An excerpt from Boys Should Be Boys
“Briefly, here are some tips on how to raise healthy and happy boys–boys who are honest, courageous, humble, meek (in the sense of willingly withholding their power), and kind.
- Know how to encourage your son. One fault is babying and spoiling him. But another is being so harsh that you lose communication with your son and destroy his self-worth. We’ll look at how to strike the right balance.
- Understand what your boys need. Guess what? It’s not another computer game; it’s you. We’ll look at how to get the most out of your time with your son.
- Recognize that boys were made for the outdoors. Boys love being outdoors. A healthy boy needs that sense of adventure–and the reality check that the outdoors gives him.
- Remember that boys need rules. Boys instinctively have a boy code. If you don’t set the rules, however, they feel lost.
- Acknowledge that virtue is not just for girls. Boys should, indeed, be boys–but boys who drink, take drugs, and have sex outside marriage are not “normal” teenagers, they have been abnormally socialized by our unfortunately toxic culture. Today, my practice as a pediatrician has to deal with an epidemic of serious, even life-threatening problems, physical and psychological–that were only of comparatively minor concern only 40 years ago. A healthy boy strives after virtues like integrity and self-control. In fact, it is virtues like these that make transition into manhood possible. They are necessary virtues and he needs your help to acquire them. I’ll show you how.
- Learn how to teach your son about the big questions in life. Many parents shy away from this–either because they are uncomfortable with these questions themselves, or want to dismiss them as unimportant or even pernicious, or because they don’t want to “impose” their views on their children. But whatever one’s personal views, your son wants to know–and needs to know–why he’s here, what his purpose in life is, why he is important. Boys that don’t have a well grounded understanding on these big questions are the most vulnerable to being led astray into self-destructive behaviors.
- Remember, always, that the most important person in your son’s life is you.