The Reason Your Boys are in Trouble

  • For the first time in US history women are the majority of the work force
  • Most Managers are now women
  • For every two men who get a college degree, three women do the same

A couple of years ago the Atlantic ran a story titled “The End of Men”. The article gave the telling update of the gender wars and all the headway women have made in the last 25 years. I was filled with excitement for our daughters and their bright future; and fear for our sons and their pending doom. Much to my dismay, it offered little hope of a world where both genders could be educated, heard, loved and respected. It is sad to think we have to emphasize one gender at the expense of the other academically, relationally, occupationally and spiritually.

 mom with her boys

The reason I’m so passionate about this subject!

How might we rescue the boys as we did the girls and not cause the demise of the girls again? Many would say boys are getting what they deserve for their aggressive, oversexed personalities and overactive behavior. Mothers, if you have sons, are you at all worried they are in danger of being neutered, labeled and swept under the rug of defeat? You should check out the new book, Strong Mothers/Strong Sons.

Are we being intentional about growing men who are adventurous, brave and independent? (Take a look at “The Overprotected Kid”) Have you considered these are your daughter’s prospective husbands? These are the fathers of your grandchildren. In many ways we are systematically removing the opportunity for a boy to compete, take risks, protect and provide? (Take a look at: “The Importance of Taking Risks”)

WAKE UP PARENTS!!! We have to stop the systemic harm we are causing our sons!! We have to advocate for our boys. They need recess and movement. Boys often times learn differently than girls. Medication can’t be our first choice because they seem too active. (Check out the books Boys Adrift and Brain Rules)

KWK cupKoffee With Kelli

I am not saying our boys don’t need to learn self control and how to focus to learn a lesson or hear a message. But we shouldn’t take away competition and the idea of learning by doing. In many ways we are raising the very young men we are complaining about. Our sons are 20 something and adrift; while parents continue footing the bill!!! We have young men proclaiming to be adults, but guess what the answer is when we ask, “Who is paying your cell phone bill?”

Perhaps scariest to me is NO ONE is talking about this at home, in school, at church, at work etc. Does this bother anyone else? Is anyone else worried?

So please, read the suggested material and watch the Youtube “The War on Boys”. Maybe I am off my rocker, but I don’t want to be asleep and miss opportunity to stand up for our boys!!!

Do you think our boys today are at a disadvantage in school, at home and at church? What do you think our response should be?

14 thoughts on “The Reason Your Boys are in Trouble

  1. Well said!! Recently teachers at my sons school said that he is outside the circle of normal. Let me just say this is far from true! And I’m not just being blind, my son is very athletic especially with golf. He’s an amazing golfer! He walked when he was 9 months and no kidding, shortly after that started picking up my husbands clubs and swinging them. His grades are off the charts, he’s so smart. But he gets himself in trouble for having to much energy. I tried talking with his teacher about this and figuring out a way where she felt validated, but mostly I just cared about my son. I got told that he is just expected to sit there. She said I have 24 other kids in my class and I don’t have the time. This article is spot on and you are not off your rocker by any means. Love this article. Someone needs to start talking about this, and not just sweeping it under the rug. Another great book to read is called bringing up boys by dr James Dobson. Fantastic book, and he talks about the demasculinaty of our boys. Again thanks so much for speaking out about this.

    • Thank you for your comments!! So sorry to hear about your son. I am a teacher by trade so I understand the tension of trying to do my job with large classroom full a wide range of personalities and academic abilities.

      We too had a son like you are describing. We advocated in this way with his school: We honored and affirmed his teacher and thanked her for teaching. Then we asked if there was any way that he could stand quietly at his desk while doing desk work if he did not distract anyone and did in fact get his work done.

      I want to be clear. I know our boys need to be able to focus and learn. We were intentional about training this at home at meals, family devotions and family meetings. We started early and tried to have high appropriate developmental expectations during this time.

      The teacher agreed to allow our son to give this a try. We were very clear with our son about the privilege and responsibility he had to be self governing to prove this would be a win/win for both the teacher and our son.

      This son is a Stanford graduate and coaching at Stanford today. We know there are no guarantees or expectation of the teachers, but it sure made a difference for him.

      Lastly I will just say that if I were in charge today, I would add recesses and never use recess as a disciplinary measure.

      Let’s keep this conversation going!!!

      Blessings….kelli

    • Your son may be intelligent, athletic, and loving at home. But is he respectful and kind towards others? Does he get along with others? Does he follow directions and the rules that lead the class to be an orderly pleasant room for all the children in it? Find out why he is taking so much of the teacher’s attention and work on that. We want our children to be well rounded, which means growth in all areas. I am a mother of two boys myself and also a teacher, so I see both sides.

  2. I’d love to hear more about your Stanford son. I only have a 3yo boy and the lil guy run circles around me.

    One day, in an attempt to see if I could wear him out, I took him everywhere – out to breakfast, grocery trip, petsmart to look at animals, playground, worked in the garden… I came in ready for nap and he wanted to bake cookies!

    Other parents & his preschool teachers often comment on how much energy he has… Any tips?

    • Hi Lindsay! Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog!! First, let me say that I am happy you don’t consider this abnormal or a bad thing. The first thing we always ask is the physical part of this behavior. Sugar, artificial colors, flavors and preservatives can have quite and effect on our children. The next step is to begin training him to sit, focus and learn. It is never too late to begin. It is good training to expect him to be able to sit and eat dinner for 10-15 minutes with the family as well as for Bible reading or family meetings. This training of especially busy children is often skipped because it is difficult at first – but it is really important for all of us. The last bit we would offer is that everyday, it is ok to train him to have a quiet time. He does not have to sleep, but he needs to lay down. He may read, sing, listen to music, pray or dream about what he wants to do when he gets up. NO TECHNOLOGY!! This training again, helps all of us stop and have times of solitude when life gets crazy. I hope that helps!

      Thank you again.
      Blessings…kelli

  3. Thank you David and kelli. This is a great blog! Like Lindsay, I also have a little one and sometimes it incredibly scary thinking what the future world is going to be like for him. Kelli, those are great tips for little boys with extra energy. You both (along with my awesome parents) have given me a great example of parenting ever since I can remember. Please keep up the blogs, I look forward to reading them everyday. You are a blessing to so many! Love you.

    • Oh Tess! That means so much coming from you!! You are doing a wonderful job mothering and just by being aware of some of these issues helps all of us be more intentional in our parenting. I will continue to speak directly to mothers about their sons because many moms are asking me questions about their role in growing healthy successful husbands and fathers. Thank you for visiting our blog!! Love you…kelli

  4. Love reading all your posts. You both are so wise. I am grateful for your willingness to share it!

    • Hi Christina!! Thank you for your kind and generous words!! We are so excited to be journeying with so many families and feel blessed to be invited into your lives!! Be encouraged and hopeful!! Blessings…kelli

  5. Love this! I have said this for years. Women have been taught for years that they do not need a man and look where it has gotten us. Just turn on the tv and you will see how our society is demoralizing men. This is evident in the State Farm ad where the wife comes down stairs in the middle of the night, finds her husband on the phone and assumes he is calling a porn line. Ugh! This makes me so furious! There are other commercials and tv shows that make men seem like incompetent goof balls who cannot do anything right, while their wives, mothers or girlfriends come behind them and clean up their messes.

    Gone are the days of Leave It to Beaver or My Three Sons when dad was a strong, positive figure in the household. Even The Cosby Show and Full House had dads who worked hard and were a positive influence in the lives of their families. I am so sad and angry that there is not more outcry about how our boys are being short-changed.

    Being a homeschooling military family, we have an opportunity a lot of families do not. We spend large amounts of time as a family (somewhat by necessity). My kids see a dad who loves God, them, their mom and also loves and serves his country. I am heart sick that boys are being forced to fill a mold they will never fit into. Boys and men are messy, loud, rambunctious and adventurous. There is nothing wrong with this with healthy limits.

    Thanks for saying it out loud and beginning the dialogue!

    • Dear Friend,
      First of all, thank you for serving our country by supporting your husband. Our son is getting ready to head off to West Point, so my heart is passionate for our soldiers!

      I intend on sharing on this topic of raising boys regularly because the response has been great to this blog. The tension is to find a way to honor,encourage and grow Godly men and women without ignoring and slandering either gender. The enemy is having a heyday right now and we believe this conversation must continue. God bless your family and thank you for visiting and responding to our blog!! Respectfully, kelli and david

  6. Thank you Kelli for your wonderful words of wisdom regarding boys and their upbringing. I too raised a son who was high energy and high IQ. Teachers in Germany had no patience for this busy little boy and when he finished his work he got into mischief. They would assign him extra math to fill up his extra time. No money in the system for additional activities beyond sheets of math. I guess I can say it certainly boosted his math skills. Moving children around in the DOD system exposes them to a variety of schools, teacher skills, and stresses with parents deploying and no extended families available.

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