Thinking Out Loud

Girls or Boys: Who is worse off?

Like many, I’m drawn to reading research and opinions about the state of boys and girls in today’s world and which sex is struggling more. It’s a question I’m not going to answer both because I don’t think it’s a particularly helpful question and because I don’t think it can be answered.

To see the differences clearly, we could make a chart showing the good and bad elements for both girls and boys. For example: More boys have ADHD, more girls have low self-esteem. Boys have higher SAT scores in math, girls have better verbal communication skills. Let’s not take our foot off the feminist accelerator or girls will get marginalized. Let’s not forget the high school drop out rate for boys. . . . To do this thoroughly, we’d need to weight the elements to find out which sex has it worse, but doing that, I’m sure, would devolve into some kind of political warfare. How could it not? Read More

Where Does the Story Begin?

I could be glib and say, “at the beginning,” but that’s the point. Where is the beginning of any story? I spend a lot of time listening to stories that begin with, “Here’s what happened . . .” When two (or more) people are involved, there are usually related but different accounts. Of course, most of us try to establish that our account is the accurate (real) story, and experience tells us that this process generally goes nowhere and continues to breed defensiveness. Read More

Communication as Energy

Recent research tells us that brief encounters (communication) with neighbors and other community members have a direct bearing on our mood and sense of well being. In fact it has greater immediate impact on us than those more intimate in our social worlds. Read More

Connecting With Kids

The world of childhood seems far away to some, and yet to others is so accessible. We were all once children, but when we cross the divide into adulthood, our memories reconfigure. For some the connection to childhood, and thus to children is very natural. Others find it foreign and awkward. Connecting to and communicating with kids, and being comfortable in their presence can be confusing. Read More