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Blog Archives

Motivation for Boys: What Can We Do About It

by Bill McMahon, Director

The other day I came across Leonard Sax’s 2016 book, Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men. In the book, Sax makes the case that boys are doing worse relative to motivation and success at school—and relative to life in the “real world”—than at any other point in recent modern history. He cites the fact that the proportion of male undergraduates within the collegiate student body has dropped from 70% in 1949 to 42% in 2006 as a key indicator of the problem.

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Why kids at “high-achieving schools” are now an “at risk” group and what we should be doing about it

by Bill McMahon, Director

The research is in: students at “high achieving schools” are now an “at risk” group. A Washington Post article from this past fall states that: “…studies have found that adolescents in high-achieving schools can suffer significantly higher rates of anxiety, depression, substance abuse and delinquent behaviors, at least two to three times the national average.” And, these schools are the public and private institutions parents are all trying to get their kids into because of the quality of the programming and the positive testing and placement outcomes.

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What the Research Tells Us Boys Need to Become Their Best Selves

The following is an excerpt from a talk Bill gave at Moosilauke’s 2019 Parents’ Day.

It seems like we are in the golden age of research and media related to what young people need to become happy, healthy, successful—and to develop the potential for leadership.

Two things come to mind when I ponder all the recommendations from the research that I have read. The first is that what the experts endorse is not complicated;

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Why Your Child Needs a Little Stress and Mess

By Bill McMahon, Director

William Stixrud and Ned Johnson in their new book, The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives, are the latest authors to sound the alarm bell about the mental health of young people today. They write: “Adolescents and young adults today are five to eight times more likely to experience the symptoms of an anxiety disorder than young people were at earlier times,

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The More Parents Help, the More They Can Hurt

By Bill McMahon, Director

“How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Over parenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success” is a recent book that has received significant press and attention, in part, because the author–Julie Lythcott-Haims–was the dean of freshmen at Stanford.

Here is the book’s thesis in a nutshell: our young adults today are not happy, healthy, or resilient; this is especially true of the elite achievers at hyper selective schools;

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