Are you all on the Ypulse.com mailing list? I love getting the daily collection of links and articles about kids/tweens/teens. One of the links today, though, really hit home, both on a professional and personal level. (Professional because I work on books for boys, and personal because I have a little boy.) Here's the link.
I know I'm not the first concerned person to ask what we can do about this "boy crisis" (and note that girls aren't safe either, with higher rates of depression and eating disorders, but the article seems to say that boys are worse off these days). How can we get kids to value education and reading and caring about themselves and others? I wish I could think of some big program that would fix things. Instead, I guess we all have to do what we can.
What I can do on a professional level is put my passion into helping to create books that boys will love--and making sure the messages inside the books are about teamwork, citizenship, caring, intelligence. We do that every day here at Stone Arch. We put a ton of heart and soul into each of our books, and I hope that when boys (and girls!) read them, they feel cared-for--because we do care about our readers. On a personal level, my husband and I can read to our son, give him lots of hugs, and model good behavior. We can make it clear that our values and priorities are in being caring to others and to ourselves. We can show him how much we love reading and writing. We can make him our first priority, even when he's not an infant anymore. We can make sure he knows he's worth it. Will that be enough? Maybe. I hope so. Will my professional work on books be enough? Certainly not. Everyone needs to do the same, in whatever way they can. I hope we can stop this crisis before it gets worse.