When our boys were babies, they were not only the joy of our life, they were the promise of a hopeful future. We did everything for them in their early years so that they would grow healthy and ready for the challenges of life.
But if we are honest about raising boys in our lovely province of Ontario, some of us can say that it is an unexpected, physical, social, and psychological problem, and for some it is a virtual nightmare.
Without a doubt, raising our boys is a daily challenge that requires strategic maneuvering in order to keep them grounded and successful and to maintain a semblance of personal sanity.
I am the proud parent of one boy. Really one young man, for he’s all grown up now and is finding his own way and truth in life. But, I have spent a lot of time with boys, having begun my profession in education at the young age of 17 years. Over the span of my life, I have seen literally thousands of boys as they went through their growth processes in many areas of life. I’ve seen them as friends at school, friends in religious circles, as students, when I was a classroom teacher and when I became a school administrator (vice principal and principal).
I am not, so much so, concerned about boys who have done well and are doing well with their lives. My concern is for those that struggle in the presence of hope and promise, support and opportunity.
I have some ideas that I would like to share, over time, as to why those who do well are able to do so and conversely why some boys struggle, for whatever reason, and how struggle can be turned into successful outcomes.
Can we all agree that everyone is uniquely formed and that one size does not fit everyone. As the saying goes, we will need different strokes for different folks. I will however provide some common threads to look for in every case — in cases that are successful and in those that are not.
I read some time ago that of all the things that we experience in life, only about 3% we cannot do anything about. Of the other 97%, we can take a variety of approaches that can produce positive outcomes. That causes me to breathe a breath of relief.
Let’s continue our conversation tomorrow.
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