Sunday, February 10, 2008

Here's Another Myth To Think About

If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know my last post discussed the myths about school shooters. Today, I want to address another very important issue, one I've addressed earlier. And, that is the myths surrounding boys. As I stated in my December 29th post, young people need to feel connected to at least one adult.

I quoted Michael Resnick, PhD, the assistant director at the University of Minnesota's Adolescent Health Program when he stated,
"Young people need to be connected to at least one caring, competent adult. The good news is, it doesn't necessarily have to be their mom or dad. But, it is essential for young people to feel a connection to a responsible adult."

Much has been written about the "lost boys" of today, and it should be! Millions of boys are in trouble and need help. Mentoring programs like The Rising Son are helping boys become men. The myth I want to address is we are losing the battle. That simply isn't true! I'm sure you'll agree with me after reading this article from entitled The Myth About Boys.

The article originally appeared in the August 6th edition of TIME magazine. David Von Drehle writes an excellent piece about the good and the bad news of the situation. It's well worth your read. Two quotes shouted out to me from Margaret Anderson, a pediatric nurse in Nashville, a member of the faculty at Vanderbilt University and the staff nurse at a camp for boys called Falling Creek Camp in the mountains of Western North Carolina.

As Von Drehle writes, Anderson told him, "Whether it's urban kids who can't go outside because it's too dangerous or the over-scheduled, over-parented kids at the other end of the spectrum — I'm worried that boys have lost the chance to play and to explore," Our society takes a dim view of idle time and casts a skeptical eye on free play — play driven by a boy's curiosity rather than
the league schedule or the folks at Nintendo. But listen to Anderson as she lists the virtues of letting boys run themselves occasionally.

"When no one's looming over them, they begin making choices of their own," she says. "They discover consequences and learn to take responsibility for themselves and their emotions. They start learning self-discipline, self-confidence, team building. If we don't let kids work through their own problems, we get a generation of whiners."

I believe that's why mentoring is so important to boys. When boys get stuck or simply need someone to talk to, they can talk to a mentor. Are you someone a young boy, or girl, can talk to? If you are, GREAT! How so? If not, why?

I'd like to know your answers. Please feel free to leave your comments. Thanks.



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