When I was a teenager, my Grandpa gave me this advice: He said, “son before you buy a car, you have to kick the tires first!” I thought you might like to do the same. Over the next few weeks, I’m giving you the opportunity to “kick the tires” of my new book Saving Our Sons-A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Boys for Success.
The following excerpt is from Chapter 2: The State of Boyhood. I hope you enjoy!
“The State of Boyhood”
So, how DO we begin to build your son into a man who is healthy, happy and responsible? To begin, we need to understand the world your son is growing up in right now. And if your son is having trouble, I would be willing to bet that he is growing up without a dad.
There’s a wound most troubled boys share, which, at its core, comes from the feeling that they don’t have their father’s unconditional love. This affects boys whose fathers are missing from their lives because of divorce or abandonment. It happens with boys who are victims of abuse. It even happens with boys who live in two-parent households and see their fathers nearly every day.
I call this phenomenon the “Absent Father.”
The vast majority of the boys I see in my practice are growing up in homes where the father is not physically living in the home with them and being raised by single mothers. This isn’t always the case, but we’ll get to those other situations later.
If you’re a single mother, you don’t need me to tell you how hard that is. Without a partner to help with child-rearing duties, most of the single moms I know feel like they have to fill both the role of father and the role of mother for their children. There aren’t enough hours in the day for them to fill either role well, especially if there are other kids in the house who also need time and attention.
Most single moms work outside the home to make sure their children have a roof over their head, food on the table, and clothes to wear. The rest of the time, they’re preparing food, cleaning up, making sure the kids do their homework and driving to sports practices, teacher conferences, games, and activities.
No wonder so many single moms feel frazzled and at the end of their rope. If a child is having problems in school or with friends or even with the law, there’s not a lot of energy left to deal with that.
If that sounds like your experience, you are not alone. According to estimates, one in three boys currently lives in a home without a father or another strong male role model. The result is a crisis, and it’s currently affecting a large number of America’s boys.
The official release date for Saving Our Sons is September 1, 2016. The book is now available for pre-ordering on Amazon.com.