My favorite book of 2009 is Boys Adrift by Leaonard Sax, MD PhD. He writes about the five factors affecting boys and young men causing them to be lazy, unmotivated and underachieving. It is a great read for parents of boys and teachers. He writes about the five factors causing this epidemic which are: changes in school, video games, ADHD medications, endocrine disrupters (BPA, phalates, etc. and their influence on males) and the lack of multiple male role models that pass on what it means to be a man to boys as they are growing up. The last chapter is about the solutions to those five factors. The biggest solution in the author's opinion is to have boys at schools tailored to them, such as all boys schools or at least an all boys classroom. I am definitely considering finding that for my boys. I also think that all girls schools make a lot of sense. I think girls would also grow up with more confidence and possibly less boy obsession and distraction in the formative years. Separate boys and girls schools may seem counter-feminist and like going back-in-time but when you look at what you want to instill within your children, confidence in who God created them to be is very important and very difficult to encourage in our culture.
Boys Adrift has helped me examine what I want for my boys as they grow up. The book doesn't talk about bigger subjects of personal character, morals or God but it did bring lots of questions to my mind as I help raise my boys. What do I want to see them achieve and become in life? What kind of person do I want them to be? What qualities do I want to instill in them? And how do I bring them up to know and love the God of the universe and the father of Jesus?