Raising Boys Into Men

I was reading William Bennett’s article, “Have We Forgotten How to Raise Boys Into Men?” and realized I talk about this on my program way too often, which is a sad state of affairs.  Bennett comments:

Fashioning men has never been easy, but today it seems particularly tough. Boys need heroes to embody the everlasting qualities of manhood: honor, duty, valor, and integrity.

Mostly I hear from women who marry young guys who play video games.

Bennett goes on to state:

Without such role models, boys will naturally choose perpetual childhood over the rigors of becoming a man-as many women, teachers, coaches, employers, and adults in authority can quickly attest to today.

Even though the National Organization of (I Don’t Know What Kind) of Women continues to bleat and lie, women are better educated, more ambitious, and more successful than men today than ever before.  But we see a real decline in manhood.  Men earning college degrees have fallen from 60% in 1970 to 43% in 2006.  In 1950, only five percent of men in the prime working age were unemployed.  Today, it’s at 20%, the highest ever recorded.

But that’s not even the biggest problem.  The biggest problem we have in our society today is men are more distant from their family and children than ever before.  The out-of-wedlock birthrate is over 40%.  Fathers are missing from their boys’ lives in devastating numbers. 

And, except on 9/11 when we talked about how the firefighters were heroes because of their honor, duty, valor and integrity, we’re left with basically two images of manhood:  machismo street hoods and males who refuse to grow up.  Kay Hymowitz, who’s a great writer, talks about this in her article: “Where Have the Good Men Gone?

Young men were tuning in to cable channels… whose shows reflected the adolescent male preferences of its targeted male audiences. They watched movies with overgrown boy actors… cheering their awesome car crashes, fart jokes, breast and crotch shots, beer pong competitions and other frat-boy pranks.

… It’s been an almost universal rule of civilization that girls became women simply by reaching physical maturity, but boys had to pass a test. They needed to demonstrate courage, physical prowess or mastery of the necessary skills. The goal was to prove their competence as protectors and providers. Today, however, with women moving ahead in our advanced economy, husbands and fathers are now optional, and the qualities of character men once needed to play their roles – fortitude, stoicism, courage, fidelity – are obsolete. 

And then I came upon this blog by Thomas Matlock: “Raising Boys: A Dad’s Parenting Advice for Moms.” He brings up ten points about boys that moms forget or want to change.  Just a few include: “Think caveman,” ” Yes, it really is all about poop,” ” Pointless physical activity is perfect,” and “Bedtime is sacred.”

In my opinion, the basic problem we have in marriages today is a feminine disdain for masculinity and a refusal of males to rise to the occasion and act like strong men, not “wussies” afraid of their women.  We need them to embrace honor, duty, valor and integrity.  Instead we have at least two generations of boys raised to be male-looking girls.