Posts Tagged ‘dad


Raising boys

// boys, that is the topic of this post. I have three and let me say right out of the blocks that I am no expert. I have learned that each of my sons is not like the other: one loves guitar, another basketball and the third politics. So…I am learning…my approach to each one needs to be customized. With that I need help. Maybe you can relate.

An article entitled “How to Fix Boys” caught my attention. It is an interview with Leonard Sax, family physician and research pathologist in Maryland. Here are some quotes that caught my attention:

The six-year-old boy and the six-year-old girl differ from each other much more than an adult man and adult woman do. We all wind up in the same place: there’s very little difference in terms of adult men’s and women’s maturity, ability to sit still, how they learn. But there are huge differences in the ability of the average six-year-old girl and boy to sit still and be quiet.

Policies which ban children from playing with pretend swords or toy guns are not grounded in any research findings demonstrating that those policies accomplish anything good.

If you have such a son, who is very much engaged by competition and mastery, these games may pose a particular risk. They can be addictive, and I use that term speaking as a medical doctor: literally addictive.

The most startling change between teenage culture today and 30 years ago is the way more and more teenage boys have moved away from the courtship of girls. Online pornography has displaced the pursuit of real girls for a significant number of boys.

Dad has an important role to play, but boys have to see a lot of different men to have a healthy sense of what it means to be a man. They need a community of men, and we don’t provide that.

Look again at the last point. The church needs to be a place where boys find healthy role models. I would love to hear what your church is doing in this regard.


Recognizing the shadows in the lessons we caught


My wonky ankle is aching again, so I have switched from running to riding a stationary bike. Not my favourite. It just doesn’t seem right to work up a big sweat by going no where (hmm that gives me an idea for another post…later J).

For my futile journey of all pedal and no progress I invited Reggie McNeal to be my ear buddy. Via podcast he filled my head with new notions regarding the essential disciplines of leadership (see his 2006 book Practicing Greatness). Reggie asked one question that stuck with me: “What is one thing that your dad taught you that he didn’t intend to?” Reggie isn’t talking about positive things here, he is talking about things we have learned from our dad (or from our mom) that have a dark side. Coming to grips with the lessons we learned in our home of origin, especially the unintentional and potentially detrimental ones, is part of growing in self awareness, a key discipline for leaders, so Reggie would argue.

In my home, I caught the lesson that “one does not make a scene”. In other words, one does not draw attention to themselves or to the situation. Conflict is to be avoided. The public stage, regardless of how small, is best left to others. In the last few years, I am beginning to realize the mantra, “one does not make a scene” can lead to some negative outcomes. There are times when avoiding conflict is not the right course. There have been times that trying to lead from the “wings” has been sorely ineffective.

Your turn if you would like. What lesson did you catch growing up that you are beginning to see is potentially detrimental?


This blog is a place to wrestle with loving, leading and labouring according to the Jesus Way.


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