What Are We Doing to Our Boys!

What are we doing to our boys!!! We are creating a nation of scared, confused non-men!! Our society is so scared of the dangers lurking in every corner that we helicopter over our sons so much that this new generation is becoming non-confident, scared to touch and generally very, very wimpy! I have shaken more hands with young men that were raised by helicopter parents that personally, I have a stronger handshake then they do and feel I could hurt them – ewww! And when did men start calling a colorfully decorated room or an inanimate object “fun”? We live in a world of hyper-carefulness! What are we creating?

I raised three sons, for most of the time alone as a single mom. They were adventurous and predominately terrorized me, but they are strong men now! I have come in contact with many boys in past few years and after spending time with them, I just shake my head. The new breed of boys are afraid of everything. They don’t venture out away from the nest for fear of meeting Mr. Stranger-Danger! They don’t climb trees for fear of falling. They don’t ride their bikes for fear of falling off. They don’t concoct their little battles blowing up toy battleships in the garden pool for fear that someone would think they are dangerous! And they sure don’t hug each other or put the arm of comrade around their friends for fear they are turning into a pervert. God!! What did we do????

Now, I don’t suggest that we toughen up our little guys to the point of bullyness and I don’t suggest you teach them how shoot an arrow into their brother’s epiglottis (true story, ask my son Steve) or capture their brother and hog tie him to the bed (ummm. Josh??) but I suggest that we wise up. When was the last time any of us saw a gaggle of 8 years olds playing a non-supervised game of pickup baseball! Probably rarely because most of the are playing video games and don’t know how to invent play.

And the most disturbing trend is that in today’s society, grown-ups, especially men are being suspected, villianized and discriminated against because we all think every man with a child is a predator. In a blog that I felt hit the nail on the head is http://baconsrebellion.blogspot.com/2007/09/fear-of-men.html In this blog, the writer accurately portrays how we see men in today’s society. We are losing our “good” and “decent” male role models to the knee-jerk reaction of fear. And in turn we are creating men that are afraid because as parents we are afraid. And that in turn creates scared, non-confident boys!

When I was a child and young girl, I KNEW the difference between a good man and a icky one. I knew how to trust at least to the point I was safe. The unfortunate part of my era was that belief in what a child said was not always taken very seriously. But in today’s society we can blend the knowledge of the difference between the Stranger Danger and a Good Man because we can learn to communicate with our child.

We need to counteract the effects of male bashing by reaffirming our sons masculinity, teaching them good morals and being honest about who is a good role model and who is a bad person. I was lucky enough to have as single Mom strong male role models for my sons. Sure, I thought about predators out in the big, bad world, but I taught my sons to know the difference between good touch and bad, between good men and bad and I feel they grew up just fine.

And I let a little danger in their lives. I have recently been giving as a present to new moms a book called ‘The Dangerous Book for Boys’ by Hal Iggulden. In this book it teaches us not only simple tasks like how to make the greatest airplane in the world but how to treat women with consideration and to know the difference between good and evil.

Realize that there are good men out in today’s society and we need these good strong male role models or we will continue to create fear.

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16 Responses

  1. Hey Jude (hey…that would make a great song),

    Thanks for the site visit, by the way. Glad you enjoyed yourself.

    I know what you’re saying about making sure our boys grow up to be men.

    This is why I let my four year old boy stay up and watch soft-core Cinemax.

    Just kidding.

    I don’t make him stay up.

    I tape it for him.

  2. Mooooog!!! MOOOOG! I know there is a serious side of you in there! But please “communicate” to your son that not ALL women look like that! Yikes!!!!

  3. Mooooog!!! MOOOOG! I know there is a serious side of you in there! But please “communicate” to your son that not ALL women look like that! Yikes!!!!

  4. Mooooog!!! MOOOOG! I know there is a serious side of you in there! But please “communicate” to your son that not ALL women look like that! Yikes!!!!

  5. What an incredible and astute blog. As a man approaching middle age, well may be already there, I really am finding being a male of that age rather difficult for a multitude of reasons which you’ve hit upon in your blog. I’m the very proud father of an incredible, wonderful, beautiful strong willed daughter and an incredible, wonderful, crazy, witty, headstrong son who are both full of love and life and confidence. They’re both in their 20’s now; I helped raise them, change their nappies / diapers, clean them, hug them and hold them when sick etc, etc both while married and living with their mother and subsequently after we divorced as well. My children have always been at the top of all my agendas.

    I agree that when I was younger I knew who were “strange” men (and women) and also how to avoid them. I taught my children this but they certainly didn’t have the freedom I had between 7 – 12 where I’d disappear for hours on end with friends on “adventures”. However, what they did have was freedom and encouragement and discussion and were / are surrounded by love. Now as I a 53 y.o, coming 54 y.p it’s uncomfortable for me to glance at a young girl or boy or baby for more than a millisecond before I get the self conscious thought that other may think me a pervert. It’s as if we’ve got to sort of put on blinkers and ignore the young around incase our interest is misunderstood or misconstrued.

    Rules, regulations, political correctedness and religious fanatisims are not making the world a safer or free-er place. They’re conspiring to having us all shutting off so much of the world, either through choice or because we’re told to. Children must have access to adults of both sexes even if they’re not related to them, or else how could that child’s expand beyond the boundaries of familiarity?

    Posted by Penguinman (MySpace) on November 8, 2007 – Thursday at 10:12 AM

  6. As a mother of three little boys myself, I agree with a lot of what you said. It’s terribly sad the things happening to our world. Things we need to take responsibility for and do something about! Sometimes I wonder if we are all just too far gone to turn back. My little ones love to play. I’m glad that they do have a gentle side too. I hope I taught them that much (and how to put the toilet seat down, but thats another story altogether).

  7. As a mother of three little boys myself, I agree with a lot of what you said. It’s terribly sad the things happening to our world. Things we need to take responsibility for and do something about! Sometimes I wonder if we are all just too far gone to turn back. My little ones love to play. I’m glad that they do have a gentle side too. I hope I taught them that much (and how to put the toilet seat down, but thats another story altogether).

  8. As a mother of three little boys myself, I agree with a lot of what you said. It’s terribly sad the things happening to our world. Things we need to take responsibility for and do something about! Sometimes I wonder if we are all just too far gone to turn back. My little ones love to play. I’m glad that they do have a gentle side too. I hope I taught them that much (and how to put the toilet seat down, but thats another story altogether).

  9. Welcome Princess! I don’t think it is too late to turn back. Its all about communication. See Penguinman’s comment and he raised decent kids by talking to them! Thanks for posting!

  10. Welcome Princess! I don’t think it is too late to turn back. Its all about communication. See Penguinman’s comment and he raised decent kids by talking to them! Thanks for posting!

  11. Welcome Princess! I don’t think it is too late to turn back. Its all about communication. See Penguinman’s comment and he raised decent kids by talking to them! Thanks for posting!

  12. The few good men are few and far between. My daughter is seventeen and I have heard some of these boys between 15 and 17 refer to their g/f as my bitches and my ho. What kind of respect is there in calling a woman a bitch and a ho?

  13. Rose I think that some of today’s boys do not have the guidance they need because parents are afraid. Simple fact we are all so worried about “feelings” and “harshness” that we forget that boys do need a firm, confident guide showing them right from wrong. My boys knew that if a word like ho was uttered from their mouths they be in an aerial flight pattern across the room. One time I did hear Josh talk about how fat a girl was, I took him task on that one, made him show consideration to her and learn that she was a great girl. When homecoming came up he took her and boldfaced challenged anyone who would make fun him for that. Boys need a guide through life not a parent that is afraid of doing that!

  14. Rose I think that some of today’s boys do not have the guidance they need because parents are afraid. Simple fact we are all so worried about “feelings” and “harshness” that we forget that boys do need a firm, confident guide showing them right from wrong. My boys knew that if a word like ho was uttered from their mouths they be in an aerial flight pattern across the room. One time I did hear Josh talk about how fat a girl was, I took him task on that one, made him show consideration to her and learn that she was a great girl. When homecoming came up he took her and boldfaced challenged anyone who would make fun him for that. Boys need a guide through life not a parent that is afraid of doing that!

  15. Rose I think that some of today’s boys do not have the guidance they need because parents are afraid. Simple fact we are all so worried about “feelings” and “harshness” that we forget that boys do need a firm, confident guide showing them right from wrong. My boys knew that if a word like ho was uttered from their mouths they be in an aerial flight pattern across the room. One time I did hear Josh talk about how fat a girl was, I took him task on that one, made him show consideration to her and learn that she was a great girl. When homecoming came up he took her and boldfaced challenged anyone who would make fun him for that. Boys need a guide through life not a parent that is afraid of doing that!

  16. Jude:
    Well you already know my son…to some degree. You’re absolutely right. I think the greatest gift I gave my son wasn’t allowing him to play football (even though I did), wasn’t teaching him to ride a bike (which I did when he was three), it was introducing him to music and the freedom to explore the world around him. It was giving him the freedom to learn that he actually IS a responsible human being and that friends are as important as family.

    He hasn’t strayed to far from home, yet, but that’s because he feels he still has so much to explore right where he is. FOR NOW.

    My hope is that eventually he will take that risk and move on. That he will not allow St. Charles to have that evil grip on him like it did to my family..and steal the best years of his life.
    I had to move away in hopes that he will see that he can make those choices too.
    (Even though it sucks and I miss St. Charles and everyone I know…but honestly…it has stolen the best of me…as it did my mother and father, too.)

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