Niobe Way


On her book Deep Secrets: Boys' Friendships and the Crisis of Connection

Cover Interview of June 28, 2011


More generally, we need to rethink how we are defining maturity, what are goals are for our children, and how we are raising and schooling our children.

Maturity in this culture is equated with independence, autonomy, and separating from others.

Given the research underscoring the necessity for all humans of having social and emotional skills and close relationships, maturity should be defined as ability to have mutually supportive, intimate, and deeply empathic relationships.  If that was the epitome of maturity, the way we think about parenting and about schooling our children would radically change.

In addition, if we paid attention to the decades of research underscoring the importance of friendships for the wellbeing of males and females, we would also change the way we parent and school our children.  Rather than autonomy, independence, or critical thinking, the goals of development would be to foster children’s social, emotional, and cognitive capacities so that they can thrive in all areas of their lives.

© 2011 Niobe Way