Best of 2019


The ON BOYS audience grew by 340% this year. We now have listeners in more than 110 countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, the UK, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Botswana and Bolivia — which means that our message of support for boys is resonating and empowering parents worldwide.

This year, we hosted 33 guests, ranging of Phyllis Fagell of Middle School Matters fame to Katy Rank Lev, an ON BOYS listener who shared with us the reality of parenting three young sons. We tackled a wide variety of topics, including esports, vaping, racism, mental health and suicide. We shared, we laughed and sometimes, we cried.

Next year, we’ll tackle more timely topics and introduce you to more guests. (Already slated for the new year: an episode about the apps your kids use on a daily basis, and a conversation with Meagan Francis of The Mom Hour.)

But first, we review 2019.

In this episode, Jen & Janet discuss our favorite episodes of 2019:

Steve Biddulph on Raising Boys — our most popular episode of the year!

A basic knowledge of boy development, coupled with general familiarity with the many challenges boys face, will help you parent your son. (“There are risk factors to being a boy,” Steve says, pointing out that males are 3 times more likely to die by age 25 than females.) Learning more about the “Full-On 4s” and the “Emotional 8s” will increase your understanding of your son, so you can respond more effectively to his mood changes and growth.

How to Raise a Boy with Michael C. Reichert

Raising good boys, Reichert says, is really quite simple.  “If we violate boys’ basic natures, bad outcomes will ensue,” he says, “If we meet their basic needs, they’re likely to wind up connected to their hearts, connected to their virtue and connected to their goodness.”

Breaking the Boy Code

While many people talk about boys, Jonathon talks with boys. He gives them a safe space to explore their thoughts and experiences of masculinity, and he gives them a venue to share their insights with others.

“My Boy Can” Parenting

At age 4, Sassy Harvey’s son was told that if he dances, he must be a girl. Or gay. 

Not surprisingly, he quit dance class soon after that.

Parent From Love, Not Fear (w Bryan Post)

The best part about love- vs. fear-based parenting is that you don’t have to understand and even know the details of your child’s trauma. Often, Post says, adoptive parents feel frustrated because they are overwhelmed by their child’s behavior and don’t even know the details of the child’s life pre-adoption. No matter, he says. The parent is likely overwhelmed and frustrated because the “energy of the child triggers something that is already there.” Identifying and dealing with that energy (aka unresolved issue) will lead to dramatic improvement in the parents’ ability to connect with their child.

Charlie Capen on Fatherhood and Raising Boys

A generation ago, there were few — if any — spaces for dads to discuss the challenges of parenthood. Today’s dads often grew up with career-focused fathers who spent little time on day-to-day childcare. Now, fathers are increasingly involved in their children’s lives but they’re still stymied by stereotypes. Capen is one of the many dads who are blazing a new trail.

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

Building Boys Bulletin — Jen’s newsletter (You can also sign-up via BuildingBoys)

Boys Alive Clubhouse — Janet’s new membership site

How to Have a Perfectly Imperfect Christmas — video mentioned at 5:00. Features 2 of our favorite guests, Dr. Vanessa Lapointe & Maggie Dent!


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

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