Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Posts Tagged ‘parents’

Corrective Discipline with Teen Boys

Posted by Thomas on January 12, 2012

I am now a Big Brother with the Big Brother Big Sisters organization. Because of the things I’ve done with my son and his rites of passage training I also have a family member that has diligently asked that I take time up with her son. Both of the young men have tried the patience of their parents and family over the last month. Being disrespectful, storming out of the house, throwing things–their behavior has been such that with each boy in separate incidences the police were called.

How do you get adolescent boys to line up straight? How do we as the loving, caring, and concerned adults in their lives deliver corrective discipline?

Over several weeks now as I’ve heard each exhausted mother explain the issues and situations they have dealt with their sons I considered my own. The problems they are experiencing I did not while raising my son. As a concerned male figure in both of these young men’s lives I need to find my role. They are not my children–BUT–I am a part of their Village. I’ve been challenged to find the balance of discipline and guidance as a Village member. These situations have also made me think about some of the corrective discipline actions I’ve taken with my own son through the years (actions some around me called outrageous at the time).

What are your thoughts? If you are a Village member in the life of a teen boy who is displaying undesired behavior how have you handled it?



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Do You Have Your Child on a Pedestal?

Posted by Thomas on November 1, 2011

Before you continue: 

This post has 254 words. 

On average, it will take you less than 3 minutes to read. 

I recently had separate conversations with two colleagues. We were talking about our children. Both said (a father and a mother) “Oh no, she’s much smarter than I was at that age.” They made me think about my son. I remember him telling me once “Pop, you think more highly of me than you ought to. Stop putting me on a pedestal.” 

As we continued talking his point was simple: “Hey, I’m not perfect.” The caution that came out of that conversation was, for me as a parent, don’t be disappointed if (or when) your child doesn’t live up to your expectations. 

I think it’s hard to not place our children on pedestals. They are our hope and legacies in so many ways. But, as parents, we must find balance. 

We cannot project so much of what we want for them to the point of stifling their interests, personality, and creativity. At some magical mile-marker on the road of parenthood we must shift into the guiding mode and not the telling mode; stepping slightly aside, enough to allow them to blossom into their excellent self. 

Even with that understanding I believe our children will always be on pedestals in our hearts and minds. I think it comes with the territory of parenthood. As long as we temper our thoughts with the reality that they, as young adults, are their own person all is well. 

Today my son leaves for the U.S. Coast Guard. Today I have him on the tallest pedestal of all. 


Posted in Rants | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »