Boys, That maybe half of the reasons you are here reading this post, be it a mom wanting to know what is going on with their sons or you are a dad wanting to know how to navigate today’s society and still help your son become a strong confident young man.
The truth is if you are wanting to have a confident young man who grows up and becomes successful. You are going to need to see a few things that today’s society really doesn’t want you to do.
Our men and boys themselves are under attack. Now it’s not the,” round the men up and load them into cattle cars”. It is much more subtle. It is in the school from kindergarten all the way to college. It is in how society looks at men. It is what comes naturally to men.
There are terms bandied about like Toxic Masculinity, social justice, and many other buzzwords that are used to try to make men feel a certain way. Feel sorry for their masculinity. Sorry for being stronger for being the person people naturally turn to.
So what do boys of any age need in their young lives? What magic masculinity god do they need to look to so they have a good means of not paying attention to the crap that is being thrown at them? What can be done so they can stay confident and on course to their objectives in life?
Other Strong Men
The biggest need for boys is the need for strong men in their lives. Someone who is willing and able to get in their face when they have really screwed up and also has manly joking sessions about farts and such nonsense. The young men do even better when they are apart of a group of strong men who push each other to be better. That way they are able to see how men help each other and why being nonassertive doesn’t play well in being able to succeed. You don’t get your way unless you assert your needs and expectations. If you try to be passive life will pass you by, people will take advantage of you because you don’t know how to assert your thoughts and opinions into the group.
Sadly many young boys don’t have a strong ethical man in their life. It could be that they are living in the rougher side of town. The dad could be out of the picture and mom is doing what she can and glad she is trying but that lack of an ethical nobly strong man is missing from the boy’s life. That is where many young boys slide into the problem of crime, drugs, and poor decisions.
The need for a strong man in their life is also shown in the story of the African wildlife preserve that had taken most of the bull elephants out of this one park to help diversify the gene pool in other refuges around the area.
A few years after doing so they started having problems with rhinos in the park showing up being killed. These Rhinos were not shot but they didn’t know what was killing them. T9ill they discovered that the perpetrators were a band of juvenile elephants who were going out and killing these rhinos.
The Wildlife preserve decided to bring in adult bull elephants again to teach the delinquents. As they did the older elephants were able to control the juvenile elephants and teach them how to actually behave. The killings stopped and the juvenile elephants were then slowly dispersed to the other reserves.
You see the Juvenile elephants didn’t know how to act without the guidance of the older stranger males. They needed a strong male presence, the same as today’s young men they need to have a strong male presence That is why your boys need you to be a strong male presence.
Now, this sounds odd, right? When you think of violence you think of killings and maimings, and this isn’t what I am meaning. What I do mean is that boys, especially teens need to hit something. Be it each other on the football field or rolling on a jiu jitsu mat. Even grown men need physical exertion. With testosterone and our higher energy level, we need to have some type of controlled violence.
This physical violence also helps increase that testosterone level. Why do you this men are suddenly needing to boost their level of their testosterone? That’s because they are not practicing that controlled violence. They are sitting in the office or driving home from work, or watching the game. When they really need to be seeing if they can knock a tree down with a sledge hammer. Start throwing a 50lb rock around their yard? The wife may not like the divots that it makes. so you might just keep it to a strip at the back but still, throw whack, or anything to get aggressive.
This could be why many men these days have some type of hormonal imbalance. That is because when was the last time you grabbed a heavy object and started throwing it around the yard? When was the last time you wrestled with your son?
Wrestling is great. Vigorous running up and down some bleachers is needed. If you are used to walking steps then try stomping up the steps. Have your son do something that is slightly violent. Let them tear down an old shed you want to go.
Besides allowing extra pent up energy to be bled out though that physical activity. It also makes it to where men actually don’t want to face violence. That is one reason that idle hands are quicker to fight than to talk it out. You meet people who have been in a war. These men dont care to get into a fistfight nearly as much as the young buck who thinks he is the big dog in the bar.
You see this often in the world of deer. The young bucks are busy running around fighting every possible threat to their chance to breed with a doe. Yet while they are busy wearing themselves out the old buck stands back and lets the young ones wear themselves out while comes up behind them and has his choice of does waiting in the background.
These experienced bucks know when they need to fight and when they don’t. That is because they have already experienced enough violence. They have learned that all they have to do is wait for the younger deer to wear themselves out and he can have the pick of the litter.
So get your boys on a football team or some other sport. Maybe a martial art would be a better fit for them. That way they can expel that excess energy. They build confidence from being in the struggle. They have the taste of success as they gain a new belt. They are more focused while in school. The teenager can understand that that punk in school that wants to fight has no idea what he’s up against and that he looks like a fool trying to pick a fight with him. He doesn’t have to prove squat because he already knows how to defeat his opponent.
In school, many people are able to learn from a chalkboard. Yet many boys, especially younger boys actually struggle with the early grades and that is, they have way more energy than girls. The second reason is that many boys actually learn better by doing hands-on learning. They have to ask questions and take a physical look at what they are learning to fully understand what they are needing to get from the lesson. Some schools do a great job of this for instance the Montessori school system.
Their lessons are very hands-on. There are many different tools used to make sure that the child knows how the lesson applies. and they are able to get concrete knowledge because they are allowed to experiment with the lessons and find out why 2+2 always equals 4. The kids work on the problems till they fully understand. That is one reason most Montessori kids are so much further ahead than those in public schools.
What?!? Yeah I hear a few Karens in the world scream of outrage, but yeah kids need to have time to have unsupervised play. This is play where no adults are interjecting their thoughts into the social interaction. Many times kids have the ability to self regulate, yeah they can be a bit cruel, but no worse than adults can be cruel. Most kids want to be liked and being unsupervised in their play allows for them to fully come to understand why being nice and getting along is needed.
Too many times we structure a boys day to be so full that they really don’t have time to play. It’s soccer practice then we run to a football game. Don’t forget baseball, and the lacros. I mean it gets out of hand, and yes sports is good but sometimes that controlled violence plays out in day to day play. That is why boys have to try to one up each other. That is why we make swords out of sticks and learn to make bow and arrows out of the branches of a lilac bush.
The kids need to be able to make up their own games where the rules will often float a bit but if the balance gets too off they learn the skills of taking up for themselves and others. They learn that if they don’t like the way a deal is going that they don’t have to play that game they can go join another group. That is where most of the social skills come from unsupervised play not team sports.
Rites of Passages
Now this isn’t done nearly as much as I believe it should. There are many rituals in our lives yet the biggest ones are the rites of passage that have fallen away as society has become more and more busy.
The rite of passage shows a couple of important elements to boys. One that they have pass an age that they cant act like the younger kids. This maybe at the age of 13 Then another when they turn 16. Then one more rite of passage that takes place at the age of 18.
These are doors that they pas through and show them they are way stronger than they want to believe. It represents that they are growing up and that they have earned more responsibility. They are to be trusted more. These rites also show you the father that your son is becoming a man, and your roles change from parent to mentor.
Boys Need Both Parents
Now I get there are some who will scream that I am perpetuating the patriarchal order of the world and you know what they are correct. A married couple is a stronger unity than single people.
Many institutions in our society are used to push against men and their importance in raising kids. From the court systems, to schools to television all show that men are not needed for anything other than maybe comic relief.
Schools treat boys as broken girls because they don’t sit still so the kids are shoveled drugs to sedate them. Then when they try to get off the drugs they are flooded with all the emotions that were deadened.
Many young couples that I talk to aren’t married because if they get married they lose food stamps and sadly that is a common excuse. Yet because of this excuse many men are not a part of the family dynamic. There is nothing holding them to stay. So many boys don’t have that strong male influence in their life.
Then you add that when a divorce happens it is often falls on the father to pay money yet has little to no say in how their son is raised.
Then you take media and their portrayal of dad not needed except for being the goofball who wrecks everything they touch. Add a dash of modern music which celebrates how many people you can sleep with and you have the recipe of boys not getting what they need from their dads.
You have single mothers who are trying everything they can to do the job of two people in a house. These mothers are doing all they can but then they wonder why their young men become troubled. They have anxiety filled lives and questions they can’t get answered. Unlike what deconstructionists want you to think men and women are not the same. Women have a purpose in the raising of kids just as men do. Those roles are completely different.
Dads have a purpose to have a strong role model. To show their son how to fit into society to show them what their overall role in society is. That being men are to protect. Men are to provide. Finally men are to lead.
Without men in the house boys often don’t have the controlled violence that they need. Without that violence they look for conflict and often make up unneeded conflicts to fulfill that need in their lives.
Dads are there to show them how to protect their families and to be role models. Dads are there to show their daughters how men are to treat women. The kids get to see conflict resolution and how two healthy balanced adults can argue it out and find resolution.
Yes dads are there to play also and kids learn from that play. They show them the world that is available to them while also being a mentor in the later years of teenage angst.
Fathers teach boys that there is a time and a place for emotions. You don’t cry on the schermish line, it is expressed after the battle has been fought.
Moms are the yen to the yang. They are in a boy’s life to show him compassion and empathy. How do you see the other side of the story. Men show boys how to be tough. While moms are there to helps boys with the emotions.
Moms also show their sons how to women teach their men. How a woman who is strong can get her tasks done.
Bother parents are needed yeah there are times that life events prevent that from happening but it is on the parents to do everything in their power to show their sons how to work together. Why marriage is better and why living the single life isn’t nearly as awesome as society wants them to believe.
This is far from an exhaustive list of things that boys need in their lives. It is however some of the most important ingredients are listed for a boy.