Take your son and do some man things!

When I got off work on Friday I got home a little earlier than normal. I was given the run down from my wife on how the past few days went since school let out for Christmas break. She informed me that my eight year old son was being difficult, argumentative, and…being a boy.

Saturday morning was no different and my wife promptly stated, “Paul, take your son and do some man things.” Oddly enough there was something exhilarating when you hear your wife say that, because what I heard was, “Go and do something dangerous and risky.” 

My son needed a job, he needed a project, and he needed to fill his energy with something constructive, as opposed to picking on his mother, brother, and sister. I took him to the basement to learn how to shut off the water to the house, flush the pipes, and replace the whole house water filter. We then went outside to take care of garbage; then he learned how to light a match and start a fire. We talked about how to dispose of the American flag when it is worn and torn. We finished our time together by teaching him about gun safety and how to shoot a shotgun. He loved it, and better yet he was cured! My previous spitfire-cuss-of-a-kid was no longer, he was a gentleman (most of the day).

Parenting is hard, growing up is hard, good behaviors are hard, but aren’t all healthy things hard?

I’m coming off this past Christmas holiday period with the undeniable fact that children are owed their parent’s time, especially their fathers.  We owe our children to be near us more and to do things that are dangerous, hard, risky and challenging. If we don’t, they will fail. Life is all those things, and to withhold my presence would be an omission on my part.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Every child has inside him an aching void for excitement and if we don’t fill it with something which is exciting and interesting and good for him, he will fill it with something which is exciting and interesting and which isn’t good for him.”

Reading that quote this weekend reminded me of this video, you could say it is the elephant in the room (pun included). Not having a father and a father figure can ransack society and our children’s lives. If men don’t fill the void then they will fill it with chaos. The world needs to be ordered. We see this with the rules of all sports, when children play make believe, our policies & procedures at work, local and federal laws, and even health initiatives such as fatherhood.gov.

This is why the YMCA is starting its Rebound Program at the end of January to help answer this need. It’s an eight week program intended to provide mentoring to young boys. The session’s topics include addressing the issues of cheating, streets, bullying, hard work, gangs, academics, employment, and healthy living. The lessons will focus on instilling the virtues of honesty, trust, respect, fairness, caring, responsibility, citizenship and sportsmanship. Their attendance is required at the mentoring portion and allows them the privilege to play basketball. The program is FREE and will hold the program at the East Bluff Community Center.

The success of the program requires women and men to surround our children with positive role models, doing so will us create prosperity, reduce crime and poverty, and better yet make for stronger communities in our families, schools, cities, states and country. I hope you can at least share this post and we can find volunteers to answer this call.

Finally, I just want to thank my wife for saying what she said, those were some powerful, truthful words I needed to hear.

 

 

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