Growing Up Boys

A few years ago I bought two books, they were more or less pocket books but I never regretted the purchase. The first was “Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman’s Soul’ and the second which would be focus of this week and next week is “You Have What It Takes: What Every Father Needs to Know”.

This simple book which takes less than a day to read was given to my husband before we even had children (hint maybe).

This week and next week we will look at Fatherhood, “GROWING UP BOYS” and ‘the SECRET TO GIRLS’.

Article based on the book “You Have What It Takes: What Every Father Needs to Know”.

dirtydog&boy

We use to sing a song in school: What are little boys made of? Frogs and snails, and puppy dog tails, that’s what little boys are made of. What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice, and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of.

It’s because boys and girls were always different and it’s not just socialization. I have one brother who is the youngest in our family and for as long as I can remember; he would disappear on our conversations and roll his eyes at our choices of movies. He has mastered the art of the blank stare and his prized possession is his room because it means he has an escape.

Some people may disagree but if you leave children to play unfettered by your suggestions, you will notice that boys gravitate to games that either maime the toys or dismount the toys. My husband came home one day and after glancing at our daughters toys, he asked “Abijah was here?” (my nephew), I replied “yes how did you know?” He open is hands to reveal a toy car which after a year with our daughter was still in prime condition, which was now missing a wheel, bumper broken and had remnants of biscuits and juice.

That was just exhibit A, there were more. Which my daughter gladly brought, one by one for her father to fix, she was thrilled that he would endeavour to fix them on her behalf.  So now, I have a list of toys to hide on play dates (especially the model cars, the fact that Barbie had less hair was a non-issue).

The book says that every little boy asks the same question, the one that his father alone can answer. Why, because psychologically he wants a man to answer it, it doesn’t matter how wonderful your mother is, she can’t give you firsthand experience about being a man. It doesn’t mean that a mother can’t answer life changing questions. A mother teaches unconditional love, and mercy. A mother is a child’s harbor, the safe place that they will always find no matter how old they get, so a mother’s role is essentially to love you so much that you would understand fully who God is. That is why I always say a mothers’ love is divine.

A father however provides a child with identity, “to know thy-self” (both girls and boys). In 2000 CNN ran a story entitled: “Father figures help tame rampaging young elephants”, it was later made into a documentary. The heart of the story was that in Pilanesberg National Park in South Africa there was a particular herd of elephants with 17 orphaned males. These males hit musth or puberty as we would say – a state of heightened aggression and sexual excitement fueled by surges of testosterone that all elephants experience and killed more than 40 white rhinoceros, and was really wreaking havoc on the park.

The rangers decided to introduce older males into the herd and it worked, the killings stopped and the musth was shortened. South African animal experts noted that father figures had a calming effect on aggressive young males, and more particularly if they are bull elephants. They needed role models to form their identity.  (Biggest Big Brother programme)

Nature teaches us so much.

The voice of a father answers the question that every boy will ask in a thousand different ways over his lifetime. Do I have what it takes? Every father will get the opportunity to answer this in a thousand different ways and must always be ready to say. Yes, you have what it takes to be a man; there is no one more powerful than you; there is no one smarter than you; you were created in God’s image; you’re awesome; you can do it; you’re a machine go for it.

The author gives an example of a rock climbing event he went to with his sons, the noted that one of his sons was climbing and getting a little difficulty, so he pumped up his cheering to boost his confidence. He said, “Way to go Sam! You’re looking good. You’re a wild man!” His son finished the climb and he clip in his other son and started cheering again. The moment was out of his mind but he said his son Sam sidled up to him and asked in a quiet voice, “Dad … did you really think I was a wild man up there?”

What would have been your reaction? Miss the moment and you’ll miss his heart forever. Until a man knows he is a man, he will forever be trying to prove he is one, while hiding from anything that might reveal he is not. Most men live haunted by the question or debilitated by the answer they have been given. Boys grow into men and the sad truth is that no one may have answered your question as a child and today you have to answer it for your children.

The family was meant to answer our core questions, to give us that foundation. However, we have generation to generation, finding temporary identities in television characters, in music, in gangs, in money, in drugs and in sex.

I truly believe in the importance of fathers, as a woman I want to be the best mother I can be but I don’t want to be the voice of the father and the mother.

So fathers, please know that your voice is the most powerful voice in the world … because you have the ability to shape your children’s character. They look up to you; you amaze them; you represent power and approval. It doesn’t matter how old your children are they still want to hear it. They want to know what you think of them, their talents, their progress, their failures; they wonder at your silence and long for your validation.

Your belief in them, gives them strength to shine brighter because they feed off of your reality.

No one will have the impact on your sons that you have.

No one!

You are the man of the house, you have what it takes.

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