Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Posts Tagged ‘boys rites of passage’

3 Ways to Boost Your Son’s Self-Worth

Posted by Thomas on November 29, 2011

Before you continue: 

This post has 572 words. 

On average, it will take you less than 7 minutes to read.

I recently had a conversation with a friend surrounding validation and self-worth. I learned some of us don’t get proper nutrients that make for a strong sense of self-worth. This post shares 3 ways you can boost your son’s self-worth. They are simple, practical, and everyone can do them.

I am not a shrink so no high-minded definition of self-worth here. In my mind the idea is fairly straightforward: self-worth is you seeing yourself as being worthy. Operating from that vantage point let’s examine some general truths.

You can probably relate to this general truth. In our world we (adults) esteem girls over boys. Furthermore, when boys do encounter esteem often it is framed unhealthily. For example, a teen boy is filled with a sense of self-worth when he fathers a child or is validated by his crew when he steals a purse.

On the other hand our girls hear throughout their lives, you are beautiful, charming, and smart. If you are a father with a daughter maybe you’ve said “You are daddy’s little princess”.

Of course I realize not every boy and not every girl is raised in these experiences but generally this is the way it is. Think about your own life if you are a male how often did you hear validating words growing up? If you are a female how often did you hear validating words growing up?

In order for our sons to reach their full potential as healthy, contributing, responsible men we must intentionally develop their sense of self-worth. Like we do with our girls we must esteem our boys. As parents we accomplish this in our sons the same way we accomplish it in our daughters—through praise, encouragement, affirmation, and a host of other positive interactions.

I realize that a sense of self-worth in a big way comes from within. But my point here is that we (parents) must deposit hefty amounts of praise, encouragement, affirmation, and love so our sons will have an abundant account to draw from as they age.

To recap our general truths: our girls are esteemed while our boys are not. When our boys do encounter esteem it is often the unhealthy kind.

Here are 3 ways to boost your son’s self-worth:

  1. Showering him with appropriate praise. It lets him know that he can do things well.
  2. Teach him something. As parents we are constantly teaching our children but here I mean something truly tangible and concrete, something your son can own. For example, making pancakes, cutting the yard, making the perfect pass in basketball, or baiting a hook—catching the fish—scaling and gutting the fish—frying the fish.
  3. Tell him he is handsome. Your son needs to know that he looks good, that he is charming, and that he has a beautiful spirit that matches his physical beauty. The first time your son hears that he is attractive should not be from a girl that likes him; it should be from his parents that love him.

Validation, in all of its positive aspects, is a profoundly important cornerstone in building the proper sense of self-worth in our sons. Infuse it in your life and your son’s rites of passage program because doing so empowers your son to be the best man he can—and the world needs him to be just that.

What other ideas would you add to this list of 3? Leave your comments.



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What Does Your Village Look Like

Posted by Thomas on November 27, 2011

Before you continue: 

This post has 190 words. 

On average, it will take you less than 2 minutes to read. 

Considering all the effort that went into growing my son into the person he is today it is important to praise the village that helped raise him.

Besides my wife and me (she has filled the mother role in his life since age 6) there are many other adults that have shaped my son’s life. From school staff, to non-profit volunteers, to church members, to business leaders, aunts, cousins, and so many others—which make up the village—have all taken part in raising and guiding him.

So today’s question surrounding a rites of passage ceremony for boys is “What does your village look like?” Take some time and consider thoughtfully the adults that make up your circle—those that regularly interact with your son—your circle inevitably make up the village that assists in training your son.

If you don’t like what you see in the village it is time to change friends and acquaintances. They—your friends, family, circle, THE VILLAGE—will influence your son as he matriculates through his rites of passage program. You want that influence to be positive.

What does your village look like?


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