Five Ways To Help Boys Make Friends
An interview with CNN, and a roundup of upcoming public events you can attend
Thanks to everyone who responded to my last newsletter, Everybody's Talking About The "Boy Crisis." Here's Why You Should Care. If you haven’t have a chance to read it yet, I’d love to know what you think.
I ended up talking about boys with CNN this week, so I wanted to share that along with some upcoming public events that I would LOVE to have you join! - Christopher
Five Ways You Can Help Boys Form Satisfying Friendships To Combat Loneliness And Its Damaging Effects
I’m all about sharing practical suggestions with parents and teachers, so I was glad to be able to contribute ideas to this piece this story by Phyllis Fagell for CNN. Here’.s a quick sample:
“Even though we’re more open to the idea that boys want friendship, we’ve created a culture that doesn’t value the skills associated with connection,” said Niobe Way, professor of developmental psychology at New York University and author of “Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection.”
For boys who need logistical help, “Say, ‘I want you to text three people,’” said Christopher Pepper, a teacher who coordinates boys’ groups in San Francisco Public Schools. Others may worry about hosting guests.
“Boys will say, ‘I don’t want them to be bored,’” said Ryan Wexelblatt, director of ADHD Dude, which offers in-person social skills programs for boys in Tucson, Arizona. “They can present a friend with two options, such as mini golf or bowling, instead of saying, ‘What do you want to do?’’
If you want to read more about what’s going on with boys, I highly recommend “The Epidemic of Male Loneliness” by, which includes some suggestions from me about how schools can address this issue.
UPCOMING EVENTS - You're Invited!
Youth Fentanyl Awareness Collaboration Forum - Online
Want to help spread awareness about fentanyl and fake pills to youth and adults in your community? Song For Charlie’s February forum will be tailored for teachers and other education partners who work in middle and high schools. Beaverton School District (Oregon) will share the successful Fake & Fatal program they implemented in their community, and I’ll be sharing ideas about what’s working in school districts in California. Thursday, February 8, 3-4:30pm PT / 6-7:30pm ET. Register for free.
SHAPE America Convention - In Person
SHAPE America (Society of Health and Physical Educators) serves as the voice for 200,000+ health and physical education professionals across the United States. The organization’s extensive community includes a diverse membership of health and physical educators, as well as advocates, supporters, and 50+ state affiliate organizations.
At SHAPE America’s 2024 Convention in Cleveland, I’ll be helping promote The New Drug Talk site with Song For Charlie (find us at booth 315) and presenting several sessions. Here are clickable promo graphics for two of them - I’d love to see you there!
Event Info: March 12-16, Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland. Register here
Stanford’s 5th Annual Teaching Cannabis Awareness & Prevention Virtual Conference - Online
This conference is for educators, community-based organizations, school administrators, healthcare providers, school resource officers, counselors, parents, and anyone else working with youth to learn about the latest research on youth and cannabis, including products being used, reasons for use, health effects, and the latest available lessons for teaching cannabis education and prevention to middle- and high school-aged youth.
The theme of the conference is the Triangulum: Cannabis, Tobacco, and Vaping. The intersection of these products is important to discuss, especially given more and more research showing that youth are likely using multiple tobacco and vaping products, and often use these products with cannabis.
I’ll be co-leading a session called “Approaches from Three Teachers on How to teach About Cannabis and Vaping with Students”
Event Info: April 17-18, 2024, 8 AM-2 PM PT/ 11 AM-5 pm ET (Sessions recorded and available to registrants later). Register here
A bit about me: I have a passionate belief that all young people deserve high-quality, fact-based information about their bodies and their health. After working as a professional journalist (and a volunteer sex educator!) for several years, in 2002 I decided to become a high school health teacher. Since then, I’ve taught thousands of young people about things like stress, sleep, healthy relationships, and substance use. For the last decade, I’ve also been coordinating the Young Men’s Health Project in San Francisco schools, which brings teen boys together in small groups to build positive, supportive relationships and discuss healthy masculinity. I’m currently co-writing the book TALK TO YOUR BOYS withand watching the remarkable video for Sleater-Kinney’s “Untidy Creature” featuring freediver Amber Bourke.
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