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Are we failing to guide our boys into manhood?

As all parents know, our culture is full of traps waiting to derail our best efforts. Here are a few important pitfalls to be aware of, especially if you have boys.

Recently I attended a parade in a well-to-do suburb.  A band of young men sporting their scout uniforms marched by and I was saddened to see they seemed...well, kind of out of it.  Here's a link to an article about what might be plaguing our young men an

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/these-two-traps-are-absolutely-destroying-the-next-generation-of-young-men-in-america

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Richard Schulte June 04, 2012 at 12:05 AM
Interesting article, but I think there is much more to it than that. I think that the feminization of the culture has got a lot to do with it. In the old days, "boys will boys" was acceptable behavior-that meant playing rough games and getting into physical and verbal fights. These days, such behavior is not tolerated by school authorities (predominantly female). Sorry, but biology demands that boys play rough and suppressing biology has its effects on boys which carries over into manhood. From the standpoint of marriagae and being husbands and fathers, the legal system severely punishes men in divorce. Getting married from a male standpoint is a "crap shoot". In a divorce, men not only lose access to their children, but also are ruined financially. The advice I was given when I was young was not to get married. Of course, I was dumb and didn't follow that advice. After 17 years of marriage, divorced ruined my economic well-being. My advice to any young man would be to never get married-it's simply not worth the potential costs. My male friends who have been married for any length of time are not really happy. The threat of financial ruin is the only thing that keeps them in the marriage, otherwise they would have been out of the marriage long ago.
victoria smith June 04, 2012 at 11:56 AM
I don't know where Shellene has gotten the idea that there are so many ball fields that are quiet and empty. In Evanston and the surrounding suburbs the ball fields are filled with teams of young boys and girls. That goes for the ice rinks for hockey and the out door basketball courts as well, football and soccer. Yes, there are allot of kids playing video games, but not all of them are glued to the t.v. screen. Then on the other hand we have kids that are involved with other activities such as chess clubs, band, art and the list could go on. Maybe there are some parents out there that don't try and get their kids involved in finding something else interactive what ever it may be because they themselves really are not involved socially. As far as the marriage aspect and not ever getting married because of being afraid that if you divorce it will wipe you out financially.... In these times, most women work, they have careers as well. It is not like it was 30-40 years ago when Mothers stayed home to take care of the kids and had no means of supporting themselves because they were so out of tune in the work force, so husbands did have to pay allimony. Women today have just as much to loose in a divorce as well. As the rap song says" get a pre-nup" As I have told my young men, you don't have to get married, it is your choice. You don't have to have kids either. It is your life, you make your own path and follow it. I am sorry Richard for you misfortune.
Jim June 04, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Raising any child today, biy or girl, is frought with difficulty on many levels. The financial cost is immense, the absence of parents is disastrous, the culture imbues values contrary to many parents, education is mediocre at best. If I had to start over, I would never have children and probably not have gotten married.
Eric Lieberman June 05, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Ms. Shellene - Your article reminded me of an article my father, Archie Lieberman (http:/www./archielieberman.com) wrote for the Tribune back in the 50's. It was about the vacant lots in Evanston back then and the simple, unstructured joys that boys could find in them. He wrote: "All men who were once boys should cry out against the disappearing vacant lot, a wonderful expanse of ground that appears to belong to no one, is free for the using, and is full of fascinating things - trees for climbing, weeds like fox tail and sun flower, old bicycles tires, lumber scraps and kids." The article included photos showing me, my brother Robert, and our friends playing in a vacant lot at Dodge and Washington. I still remember the "blood suckers" that attached themselves to you when you reached into the stream a streamlet that ran across the lot. Today, the leeches are dead, the stream is dried up, the lot is houses and the city is replete with structured and adult organized sports. I wonder if our youth has suffered from the imagination, freedom and creativity that were lost when the vacant lots disappeared. (If I can figure out how, I will post some pictures from the article and send a link.) Eric Lieberman ejlieberman@gmail.com
june shellene June 05, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Eric My dad said when he was a kid, they would have told any adult that tried to do the organizing of ball games, etc., to take a hike. He would go door to door, get the boys together, they'd pick teams, and play ball in a lot or park. That's how he got his organizational skills. Indeed, we've done our children great disservice.
Eric Lieberman June 06, 2012 at 04:21 PM
June - if our fathers were here today, they'd be out playing keep away in some vacant lot! - Eric

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