Cracking the Boy Code by Adam Cox

Cracking the Boy Code by Adam Cox

Author:Adam Cox
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: New Society Publishers
Published: 2017-07-11T16:00:00+00:00

Key Premises

Pondering big concepts like authenticity, it’s easy to get caught in abstractions and a misunderstanding of basic assumptions. This is a challenge that comes up in a clinical setting like my office, and which I want to address here. All participants need to be on the same page. Most people are reading this book as a means of getting practical advice. Whatever guidance I can provide about authenticity is based on certain assumptions about childhood and youth, for example how people change and develop. These beliefs are the foundation of my insights, and I think it is important — and fair — that I share them with you.

One of my basic assumptions is that personhood is fluid and malleable. If I didn’t believe this, it would be pointless to offer advice on how to shape the development of a child. Even though growth as a process is widely acknowledged, many retain a deterministic understanding of human character development. Some consider that genes are the definitive building blocks of personhood, the final determinants of a person’s temperament and character. There is certainly good reason to respect the role of genes in shaping personality and behavior, but noting this fact is where discussion about other influences should begin, not end. All people contend with the influence of genes, but that should not lead us to a place of resignation. Instead, we should focus on which aspects of a boy’s development can be affected by guidance and experience.

Let me clarify what I mean by personhood being “fluid.” First, it doesn’t always mean steady, positive momentum. Sometimes that’s true, but fluid can just as easily mean a state of chaos or regression. In fact, that sort of upheaval is usually what brings a person or family into my office. The notion of a life in chaos is anxiety-provoking, but think of a milder form of chaos, such as flux, and your perspective might brighten. One of the gifts of youth is a more flexible mind. This is true on both a biological and psychological level. Young people are wired to learn, and many are sponges for knowledge that can lead them toward a life consistent with their needs and ideals. I realize some boys are instead bound by rigid thinking, and repetitive, self-sabotaging behavior. But even those individuals will allow themselves to be positively influenced when they believe others are advocating for their happiness, rather than trying to control them.



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