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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Raising Cain

I was blown away this past week by Raising Cain. I don't mean the 1992 film with John Lithgow of Harry and the Hendersons and Footloose fame, but the PBS documentary based on the best selling book Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Lives of Boys. The documentary, Raising Cain: Boys in Focus, is hosted by the book's co-author, child psychologist Michael Thompson, Ph.D., and explores the emotional development of boys in today's society.

I've always considered my upbringing to be fairly successful - I had engaged and supportive parents & siblings where our basic needs were taken care of, and I was shielded from trauma. But that didn't make growing up easy, especially under the shadow of three older sisters. Even when I was young, I have always been fascinated with the development process, specifically that of boys. In college I wrote papers on the process that boys go through to become men. While in Lesotho, I was able to interview men that had, and had not, gone through the male initiation ritual that had been custom for the Basotho for as long as anyone had remembered, but was being lost under western influence.

Now that I am a father of a spirited 1.5 year old boy, I find myself more interested then ever in the psychological development of boys. I see all around me boys young and old with short fuses, full of anger, struggling in a world that appears to provide them with limitless opportunities. What can be done to create a society of strong, responsible, and open men? What can I do to raise a son that is solid and full of goodness and light - and will bring those elements out of others?

This two-hour documentary is a start. It's an honest and refreshing look at the state of boys in America today, giving insights into how we have gotten where we are. Most of all, it provides a few tactics that parents and adults can take to better understand and raise our children.

The documentary was premiered on January 12, 2006. Check here for re-broadcast information. I've taped the program and am more then willing to pass it around to any who are unable to catch it on the TV.

Raising Cain: Boys in Focus - Trailer


  • At 1:50 PM, Blogger Flatlander said…

    I just checked and VPT isn't re-airing it. So, when you get a chance, I'd like to borrow the tape.

    By the way, I dropped off the stuff for your spirited 1.5 year old at your office.

  • At 11:42 AM, Blogger Isaac said…

    I look forward to watching the tape when we journey to Vt in Feb.

  • At 5:52 AM, Anonymous Kane said…

    My names Kane, and you posted this on my birthday ironically. Not looking for a plug lol, just noticed that. Anyways I think my parents referred to this book more than once seeing as I lived up the the name "Cain" far more than my fair share. I think having a behavioral disorder teacher for a mother shaped me up a little though :) I couldn't get a whole lot out of the sample video, but it looks like a good catch. Oh, and what about John Lithgow of Third Rock From The Sun fame, huh? Come onnnn


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