WHAT'S HAPPENING TO OUR BOYS?
21 Nov, 2014
Daron has a soap box moment.
As I observe the young men in today's society, I see some great men but I also see some cause for concern and even alarm.
I am worried when boys spit on girls as they walk by and call them "sluts" amongst other terms...
I am worried as I witness the assault on the values, self-esteem and emotional stability of boys by the marketing and consumer culture in which they live….
I am worried when porn, which used to be found at the fringes of society, is now mainstream and is combined with violence and fantasy and then packaged as entertainment...
I am worried when boys act out sexually what they see online at an increasingly younger age and are learning a sexual script from the hard-core porn they see rather than from parents and responsible adults...
I am worried when boys are allowed to play violent games late into the night or early morning largely unsupervised and then arrive at school overtired and hyped on numerous cans of high energy drinks….
I am worried when we as a society, by our failure to act effectively, say that it is none of our business.
School violence, disrespect for teachers (especially females), disrespect for girls in general, alcoholism and drug abuse are all by-products of a society that has generally abandoned its boys.
The attitude seems to be that the problem is just too big to do anything about with the experts burying their heads in the sand and hoping someone else will come up with a solution. Single mums do an admirable job under the circumstances but we really can't abandon them now!
Where has the idea of “It takes a village to raise our child” gone? Where have the real men gone? Real men don't abandon their children! In an era where our children, especially our boys, need "authoritative communities" to be stronger, they are growing weaker.
The Australian statistics tell us that our children are growing up in an increasing fatherless society. Across Australia 40% of teenagers do not have their biological father in the home. This troubling figure continues to rise with 48% of marriages now ending in divorce. According to latest statistics, non-married partnerships have now overtaken married couples. But these partnerships are less likely to last with 70% of these unions breaking down and resulting in permanent estrangement.
The statistics are alarming but even more alarming is the impact on young men who grow up without a father. When divorce occurs, fathers on average lose meaningful contact with their children within two years.
Recent studies in the US found 70 and 80 percent of all male prisoners were raised in households with an absent, alcoholic or abusive father, or no father at all.
Now is the time to take a stand and father the fatherless. Now is the time to rebuild the walls of our authoritative communities and give our boys the boundaries and life experiences necessary to grow decent young men! If fathers are indeed absent then we need to surround them with mentors who can provide the much needed father/male factor.
Well-respected Australia educator Dr Tim Hawks says there are "Ten Conversations" (and I hope many more) that parents need to have with their sons.
''Parents represent the firm islands where a boy and son or a daughter will return to get their bearing on life, and those precious moments, those reflective conversations in the car, or before you go to bed as you kiss them goodnight, they become gold dust and must never be trivialised.''
Hawks says that parents, especially the fathers, need to have conversations with theirs son's around the following topics and that these can only happen in a relationship with them...
Tell them they are loved. Tell them who they are, their strengths, virtues, history and inheritance.
Tell them what they stand for. Teach them to accept responsibility. It's not sufficient to watch.
Teach them how to live in a community.
Teach them the value of hard work, and patience. Teach sons to be tender and respectful lovers.
Teach them to manage their finances.
Teach them to manage their health.
Teach them resilience, that life is not all fun and success.
Lets as parents, and authoritative communities grow our boys into men and our men into great men!
Daron gets off his soap box and mumbling wanders on into the busy street.