Raising Boys: Guys, if not you, THEN WHO?
‘Why is it that everyone comes to our school to talk to the girls, and nobody talks to us?’ This question was asked by a 14-year old boy when we visited their school.
‘It seems to me that the girls are more important, this is the first time someone is doing a project for boys in our school’. This observation was made by a 15-year old student who was about graduating from school.
While many may feel that this has been caused by the focus on girl child development, that is just a part of the story as there isn’t enough focus, funding and attention on boy child development.
Yes, there are very few foundations and initiatives that focus on boy child development, coincidentally, most of them are founded by women.
This leads to my question…….
GUYS, what role are you playing in raising the next generation of men?
At the end, is it just about the hustle, work, dating, marriage and all. Or should we continue hiding under the umbrella of advocating for women and girls.
Can you beat your chest and say one young boy out there has gotten it or is getting it right because of you?
As young men, it is our duty to raise the next generation of young men.
Considering issues that relate to boys, from sex education, self-expression, personal hygiene, responsibility, academic struggle, emotional wellness, navigating teen age; if you don’t step in and step up, who will?
While many young men can only wish they were properly mentored and guided, life has given you an opportunity to pass on what you previously didn’t have.
GUYS, it is your responsibility.
We can hope for women to advocate for the boychild all we want. We can play a passive role for as long as we want. But my work in boy child development has shown me that there is a gap that only men can fill. There is a gap that only you can fill.
You may ask, what role can I play?
1. Mentor a boy who desires your career path.
2. Partner with schools to run mentorship programs.
3. Pass on your skills and knowledge.
4. Share your experiences online.
5. Encourage the people who are into boy child development.
6. Mentor a boy within your neighborhood or religious organization.
Keep in mind, mentors are only effective if young boys believe in them. It’s impossible to force a mentoring relationship; it takes time, energy, and consistency to show a boy that you are worthy of trust.
But it will be worth it now and in the end if we are patient and active enough to play our role in raising the next generation of men for the family, workplace and society.
The next generation of men are depending on what you, my brothers are willing to pass on.