Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Posts Tagged ‘teens’

Wholesome Parenthood: Is It Worth It?

Posted by Thomas on January 12, 2011

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Have you ever wondered if your parenting efforts, specifically, your efforts to be a good father are worth it? I mean, we know our children will disappoint us—for we disappointed our parents. Ever feel like throwing in the towel? Because you’re certain your child will bump their head on something foolish, real soon.

I’ve been there. I don’t like the idea of investing in something without the prospect of a decent return on that investment. Sometimes, I see my efforts in fatherhood through those same lenses. It is scary. I’ve said before, that being a parent is hands-down the hardest job I’ve ever had. And often times I wonder if my ranting and raving; and talking and talking and talking, is really making a difference in the life of my now teenage son.

We’ve seen in recent years, families close to us, struggle deeply in dealing with their young adults. And I’m not talking about kids reared in broken homes. These are kids—from families with involved moms and dads—making bad decisions; engaging in frightening behavior.

Is wholesome parenthood, particularly fatherhood, worth it? Why worry ourselves throughout sleepless nights over ungrateful and foolhardy children? (Sigh)

When I feel like this I try hard to remember the hell I put my mom through as a young adult. I try hard to step into the shoes of the young person. I try, despite the difficulties, to see things from the young person’s perspective—remembering where I came from.

When you start feeling down as a parent, second guessing your choices, your rules, the guidelines you’ve laid out for your child—exhale. Look in the mirror and say aloud “It’s worth it. It all will pay off in the end.” Trust that.

Remember, the ups and downs we experience with our children are only for a season. Have faith that you’ve done the best you could with what you had. And yes, from one parent to another, “YES!” it is all worth it. Your child will be a better person for all of your efforts. And that friends, is one of your positive contributions to the world at large.

God bless you!

May the Year of our Lord 2011 be very good to you and your loved ones.

I just finished reading Denzel Washington’s book A Hand to Guide Me. He makes a case for the Boys and Girls Club of America organization. He gives a compelling tale of how his own life was changed by the caring adults at his local club growing up. The remainder of the book is filled with personal testaments from other successful people (and not all are celebrities – which is great). Get the book and be inspired as a parent or a caring adult doing your part to make the world better by positively impacting the life of a child. So, this post could be titled: Wholesome Mentoring: Is It Worth It? You tell me…



Posted in African American Families, African American Men, Black Dads, Black Fathers, Dads, Education, Family, Mentorship, Rants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Are Parents Interested in a Boy’s Rites of Passage

Posted by Thomas on October 24, 2010

In my circle of influence parents tell me our Rites of Passage Program for Glynne inspires them to do the same for their sons. I’m asked about writing a book on the subject and our journey. Our family has in fact discussed creating a real product around the program but that’s where the story stalls.

I have pages of research on the subject and many articles I’ve written on this blog related to rites of passage and parenting in general. Mostly I believe other parents are interested in a rites of passage program for their sons. Though I have not identified a viable product model (at this point a book seems too one-dimensional, and at least in my mind, would not capture the essence of my message; but who knows) this idea nags me like an always on computer program taking up precious RAM in my dated desktop computer.

Most days I resign that a product just does not make sense and what we’ve accomplished is just meant for our son Glynne. Then I come across something like the RaeCole blog. Though the blog and product are exclusive to girls the principles that have manifested them into reality are the same.

I came across the site through an e-newsletter I get from Mom Invented, a truly inspiring site, again, the focus isn’t on males, however the positive and encouraging messages espoused to women entrepreneurs is timeless and serves all populations well.

This blog post at RaeCole portrays a journey akin to my own and when the negative pops up “No, parents are not interested in a rites of passage for their sons” articles like this and the constant positive feedback I get from real life friends and family inspire and encourage me to keep fleshing the idea out—one day, the right product model will materialize. And what started out as a family matter will help empower other families as they instruct their sons on the road to responsible male adulthood.

I don’t know Marianne, owner of RaeCole, but I am grateful I stumbled upon her site and her story.


Posted in African American Families, Black Boys, Black Fathers, Family, Rites of Passage Program | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »