Raising teenage boys? Stop screaming and start enjoying the ride ;-)


From Susie’s Little Creations

 

“Whenever I asked boys about planning, their immediate response was to assert that they don’t plan. ‘We don’t plan because plans never work anyway.” “Life’s a roller-coaster, so there’s no point in planning.”

“Girls plan a lot, don’t they?”

“Yeah, but they change their minds, don’t they?”

“Yes, I guess they do.”

“See, waste of time making the decision at the first place!”

“Do you think you’ll ever have a life plan?”

“No”

“So how will your life sort itself out?”

“Oh, that’s easy. I’ll be about 25 and some gorgeous-looking chick will walk past. She’ll have a great plan, so I’ll just hook onto her.”

From http://www.rachelobeauty.com

One question I always asked as we moved towards a discussion about how they managed their academic workloads: if they were given an assignment that was due to be handed in on, say, Tuesday morning, when would they do it?Regardless of academic ability and/or socio-economic status, the answer at this point was invariably “Monday night”, with the occasional “Tuesday morning” thrown in. …

It was a source of great amusement to me when, on some occasions, I pushed a little harder with the students and suggested that if they only did the assignment the night before anyway, regardless of when it was handed out, perhaps the best idea would be to ask their teachers to adopt the practice of giving out assignments overnight, working to the idea that they would have only one night to get it done. It seemed a very logical step to me and one that would mean a significant reduction in levels of stress for those parents who spend their lives trying to compel their sons to start work on the assignment due next week.

Whenever I suggested this idea, however, looks of absolute consternation would cross the faces of the boys. “No, you can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“Because we need time to think about it!”

From http://lh4.ggpht.com

This unwillingness to plan isn’t all bad news, however. A story told to me by one teacher challenges the view that adolescent males will reach their potential in the classroom only through planning and organised work.

This teacher described the time when he’d explained to a group of senior students that they had only five days left in which to complete their art folios and that if they didn’t manage to do so within that timeframe, they would lose the opportunity to take art the following year…

These were boys who were quite academically capable, but who had shown themselves to be fairly normal adolescent males by working at about 5 per cent of their potential through the year. The teacher had previously taught adolescent girls, who, in his view, tended to work at about 90 per cent of their potential throughout the school year.

Once the teacher had delivered the news of the impending deadline, the boys seemed to accept the challenge and immediately got to work. They literally lived and breathed their art folios for the following five days, spending every hour at the school, taking only occasional breaks to eat and sleep while getting on with the work. In the teacher’s words they went from their previous 5 per cent effort to about 250 per cent. Everything else in their lives fell away and nothing else mattered until their folios were complete. …

From http://www.funnyism.com

The boys also seemed to have been changed for the better and to have become more confident as a result of the experience. They’d been tempered by the challenge and had learned a bit more about who they were and what they were capable of.

So, here’s a thought worthy of consideration at this point: is it possible that this learning might not have occurred and the high standard of work not been reached had they chosen instead to work steadily throughout the year? Is it possible that the inertia frequently displayed by adolescent boys occurs because the challenges being put in front of them aren’t of sufficient depth to merit a real response?… Have we made education a series of relatively small steps because we think that’s what works, when what boys actually want and need are fewer, much bigger steps?”

From ‘He’ll be OK: Growing gorgeous boys into good men
by Celia Lashlie


From http://www.fashionforacure.org

THE END

Patriarchy with a beaming smile

Russia, 1990s

хохотушка
From http://www.photosight.ru

When it comes to patriarchy, Victoria was a real guru.

“I fully support patriarchy,” she used to say. “Alex can make all the decisions as long as he is implementing them while I’m enjoying my book.”

Victoria loved reading. She had books everywhere in her flat, even in the toilet.

 ***
From http://www.photosight.ru

This definition was complemented with a very sophisticated framework of all the DOs and DON’Ts of respectable girls under ‘patriarchy’.

“What do you mean you need to go because Ivan is waiting for you? He can wait. Respectable girls DO NOT come on time – never ever,” she would say with a tone of authority in her voice.

From http://romanvinilov.ru

Victoria was not only always late. She also kept forgetting her stuff and then was frantically phoning Alex with her usual pleas: “Alex, Alex, can you please go to my flat and get that book, you know, that red one. It is on my desk, somewhere in a big pile of books. Not the red one with psychology stuff – the red one with the genetics lecture notes. It has a DNA on the cover.  Whose DNA? I don’t know whose. I mean a picture of DNA that looks like a twisted ladder…. And yes, yes, I do promise to activate my ‘memory gene’ next time. …Please, please, get this book to my uni ASAP… ”

From https://weirderthanyouthink.wordpress.com

An hour later Alex would magically appear at our university with forgotten books, pens, pencils, lunches, hats, scarfs, gloves and other very important items required ASAP. Not surprisingly, Alex became a “permanent feature” at our Uni. Everyone thought that he was studying with us.

Even in her own flat Victoria could never find her own stuff. “Alex, Alex, where are my skis and my boots?” was the first thing we heard when we got to her place to pick her up to go skiing. “I also need warm woolen socks. Remember, my red ones with blue stripes. I was wearing them when we went skiing last year. And my hat – no, not that green one. The blue one with a yellow pompon…”

Somehow Alex always managed to magically retrieve required items, even though it was not his flat and it was not his stuff.

From http://clairewentthere.com/

“Now, Alex and Ivan – you can go outside to get the car ready. We’ll come down in a second.”

Twenty minutes later Victoria was still at home, applying her makeup or brushing her hair.

“Victoria, come on. We need to go. The lads already look like icicles. It is 15 degrees below zero outside,” I said, peeking out of the window.

“Respectable ladies always DO get lads to wait longer,” she gave me a wink. “Just wait and see…”


Darling, I’m on my way… – still waiting…

Right at that moment the door flew open. Angry Alex rushed in, picked Victoria up and carried her to the car while she was pulling silly faces over his shoulder giggling all the way.

“You see,” she whispered in the car with a giggle. “I was carried the whole way to the car, while you were left walking downstairs. Learn the magic of DOs and DON’Ts, ” she gave me a wink.

From http://www.liveinternet.ru

“Poor Alex,” I chuckled. “I wonder how long he’ll be able to tolerate your ‘patriarchy’ ”.

“That’s not my problem. He was the first who started it,” was Victoria’s reply.

We all knew how it all started. Alex and Victoria were living in the same apartment block and were studying at the same school. One day at school Alex dared to pull Victoria’s ponytail – that’s how it all started.

At first, displeased Victoria enrolled into Aikido classes to defend her ponytail. Not sure whether it helped to protect the ponytail, but a few months later Aikido was banned by Victoria’s parents as her school marks started steadily sliding down.

Aikido-less Victoria quickly resorted to her unbeatable weapon – a beaming smile.  And it has worked incredibly well. Not only Victoria’s ponytail was left in peace. She also did not need to carry her bag to school and back home ever since – her bag kept Alex’s hands away from her ponytail I guess.

Boy pulls girl's hair
From http://lwgsummerland.wordpress.com

Only once we saw this beaming smile fade on Victoria’s face.

“He is gone to see his first love,” she said, bursting into tears.

“What first love?” we could not help it and burst into laughter, “The one that was sitting next to him on a potty at a creche? Don’t think he’ll be able to get away from your ‘patriarchy’ that easily…”

Sure enough, the next day the beaming smile was back on Victoria’s face and we have not heard of that first ‘potty love’ ever since.

Potty.jpg
From http://www.parenting.com

After graduation, Victoria and Alex got married and a year later they had a beautiful little girl – a spitting image of Alex with Victoria’s beaming smile. Seven years later I gave them a ring.

“I have a bride in making for your lads,” giggled Victoria.

“I bet all complete with your ‘patriarchy’ and all the DOs and DON’Ts”, I chuckled.

“Trust me she did not need much help from me with that. It must be in her blood. She is a real little princess – even in this tender age. Totally spoilt by Alex.”

“And where is Alex?”

“He is renovating our flat.”

“Victoria, come and help me, please,” I heard Alex calling in the background.

“OK, Victoria, it looks like you need to go. Alex is waiting for you. I’ll call you again later.”

“Wait, respectable ladies never respond to the first call.”

“Lena, Lena,” I heard Victoria calling to her daughter, “Can you please take this lolly to daddy, give him a big hug and read him a fairy tale.”

“That will keep Alex busy for the next 15 minutes while we are having a chat,” giggled Victoria. I bet she also gave me a wink…

From VKontakte.ru

Related posts: 

THE END

Boys DOn’t CRY

Boys.jpg

From Whisper

Men often feel that they need to be self-reliant and hide their own emotions. This behaviour is reinforced everyday in the stereotype of the heroic male, so often represented in popular culture. Fearless, resourceful, stoic and usually facing adversity alone, these characters tell us a lot about what is considered to be ideal male behaviour within our society.

From http://www.comicvine.com

More powerful than film characters are the roles we see our parents playing. Many men have experienced fathers who were emotionally distant, who rarely, if ever, cried or expressed affection outwardly. The way we see our parents behave becomes the unconscious template for our own behaviour.

This template is further reinforced by the upbringing of boys. From early childhood girls and boys are treated very differently, which most of the time is completely unintentional. For example when a little girl falls over, people will fuss around her crooning condolences ‘are you okay poppet?’, ‘Mummy will kiss it better’ meaning for little girls, it’s acceptable to hurt, and to show emotions and pain. However, with little boys it’s often a quick ‘You’ll be okay, you’re a big boy’ or ‘be a man’ leaving no space for emotional display.

From http://wordsondesert.wordpress.com

The four basic human emotions include:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Happiness
  • Fear

Of these four emotions, happiness is considered the most acceptable in society. Yet anger, fear and sadness are universally felt by everyone. These emotions serve valuable purposes and are normal responses to threat and loss.

As emotions such as fear and sadness are generally not as accepted, men might try to hide these from themselves and those around them. They feel that they should be able cope on their own.

Individuals might try to cope with ‘negative’ emotions in one or more of the following ways:

  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Working longer hours
  • Spending more time away from home
  • Consuming more alcohol
  • Behaving recklessly and/or violently

We might not always be able to identify what we’re feeling or have the words to describe our emotions. Men may feel uncomfortable talking to someone about them, leading to frustration in relationships when they cannot express their needs, fears and grief.

man

From http://darkside-of-felix.deviantart.com

Why talk about it?

The restriction of emotional expression in many men’s lives can lead to:

  • A greater sense of isolation
  • Less support being available from loved ones
  • Health issues due to carrying chronic tension in the body and other bad coping strategies
  • Relationship difficulties due to an inability to resolve emotional conflicts and/or a perceived lack of ability to be intimate
  • Psychological problems such as depression, insomnia and anxiety.


From http://www.doctorpat.org

Getting in touch

Men are often told they have to ‘get in touch with their feelings,’ but what does this really mean and how do you do it? Here are some strategies for getting to know your own feelings better:

  • Be aware of the sensations in your body. Emotion always manifests somewhere in the body. Anger might be experienced as a flush of heat in the face, sadness as a tightening of the throat, anxiety as a knot in the stomach. Take a moment to acknowledge the feeling(s) and take a few breaths to help identify these sensations and understand what they mean.
  • If you are feeling angry, ask yourself what other emotions you might be feeling? Are you really sad underneath, or afraid?
  • Learn to put words to what you are feeling. Often it helps to write down or brainstorm ideas before a conversation.
  • Identifying and expressing feelings is a learnt behaviour – and like driving a car, it only takes practice.
  • Take the risk of showing your vulnerability with people who you feel safe with. Give yourself permission to be human, it could bring you closer to others and may even bring a sense of relief.
  • Ask for help when you need it.

From Men and Emotions

Man selecting from different facial expressions, illustrating the advice "get in touch with your feelings."
From http://www.oh-i-see.com

* * *

 

Related posts:

Private Mousen

( Ukraine, 1980s )

Boys
Photo by Shrike

I always loved my summer holidays in a small coal-mining town in Ukraine. I stayed there with my Ukrainian relatives living in a flat on the top floor of a three-story building with a big fenced yard. There were always lots of kids playing in the yard.

Unfortunately (or, may be, fortunately) there was no girls of my age there – only boys, but we managed to get on quite well, playing war games and chasing each other.

They called me Private Mousen, as I always was as quiet as a mouse. There was no other ‘privates’ in our battalion – only half a dozen of generals and a few spies.

Boys3
From Photosight.ru

I did not need to wait long for my first assignment. One morning the spies disappeared in our kitchen. Soon they came back and whispered something to the generals.

“Hey, Private Mousen. We’ve got a special assignment for you. Come here!” – I came closer to the generals. One of them rushed outside and got some yucky-grey mud from the nearest puddle.

“You need some camouflage,” – he explained, spreading a thick layer of mud all over my face. I wrinkled my nose.

Boy2
Photo by 
Ekaterina Babash

“That’s good. Now, here is your gun,” – he gave me a big stick. “Your post is behind the door. You should wait there quietly until someone comes through the door. Once you hear someone coming, you need to jump out and shout ‘Hande Hoch’ as loud as you can. We’ll wait there,” – he pointed at the distant corner not far from the front door.

I hid behind the door, listening attentively to any sound. Soon I heard my grandma coming. I jumped out and shouted at the top of my lungs: “Hande Hoch”.

Poor grandma shrieked in horror, jumped on the spot and dropped a huge pot of beetroot soup on the floor. A big red spot started spreading all over the carpet.

I burst into tears, spreading dirt all over my face and clothes. Generals and spies burst into laughter and rushed outside.

Alerted by all the noise, my aunty jumped out of the kitchen with a broom in her hands and started chasing boys around the yard to the surprised looks of all the neighbors.

5
From Photosight.ru

“Just wait for your dads to come home and belt your cheeky bottoms, you rascals” – she shouted, angrily waving the broom at the boys. “And you, little devil in skirt, you are going straight to the bathroom. I wonder sometimes about the kind of upbringing your mother is giving you!!!”

 1

I tried to mumble something in defence of my poor mother. She was surely doing all the right things. Every day after school I had various activities: piano lessons on Mondays, singing on Tuesdays, ball room dancing on Wednesdays, athletics on Thursdays, and gymnastics on Fridays.

By the time I was getting home to finish my homework, I hardly had any energy left. And if that was not enough, every Saturday and Sunday my mum used to take me to various museums and theaters. I still remember endless hours I spent in philharmonic halls, listening to the classical music.  Or queuing for hours to get in the Hermitage and then walking through endless Hermitage halls with all the paintings and artefacts. No time was left for friends and fun.

Tiger
Tiger Mum

Being a teacher, my mother was always at the cutting edge of all the learning theories, testing all of them on me. When she was pregnant with me she was listening to Bach to ensure that I’ll turn into a tall beauty – no luck. I always was the shortest in the family. I wish she danced Lambada instead – then I would surely have turned into a 90x60x90 model or a movie star 😉

Star
Marilyn Monroe

Though Mozart she played after my birth to make sure that I’ll always be cheerful probably did the trick – still laughing.

7
From http://pricolisty.ru/

She surely could not do any more ‘right things’ with me – not unless there were 48 hours in a day!

Dance
Photo by 
Maxim Slugin

My auntie however was not convinced. She quickly washed me, dressed me nicely, brushed my hair and left me outside on a bench under a tree. “Be a good girl,” – she said, giving me a book and disappearing in the kitchen.

Book
Photo by Artbanka

A magic place: there wends his way
The woodsprite, there’s a mermaid sitting
In branches, there on trails past knowing
Are tracks of beast you never met;
 On chicken feet a hut is set
With neither door nor window showing.
There wood and dale with wonders teem;
At dawn of day the breakers stream
Upon the bare and barren lea,
And thirty handsome armored heroes…

‘Thirty handsome armored heroes’ did not keep me waiting for too long.

6
From http://fotki.yandex.ru

“Private Mousen! What are you doing here?” – I heard a whisper from the nearby bush. “Come here. We have something special for you.”

I left my book on the bench and peeked behind the bush.

 “Look at these wonderful caterpillars. It was a hard job to collect so many caterpillars for you!!!” – they attempted to throw a few caterpillars on me.

They surely knew that I was scared of all these yucky creepy creatures. I sprang to my feet and rushed away, chased by all the generals and spies.

After three circles around the yard, driven by fear I managed to climb right to the top of the tree. I looked down. Everything started spinning around. I closed my eyes and clung firmer to the tree trunk.

“Where is the Russian Princess?” – I heard my uncle asking, pointing at the book on the empty bench. Moving a few steps away from my uncle, boys silently pointed to the top of the tree. Quietly swearing and waving his fist at the boys, my uncle climbed up the tree to get me down.

Uncle
Photo by Lena Urazaeva

Next day my uncle put on his new white pants and took us by bus to the pond. The pond was quite deep even a few meters from the shore, and I could not swim at all. Boys wanted to get to the little island in the middle of the pond.

“Come on, Private Mousen. You can do that. Just kick your legs and move your arms like this and that,” – unfortunately, I definitely was not an innate mermaid.

“OK,” – said my cousin. “I can help you. Just hold on to my waist and kick your legs as fast as you can, and I’ll move my arms. We will be able to get there together at no time at all.”

I followed his advice.

“Three, two, one, go!!!” – I started kicking vigorously, while holding to his waist, and we both went right to the bottom of the pond.

My uncle jumped into the water and pulled both of us out. Yucky brown water was pouring down his new white pants. He was silent the whole way home.

 Boy4
Photo by OOH

“Let’s count cars,” – suggested my cousin to break the boring silence. “I’ll be counting Ladas, and you will be counting Volgas. Who will get the most is the winner.”

“One, two, three…Start” We started counting cars.

“What are you counting?!” – exclaimed my cousin indignantly. “That’s not even a car, but just a tin can!!!”

‘A tin can’ was a nickname of another Soviet car “Zaporozhez”. I could only blink my eyes, as all the cars looked pretty similar to me. They all had four wheels after all.

“Ok,” – my cousin scratched his head. “I have an idea. I will count Ladas and you will count … red cars.”

2
Photo by Jaroslav Toporkov

The following day we had a surprise – someone has left a big 24-kg kettle-bell in the yard. All the boys crowded around it. Then they got an idea. One of them rushed to the little ant-hill in the corner of the yard and got a jar of ants.

“OK, guys. We will take turns in lifting this kettle-bell off the ground – whoever fails must eat an ant from the jar. Private Mousen, you are first.”

I came to the kettle-bell and grabbed it with both hands. I pulled it up as hard as I could, but it would not move at all. I tried again and again – it did not help.

“Well, here is your ant,” – my cousin put an ant on my hand. “You need to eat it now, or we are not playing with you anymore.”

I closed my eyes and put this ant into my mouth.

“Close your mouth and chew,” – ordered my cousin.

“What is in your mouth?” – my uncle appeared in the yard.

I silently pointed at a jar full of ants.

“Yuck, spit it out! Who gave you that?”

“That was just a game, uncle.”

“A game? OK, lads. Your turn to lift this kettle-bell. Come on, guys.”

None of the boys could lift it either.

“Watch out, lads. Or you will be eating ants next time,” – he warned the boys, picking up the kettle-bell and carrying it away.

3
Photo by Olga Kochedykova

We started getting bored.

“OK, let’s play ‘squirrels on the tree’,” – suggested my cousin. “I’ll be chasing and tagging you. You need to jump on something to keep your feet off the ground to avoid being tagged.”

We started playing. I was trying really hard to run to the nearest bench, but my cousin was getting nearer and nearer.

“I’ll help you,’ – shouted one of the oldest boys picking me off the ground. He ran with me to the bench. We almost reached it, when he tripped over and fell. I flew right onto the ground and smashed both knees. I burst into tears with blood dripping from my knees.

“Stop crying,” I heard his whisper. “It does not hurt much, as the blood takes all the pain away.Trust me, it is much worse, when it is not bleeding, as all the pain stays in your body then. Also, the air slowed down your fall, so you did not hurt yourself as much as I did, as I was closer to the ground and the air could not slow my fall that much,” he said with a moan.

He did not have a single scratch, but his words were so convincing, that I stopped crying at once and started comforting him instead.

Plaksa
Photo by @Geroin

A few days later we heard that thieves has stolen some marinated gherkins and tomatoes from the sheds at the far end of the yard.

“I have an idea,” – my cousin said. “We should catch them.”

We spent the whole day digging holes in front of the sheds. Then we got some rope, made loops and hid them in the holes. We covered the holes with leaves and grass.

“Well done, guys. Private Mousen, you’ve got a very important assignment. You will be the first to trial our traps!”

I ran to the sheds, fell in a trap, rushed out, got my foot caught in a loop and crashed onto the concrete path in front of the sheds. Now I had not only bleeding knees, but a bleeding elbow as well.

“Private Mousen. Couldn’t you just pretend!” – hissed my cousin. “My mum has already used all the iodine on disinfecting your battle wounds!”

 “But that would not be a real trial, would it…?”

4
From Photosight.ru

Unfortunately, we did not catch any thieves while pickled gherkins kept disappearing from the sheds.

“Well,” – said my cousin, scratching his head. “Who will stay with me on night watch?”

I was the only volunteer. We sneaked a big jar of juice from the kitchen and a pack of playing cards. We played cards until midnight. We peeked out of the window. The night was clear with bright stars scattered all over the sky.

“I’m feeling tired,” – said my cousin – “I need a little nap. Let’s take turns. I’ll be first. Keep an eye on the clock and wake me up in an hour. You can have an hour nap then.”

He hid under the blanket and fell asleep. I did not know what to do. I tried to read a book, but my eyes kept closing and I kept drifting off to sleep. I went to the bathroom and dipped my face in cold water. It helped to wake me up a little bit. I pinched myself. I tried to skip and jump,  and frolic around the room, keeping an eye on the clock. At last an hour was over. I woke my cousin up and climbed under the blanket.

When I opened my eyes, the sun was shining. My cousin was fast asleep. I did not speak with him for the rest of the day.

Photo by Elena Krivenkova

The summer was over. It was time for me to go home. But looking out of the train’s window in the darkness of the night I saw the smudgy faces of the generals and spies.

9
Photo by Serge

* * *

Differences

True, though I still have never progressed to either a ‘general’ or a ‘spy’.
And who cares? 😉

Girl1
From http://www.mytwintasticlife.com/

THE END

There is too much fathering going on…

“There is too much fathering going on just now and there is no doubt about it fathers are depressing.”

Gertrude Stein

* * *

Dad frm LoveBeingDad
From ‘I love being dad’

‘What’s the one thing about your dad you would change if you could?’

Time and again the answer came: ‘He’d get his sense of humour back.’

Not “He’d get a sense of humour’ but ‘He’d get his sense of humour back‘.  It seems to me – from a woman’s perspective – that you’re great with your little fellows: you roll around on the floor, you fight, you have a lot of fun. And then the moment comes when you’re not getting up off the floor unless he lets you, and in that instant a wee switch goes down in the back of the male brain, and you say to yourselves, ‘OK, I need to be a proper father now.’

So you stand up ready and willing to be a proper father and meanwhile he’s looking around thinking, ‘I wonder where my dad went, because this grumpy old bastard sure isn’t him.’…

A common theme of the conversations I had with many of the students was their lack of what they considered a real father-son relationship. Many had either no or only intermittent contact with their dads…. Those students whose fathers were physically present in their lives weren’t always there emotionally… He doesn’t want you to give up work, to look after him 24 hours a day or to completely invade his world… What he does want is for you to know what his favourite food is, what music he likes, who his best friend is, what scared him and what his dreams are… He wants you to connect with him as he is now, not as you might want him to be..The other thing you don’t have to do is to lecture him…. You just have to be prepared to answer any questions he asks as honestly as you can when he asks it…

Continue to be who you are, continue to walk beside him and he’ll be the good man he has the potential to become. And you’ll both have a great deal of fun along the way.”

from “He’ll be OK: Growing gorgeous boys into good men” by Celia Lashlie

dad teenager
from ‘Courageous’

Why do men need fathers?

dad_childFrom ‘Lives in Your Hands’

DAD
By Karen K Boyer

He never looks for praises
He’s never one to boast
He just goes on quietly  working
For those he loves the most
His dreams are seldom spoken
His  wants are very few
And most of the time his worries
Will go unspoken  too
He’s there…. A firm foundation
Through all our storms of life
A  sturdy hand to hold to
In times of stress and strife
A true friend we can  turn to
When times are good or bad
One of our greatest blessings,
The  man that we call Dad.

Dad hero love

“Our fathers carry half of our genetic makeup. Our relationship with our father  plays a huge part of who we will become. In many segments of society, people  grow up without ever knowing their fathers. This is unfortunate because fathers  should play as important a role in raising their children as mothers. A father  is the model of a man for his daughter and she will choose a man who is like  him. A father is the model for his son as well. Fortunately, there is a trend  for fathers to be more active in their children’s lives.”

Source: Father Poems – Poems about Fathers, Dads

Data T-shirt

Fatherless Men

Consider these nine side effects of growing up without a father in the home:

1. Crisis of identity — A boy’s search for self starts with his father. Without a dad, most boys have a harder time knowing who they are and where they came from. As men, they often have difficulty taking initiative and demonstrating leadership.

2. Silent anger — Anger is a deep-rooted side effect of growing up fatherless. When men are unable to place their anger squarely on their father, where it often belongs, they can suffer from frequent bouts of rage or, on the flipside, serious self-loathing.

3. Need to belong — The need to be part of a family or “tribe” is a powerful force in boys. With a father in the picture, a boy has a sense of belonging; without one, he looks outside the family for alliances and, according to research, is more likely to join a gang. As men, boys without fathers frequently choose alliances unwisely.

4. Loss of value — These boys are most likely to grow up poor, and as men, they deal with lifelong repercussions related to education, work and their overall livelihood.

5. Poor judge of character — Without a dad around, boys are frequently left to model character traits from the world around them, including sports, music and movie stars.

6. Lack of respect — Fathers who don’t show up for their sons exemplify disrespect. That’s what they teach their sons, and that’s what their sons, as men, carry with them.

7. An unfilled void — Boys without fathers usually feel incomplete. As men, many try to fill this void with alcohol, drugs, sex, violence and other self-destructive behaviors.

8. Distorted view of sex — Many fatherless boys have a lot of unanswered questions about sex, which is an uncomfortable topic they are not likely to discuss with their moms. In manhood, they often avoid talking about sex or seeking the kind of practical advice that leads to creating healthy and whole relationships.

9. Troubles with love — Boys without fathers often equate love with vulnerability. In adulthood, these men often have issues trusting others in matters of the heart.

from Fatherless Men: Dating In St. Petersburg

fatherless_day_no_patriarchs