Raising Sons: Parenting Basics
As this year draws to a close and I reflect back on the many young men, families and professionals I have met both locally and online, I felt this is a good topic to discuss again. Far too often in my practice I meet families that are in the “cycle of abuse.”
Originally published December 15, 2015:
Raising Sons: Safety is Priority Number One
If you haven’t read the article mentioned above, I suggest that you do. It’s disturbing on so many levels. My priority in this post is to address the importance of keeping your child safe.
If you are a parent, safety for your child must be your primary concern; not that your spouse might change or get better. Your children not only need to know you will keep them safe, but they also rely on you for safety.
Disturbing And All Too Familiar
Did you know that the earliest and greatest amount of documented abuse in the world historically has been against children? That’s more crimes and abuse than any other population. What’s even more frightening is it’s only occasionally reported, sadly most of the time it is not. Patrick O’Sullivan’s mom had a responsibility to get him out of that house. I can give all sorts of examples and diagnosis for the issues related to his father. And believe me, none of them good. But in this case, my emotion, which was anger and sadness, was for young Patrick who needed someone to keep him safe.
I know from my own personal experience growing up with an abusive father just how the script can go. My mom had the same responsibility to her children as Patrick’s mom. My mom was raised to be a “good Catholic girl” she believed she had to do whatever necessary to make her marriage work. My opinion, no matter your religion, IF YOUR CHILDREN ARE BEING ABUSED-GET THEM TO SAFETY!
Raising Your Son: The Basics
As a parent you commit to providing these basics:
If the parent isn’t strong enough to provide safety who should? Anyone who witnesses a child being abused has a responsibility to report that abuse. It’s easy to do, there are hotlines set up locally and nationally that provide anonymity – it just takes picking up the phone. In Patrick’s essay, there were several witnesses over the years who had the opportunity to make that call. But no one did. I urge you to not look the other way, if you witness abuse, you have an obligation to help that child.
Change Happens With Us
No child should live with a “black and blue” parent. It’s time to “Save Our Sons!” Your son doesn’t become a better athlete because you’re abusing him daily. He becomes the man he’s meant to be through love, encouragement, and the support of loving parents. He thrives in an environment where he is being mentored and taught by his family. I challenge each and every one of you to take an active role and make a difference for our children.
Are you with me on this? Can we all make a commitment to help keep children safe? I’d like to hear from you.