Let Boys Be Boys

Never in our history has the role of fathers been more important than today in our increasingly confused and even toxic culture. Fathers matter, for girls and for boys. The messages boys receive in this anti-male society, however, are that they should not be masculine, and in fact, they might even want to consider “becoming girls.” How can they possibly grow up to be the fathers we desperately need in the future? In his downloadable “Let Boys Be Boys” presentation, Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life USA, explains how we got to where we are and what we can do now to raise our boys to be mature, responsible, and godly men and fathers. - Pat Daugherty, Ed.D.

Let Boys Be Boys

Trail Life USA (www.traillifeusa.com) is a Church-Based, Christ-Centered, Boy-Focused mentoring and discipleship journey that speaks to the heart of a boy. Established on timeless values derived from the Bible and set in the context of outdoor adventure, boys from kindergarten through 12th grade are engaged in a troop setting by male mentors where they are challenged to grow in character, understand their purpose, serve their community, and develop practical leadership skills to carry out the mission for which they were created. Trail Life USA has more than 800 troops with over 25,000 members in all 50 states. Reprinted with permission. - Mark Hancock, CEO, Trail Life USA

Father and sonsWe are sending boys, ill-equipped, into a culture that has seemingly declared war on boyhood. Things that used to be normal boyhood behavior – like running and climbing and not waiting their turn to speak—are now listed as symptoms of ADHD. It’s as if boys are the canaries in the coal mine of our culture, and they are paying dearly to tell us there is something wrong.

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics:

  • Boys are 30 percent more likely than girls to flunk or drop out of school;
  • When it comes to grades and homework, girls outperform boys in elementary, secondary, high school, college, and even graduate school;
  • Boys are four to five times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD);
  • Women outnumber men in higher education with 56 percent of bachelor’s degrees and 55 percent of graduate degrees going to women.

According to the U.S. Department of Education:

  • Boys make up two-thirds of the students in special education and are five times more likely to be classified as hyperactive.

Let Boys Be BoysDiscussions about toxic masculinity and notions of gender fluidity have clouded the long-standing commonly-held truth that boys and girls have different strengths and abilities and need to be led in different ways. Girls are more likely to do well in the quiet, focused, reflective environment of a traditional classroom where boys squirm and struggle.  Boys learn through moving and thrive on daring and competition, risk and conquest. In Let Boys Be Boys Hancock writes about the slippery slope of sanitized “everyone-is-a-winner” sports and the perpetuation of participation trophies. As we remove the risk factors and competitive atmosphere from their learning spaces, we drive boys to a video-game world where they can compete, take chances, win, and lose. They excel at video games, but instead of getting credit for being a winner in that world, they’re criticized for playing too many video games. It seems boys can’t even win at winning!

Dear Leader of boys, if the meetings you are holding look anything like a typical classroom or Sunday school class, you are losing the battle!  Ready for a challenge?  Download the free resources Mark discusses in his presentation to learn essential strategies to engage, prepare, and equip boys to become godly and responsible husbands, fathers, citizens, and leaders.

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Mike Scruggs