As I begin, the phrase, “Boy,oh boy” comes to mind and I wonder why that phrase comes so easily on our lips. Yes, we reflect on what we’ve heard over time about the difficulty of raising boys and we couple it with the difficult time we have with our boys. So, “Boy, oh boy”.
We do not have phrases for girls that suggest things that are worrisome. Girls tend to have favour and if anything, we want them to escape the danger of becoming a mother too soon. Otherwise, they seem to be problem-proof. But, our boys pose a challenge. Yet, could it be that the perceived problems that boys have do not have anything to do with them? Could it be that boys have problems because of adults? Adults who do not know how to parent could be a bigger problem and can complicate things.
Recall the nobleman Cassius in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” speaking to his friend Brutus regarding a perilous situations that they faced. He argued, “The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves”. How often do we look for the fault somewhere else besides ourselves? And very often, more so that we would accept, parents are bigger reason that boys have prolonged challenges.
We cannot solve a problem or help a person until we hear what that person has to say. “True or true”? That means that we have to first, listen and then listen some more and if required, listen some more. Listening is what I previously called the “secret key”. I strongly believe that if we begin to listen more to what boys have to say about the way they fell, the way they experience the world around them — friends, other children, school, growth, possessions, and the like, we would have a clearer picture about what can be done to support them in difficult times.
It may not be the boy’s fault that he is continuing to experience problems. It may be that he is not being understood because he does not have a listening ear. Can you imagine how some boys feel when they cannot confide in anyone outside the home and anyone within the home? Maybe, just maybe, we need to approach things differently. Maybe, just maybe, we need to hear our boys out and do all we can to understand how they feel. We can only know so much by what they say. But, say it they must and we on the other hand cannot afford not to listen. It may well be that parents are a large part of the problem that boys have.
Today, let us look to see how we can improve the way we attend to the needs of our boys. Spend some time with them listening to what they say about the things that puzzle and annoy them and give them some love and hope that things will turn out right. They need us; all of us.
Until next time.
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