Identity

Support Your Boy’s Healthy Development

What exactly do boys do? The answer is ANYTHING and EVERYTHING! From eating to dreaming, making mistakes to exploring, to hurting and loving, there is more to being a boy than meets the eye. What Boys Do by Jon Lasser, PhD, is a fun, affirming book that holds no restraints to traditional norms about what it means to be a boy. Here’s an adapted excerpt from Dr. Lasser’s Reader’s Note with strategies to support boys. In the case of boys, we often think in terms of stereotypes of masculinity. In many Western cultures, boys are expected to be tough, stoic, self-confident, independent, aggressive, assertive, ambitious, and insensitive. This gender role may be transmitted to boys at a very young age. Many psychologists and educators are concerned that gender role stereotypes can be harmful to boys and men...Boys and girls may function best when they can integrate qualities that are masculine and feminine. When restricted to the qualities associated with one gender, children may be limited in their potential. Adults can facilitate the healthy development of boys by supporting their personhood rather than the more narrowly defined boyhood.  Ways We Can Help Boys Read diverse books to boys. Look for books that feature male and female characters with diverse interests. Boys may enjoy stories that show girls as strong heroes, or stories in which boys have opportunities to be creative and loving. Engage in imaginative play with boys. Playing house or school involves interpersonal communication, role-play, and imagination. Through play, you communicate that boys can take on nurturing roles.  Support boys’ goals and interests. All too often we assume that a boy wants to play a sport or play with toy trucks. Many boys do have such interests, and it's good to support them. Even so, some boys have an interest in dance or theater. Provide boys with a variety of options and support them in pursuing that which aligns with their interests.  Help boys see that there are many ways to be a boy/man. Though gender role stereotypes are powerful, there are countless examples in our communities of boys and men who have both masculine and feminine qualities. When you observe them, point them out to boys. Practice unconditional positive regard for boys. We have an opportunity to express love and acceptance of boys regardless of their gender expression. Though some may criticize boys who deviate from gender stereotypes, we can promote healthy development by accepting boys for being who they are.  Boys can experience a range of feelings and behaviors. We can help boys by showing them that there are many ways to be a boy, and support boys for being who they are.

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Support Your Boy’s Healthy Development 2021-11-18T15:42:50-05:00

Celebrate Diversity with Books

October is Global Diversity Awareness Month.  Magination Press celebrates diversity in all its forms. It’s important for all children to see themselves reflected in books. Here are some of our recent publications that will engage young readers and can spark conversations about the world around them. Race and Ethnicity The Heart of Mi Familia by Carrie Lara, which was named a National Council on Social Studies/Children’s Book Council Notable book, follows a young girl as she works with her abuela and her grandma to create a wonderful birthday present for her brother. The gift celebrates her multicultural family and honors both sides and generations of her family. This follow-up to the award winning Marvelous Maravilliso: Me and My Beautiful Family is a must-read for all families. Lulu the One and Only by Lynnette Mawhinney, PhD, which one named one of Bank Street Colleges Best Children’s Books of the Year and a National Council on Social Studies/Children’s Book Council Notable book,explores the experience of a mixed-race child as she is repeatedly asked inconsiderate questions and how her brother helps her craft a powerful response.  Accordionly: Abuelo and Opa Make Music by Michael Genhart, PhD describes how a child brings his bicultural family together through music.  LBGTQ+ and Identity Papa, Daddy, & Riley by Seamus Kirst, which one named one of Bank Street Colleges Best Children’s Books of the Year and a National Council on Social Studies/Children’s Book Council Notable book, follows a little girl as explores what makes a family. After encountering questions about her family structure, Riley and her dads identify what every family is made of:  love. Jacob’s School Play: Starring He, She, and They by Sarah and Ian Hoffman chronicles how Jacob’s class finds itself unexpectedly struggling with identity, and what it means to be “he”, “she”, or “they” as they prepare for a school play.  Jacob’s School Play is an engaging way to introduce young readers to non-binary people and the pronoun options available to us all. Jacob’s School Play is a follow-up to Jacob’s Room to Choose, a book about gender expression. My Maddy by Gayle Pitman presents a child’s description of her gender-nonconforming parent. Publishers Weekly says the book “highlights the joy of in-between things—hazel eyes, sporks, sunrises, motorcycles ('It's not a car or a bicycle. It’s kind of both, and it’s something all its own') —gently illuminating the idea that people, too, can exist beyond categorization.”   Differently Abled Kids Brilliant Bea by Shaina Rudolph and Mary Vukadinovich explores the experience of a girl with dyslexia and how her teacher helps her find a way to showcase her strengths. Yes I Can!: A Girl and Her Wheelchair by Kendra J. Barrett, DPT, Jacqueline B. Toner, PhD, and Claire A. B. Freeland, PhD reflects the experience of a child who uses a wheelchair and how she can do almost everything the other kids can, even if sometimes she has to do it a little differently. Home and Family Issues Home by Tonya Lippert depicts the

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Celebrate Diversity with Books 2021-10-28T20:12:13-04:00

Celebrate LBGTQ History By Becoming an Ally

Evelyn Hooker is the extraordinary woman behind the research, advocacy, and allyship that led to the removal of the “Homosexuality” diagnosis from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A pioneering psychologist, Hooker was also a poet and a towering figure in LGBTQ+ rights.  Evelyn Hooker and the Fairy Project, written by Stonewall award-winning author Gayle Pitman, captures Hooker’s groundbreaking work like never before. At the end of the book, a “Note to Readers” provides information about how to be an effective ally to LGBTQ+ people; other end matter included are a timeline, discussion questions, reading list, and additional resources, all written by Sarah Prager. Here’s an excerpt from the “How to be a LBGTQ+ Ally” section: Limerick for Dr. Bieber There once was a doctor named Irving whose theories were rather unnerving. It seems so cliché that moms made their sons gay. A theory that’s not worth preserving! Evelyn Hooker wasn’t gay, but she helped gay people live better lives through her actions. That’s what an ally does--advocate on behalf of a group of people they are not a part of. Someone inside the LBGTQ+ community who advocates for gay rights isn’t an ally, they’re an activist. You have to be outside the group to be an ally. The word comes from war talk--your ally in a war is not your own armed forces, but forces that fight on the same side against a common enemy. Here are ways to be an effective Ally: Be Inclusive: This book focuses on gay people because that’s where the discussion was centered at the time. The LBGTQ+ community is made up of many more kinds of people than just gay and lesbian people. To be an ally to one, you should be an ally to the whole extended community. Be a Follower:  Being an ally is often about listening. Allies don’t tell their LBGTQ+ friends what they should do or how they should do it; they help their friends carry out what their friends want...they just help where they are needed and follow the direction of the group they want to  help. Be Proactive:  While following is important in many situations, so is taking initiative in other contexts. Don’t expect an LBGTQ+ person to explain everything about being LBGTQ+ to you. Try to do your own research before asking. It’s also the job of an ally to speak up for LBGTQ+ people in a situation where someone says something mean or incorrect about them. You can speak up without speaking over or instead of LBGTQ+ people. Be a Student:  Learn from your mistakes and realize that you’ll always be learning. Learn about: LBGTQ+ history, gender-neutral pronouns, and current issues important to the LBGTQ+ community. When you make a mistake, own it, apologize, and move on. Be a Friend:  Like you would for anyone, be a kind friend to LBGTQ+ people around you. Listen, offer support, respect people’s pronouns and identities, and show up when you are asked to. In the

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Celebrate LBGTQ History By Becoming an Ally 2021-10-26T18:08:27-04:00