Just Give Your Son a Positive Identity. Just Be DAD.
The Value of a Good Name by Tim Brown
We are living in a time where many boys are searching desperately for an identity . They lack guidance and direction. They are searching for who they are, and usually looking in the wrong places; often, they aspire to be like popular athletes, entertainers, reality TV stars and other influences, and many of them are negative role models.
More than anyone, fathers and father figures need to be those positive role models that boys can identify with and emulate. We are in a position to instill a sense of belonging and purpose into those young men in our lives. Boys today need to be taught by their dads the true value of who they are—and affirmed for who they are.
For me, giving boys a positive identity begins with their name. They need to learn that a name—their name—stands for something valuable and is to be highly esteemed. You son needs to know he can build a positive sense of identity on his name. Here are three ways you can do that with your son:
The Critical Window is Middle School
by Craig McClain
I ask my Grandson, a 7th grader, to estimate how many boys at his school were using drugs. He said, “around 30%”. I asked him how many at his 6th grade school were using drugs. He immediately said “NONE”. Statistics show his estimate accurate.The average age of first drug use is 13, first alcohol use is 12.
Our experience, gained from 17 years of working with teenage boys, is that every boy wants to be a successful man. That no boy dreams of dropping out of school, going to prison, getting hooked on drugs or joining a gang, YET MILLIONS DO. Here’s Why.
Middle school years are a critical time when a boy’s choices, both conscious and unconscious, begin to form the foundation of the man he will become. Whether a boy’s father died, abandoned him or is emotionally unavailable, a teenage boy beginning his journey to manhood with no man to guide him will likely lose his way. One wrong step followed by another, and another, and soon his dreams begin to fade, and the reality that he must figure out manhood alone sets in. His hope is replaced with despair, his innocence turns to anger.
The crisis in our community: There is a need for young men to be accountable and expected to prepare themselves for leadership of their families and the community in which they live. We are slowly facing a lack of real male leadership. Young men need be taught the value of being respected as a man of honor and integrity.
What you are doing today?
I.M.A.G.E.—Imagine Me A Gentleman of Excellence—Empowering Boys to Live Uncommon In a Common World. We are currently using the I.M.A.G.E. teaching as an 10 week Life Skills and Decision Making sessions for young men in Middle School and High School.
What you have learned—why is this needed?
Through these sessions we have learned the need to counteract the values taught through MTV, Music, Movies, Music-Videos and other forms of media. We have been able to teach the correct way for young men to make good decisions that will impact their life in a positive way.