Teacher Tom Talks About Boys, Emotions & Play

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Manage episode 294576164 series 2125047
By Janet Allison, Jennifer LW Fink, Janet Allison, and Jennifer LW Fink. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Like us, Teacher Tom is concerned about how we raise our boys. "In our culture, we have a society where men are lonely, men have higher suicide rates and men are more prone to violence, and sexual abuse. And I don't think that's in the nature of men. I think it's somehow in the nature of how we're raising men," says Tom Hobson, aka "Teacher Tom," a preschool teacher at Woodland Park Cooperative Schools. "A big piece of it -- and huge piece of it -- is around emotions." The only negative emotion males are allowed in society, he says, is anger. Boys as young as 4 and 5 begin walling off their emotions. "We treat boys and girls differently, and we treat their emotions differently," Tom says. "We need to let them know that whatever they feel, it's OK to feel that." Of course, giving kids time and space to experience their emotions isn't always easy when you're being pulled in a thousand different directions. Whenever possible, though, Tom suggests prioritizing the people who need support with their emotions. Allowing wrestling and roughhousing can also help boys manage their emotions and friendships. "Wrestling can be an act of love between boys," Tom says, noting that many adults (especially women) misunderstand boys' motives and stop what they view as aggression. "It you watch two boys wrestling, most of the time, they are paying such close attention to each other, to one another's bodies and their facial expressions. Half the time, they're looking into each other's eyes as they're wrestling, and it is a beautiful thing to see." In this episode, Jen, Janet & Tom discuss: Males in early childhood education The influence of gender expectations on emotional development Helping boys deal with emotions Societal changes that have made it difficult for families to thrive ("We've made parenting unnecessarily difficult," Tom says.) The role of bickering in boys' development Creating a "yes space" in your house Boys' friendships What female teachers & parents misunderstand about boys, wrestling & roughhousing Agreements vs rules Why you have to give boys time to respond Teaching boys consent Encouraging curiosity, wonder & questioning Loose parts play Links we mentioned (or should have) in this episode: Teacher Tom -- Tom's blog Teacher Tom's Facebook page It "Works" Every Time -- Tom's 2019 blog post about creating space to finish a cry (mentioned at 13:47) Teacher Tom's Play Summit 2021 -- FREE online summit, June 20-25 (mentioned at 50:17) The Art of Roughhousing (w Dr. Lawrence Cohen) -- ON BOYS episode Why Boys Do What They Do - classic Building Boys blog post, mentioned at 43:46 Sponsor Spotlight: Hiya Health HEALTHY children’s vitamins — no sugar or “gummy junk” included! Made from a blend of 12 farm-fresh fruits & veggies, Hiya Health vitamins are the easy way to get your boys the nutrition they need. Use discount code ONBOYS at checkout to save 50%.

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