's decision to spend 6 months in Europe as a high school junior and, later, 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer in western Africa. "The adjustment I've had to make in myself and my children have been huge. It's gut-wrenching sometimes."



    It all comes down to love



    "We love our kids so much," Janet says. "We want the best for them, and meanwhile we have to nurture that little crack in our hearts."

    In this episode, Janet & Jen discuss:



    * Acknowledging the many emotions we experience as our children grow

    * Adjusting to reality

    * Navigating our aging process alongside our kids' (Menopause + puberty!)

    * The lack of support for parents of adult children

    * Finding friendship with your children

    * Handling our feelings of grief and loss

    * The importance of staying connected to your own interests



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

    The Truth About Parenting Teen Boys -- the BuildingBoys  blog post Jen mentions at 13:13



    On Graduation & Growing -- BuildingBoys blog post

    LIKE THIS EPISODE? Share it with your friends (and thanks!):

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    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! .

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
49 Ratings

49 Ratings

Puppy Pale ,

This is actually kinda funny

I thought this was a podcast about how to take to boys(like, how to get out of the friend zone) but then all the reviews about “I’m a mother of (random number) and this podcast really helped me” and I noped right out of this podcast 😂👏👏

Stephbaters ,

My favorite podcast!

I’m a mom of two boys and it isn’t always easy. Janet and Jennifer’s podcast always have the best stories and advice to help me navigate through this wonderful adventure of raising boys . They let you know it’s not always going to be perfect and I’ve applied so much of the advice they give into helping raise my boys . Their podcast are always so relevant and they cover so many of the dilemmas many parents of boys run into. I always look forward to each new episode.

TrooperScout ,

Great Info and Always A Good Laugh

These two ladies give such great prospective. I love their different views as both a mom of boys and an educator. As a mom of two boys I relate to so much that is shared and have grown so much in my understanding of my boys and their interactions in life.

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