I don’t watch a lot of T.V., however I do watch the local and national news. It’s important to know and be aware of what’s happening locally and around the country. One universal message you hear at both levels are stories of boys in trouble. For me as a PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor working with the male adolescent population in The Quest Project over the last 25 years, it’s disappointing. If we all worked together, we could curb this negative trajectory!
Let’s Take Action
If you’re the parent or guardian of a boy who is troubled, you’re not alone. America’s boys are in crisis right now; we shouldn’t rely on our schools and communities to have the systems in place that we need to fight this growing problem. It starts at home; it starts with you!
The Primary Need
The most common issue our boys face is growing up without their fathers. This happens to also be a primary need for an adolescent boy.
The needs expressed by the male adolescents and expected from their fathers (Dickerson, 2014) included: (a) support, (b) give guidance, (c) hold them accountable, (d) to motivate, (e) teach certain skills and gender roles, and (f) share a father-son bond. Most of these needs went unmet in high school and negatively impacted the male adolescents emotionally, behaviorally, and academically.
He needs his dad; he needs 3-5 hours a week one-on-one time with dad learning these important core needs:
- tools to reach their goal
- how to manage anger
- learn conflict resolution
- gift identification
- life mission
There are multiple organizations offering “coping skills” for troubled male adolescents! Pardon the directness here but we don’t need to teach kids how to deal with not getting their needs met, actually quite the opposite, as parents let’s do a better job of meeting their core needs…problem solved!
Research and Results
My research (Lessor, 2017), as well as data collected from The Quest Project graduates, show that when a boy gets his needs met, he is less likely to experience trouble:
- in school
- with feelings of sadness or depression
- in relationships with peers or family
- physical pain or illness that is caused by mental stress
Boys have been forgotten since the Industrial Revolution. Add to that the significant amount of attention focused on girls and young women since the passing of Title IX in 1972 (which was needed); boys have been left behind and the result is “the dam has broke!”
I’m In, Are You?
It’s time to take this seriously and accept this “challenge for change.”
Share this blog with family and friends, our boys and their future rests with us! Let’s work on “Saving Our Sons,” the next “Generation of Men.”