I (Ashley) recently received an unexpected Facebook message from an old friend that simply made my day. I thought the message was so remarkably thoughtful, well-written, caring, and engaging that I asked him if I could share it on this blog. I felt that posting it in a public forum would not only allow for a wide range of input from others but would also highlight an example of a remarkably caring father who is committed to raising healthy boys:
Hi, Ashley. Do you know of any good books on raising boys to not be jerks? I’ve talked to so many parents who are nervous about raising their girls in a society so plagued with damaging stereotypes, awful role models, oppressive attitudes, etc., totally valid concerns for sure, but I’m surprised at the lack of concern of many parents of boys who seem to take the attitude of “I don’t have to worry about that kind of stuff, because I don’t have a girl”. I think that is absolute BS and a great way to ensure that their boys grow up to help perpetuate these kinds of problems.
I’m doing my best to raise my boys to be confident, caring, empathetic, forward thinking, etc., and would love to hear some parenting strategies on: teaching about and preventing violence, the troubles with masculinity stereotypes and pressures, sensitivity to gender issues, dealing with racism, classism, how to develop healthy relationships, you know, all the good stuff. Any suggestions?
I look into my past and see so many of the awful ways that I’ve treated people, the ridiculous notions that I’ve bought into, the pressures I’ve succumbed to, and naturally I want things to be better for my boys. I think it is important that they have the tools early in life to empower them to be ready for the choices and challenges that will be presented to them as they grow up.
If this is an example of the fathers in my life, then I am very hopeful indeed.
Please post your suggestions, comments, etc. below.Categories: Humans