One thing you learn when you write a blog about boys: a lots of the news about boys is negative.
Think about the stories you’ve heard in the news lately. When was the last time you heard something positive about a boy? (Short of the every-so-often Eagle Scout announcement.) Most of the stories are about boys failing, boys murdering, boys drowning, boys beating.
The news out of Milwaukee this month includes boys beating an elderly man, dancing atop cars and vandalizing a car dealership. In each case, at least one of the boys claimed his motive was boredom.
Clearly, we need to find productive things for our boys to do. And clearly, boredom does not excuse bad behavior.
Our boys need us — parents, families and communities — to set health and safety limits. But our boys also need us to show them the positive path. What are some positive way boys can channel their energy? Some positive ways they can channel their innate sense of competition? Some positive ways they can seize and exercise power?
We also need to talk about the positive things our boys are doing. Beyond the fact that headlines for bad behavior may actually encourage more bad behavior, positive news stories can inspire other boys. Just imagine: what if our boys grew up surrounded by a million positive messages? What if they heard about all the ways other boys are helping their communities? What if your son heard the story of one other boy, and that story touched something inside him? Your son might never be the same again — and this case, that would be a good thing.
Think about it: What messages are surrounding your sons? How can you help counter the constant flow of bad news boys?