Raising Sons? The Need For Healthy Masculinity
Masculinity continues to be debated in the media as “bad” and “toxic” I’m motivated to bring some alarming facts to your attention.
Perp’s in Sheep’s Clothing
If you’re watching the news you are hearing weekly sometimes daily of arrests of female teachers, female coaches perpetrating adolescent boys. It’s becoming epidemic, CBS news reports there are more than 800 documented cases. This is what’s happening behind the scenes while society is trying to figure out “how to” teach boys to be less masculine!
Any time an adult male or female perpetrates a child it’s abuse and is not okay, but less attention is given to the boys. Sadly I’ve witnessed this firsthand. My client, a 30-yr. old adult male, going through a divorce as a result of infidelity shared a burden he carried since the age of 16. He had been seduced by an older woman and tragically his father was “quietly/secretively” proud of him. He carried the wound for years, until he met me and dealt with his pain.
I’m an advocate for these boys, and that requires me to speak up and speak out!
Think about what occurs when masculinity is squelched or eliminated. Typically, just the opposite, which is passivity.
So what can happen is this:
- passivity waits for action-masculinity initiates action
- passivity avoids-masculinity enters
- passivity enables-masculinity leads
- passivity backs off-masculinity stands firm
Wouldn’t you rather teach your son healthy masculinity? I’d like to say, “so that in the unlikely event” he’s approached by an aggressive, assertive female (or male) he knows to “stand firm,” but if this epidemic continues it’s very likely it can happen. The 14-yr. old boy from Florida in a case mentioned above, cried and told his parents “anyone could molest you.” He claims his teacher was picking him up nightly, as well as providing him with marijuana.
Behaviors Aren’t Age or Gender Specific
Aggressiveness, assertiveness and aggressive behaviors are present in both the young and old; in male and female, the masculine and the feminine! If you read my recent blog on masculinity you notice aggressiveness is not in the definition.
My recommendation is this. A boy needs his father (or healthy male mentor/role model) to immediately begin teaching him healthy masculinity. That means teaching him how to take action, be a leader and how to stand firm. It reinforces his confidence and gives him the strength and power needed to stand up for himself. A boy needs to know it’s okay to say no too, just as we’ve impressed upon and taught our girls.
Are you ready to join me and take a stand for your son? I sure hope so, he needs you!
I absolutely agree with you. For sometime now society has taken steps to make men feel ashamed of their masculinity. God forbid they act and respond in the manner in which God made them. To be leaders, caretakers and head of the family unit. Instead, society wants men to hold their purses,go get “manis and pedis”, stay home and take care of the kids, stores cannot put up signs for “boys toys” or “girls toys” lest somebody get offended. No wonder why our sons are going on the unbeaten path. I believe we are in a dangerous spiral. If men cannot be identified in their God given roles as leaders and caretakers then our sons have no other option then to turn outside of the family unit to gain this knowledge. And that is dangerous. Boys will rebel against their Moms in these situations. Why? Because God has created them to be men. When they are at that threshold of boyhood to manhood, they cannot learn that from Mom and they push against that- not because they don’t love us but because a woman cannot teach her son what it means to be a man. Our role as nurturer began at conception and the bond became strengthened after birth. Once we see them pulling away to find their way as a man, we need to step back and support them and encourage that masculine relationship with their fathers. Yes, you will grieve that little boy that you nurtured but to watch and encourage the kind of man he turns into is worth the grieving. Its Dads job now! He needs to take his son under his wing and show him what it means to be a healthy man in this world. Now, don’t get me wrong Moms, you can still reinforce all those nurturing aspects you taught him and have boundaries because he still wants and needs all of that from you but allow him to find his dreams and who he is.
Thank you for the wonderful words!