Certainly, everyone has heard this phrase. It is both used as a throw all excuse for boys and even men’s behavior, while also having become a triggering expression that people either hide behind or loath. It has also sadly become common that girls are told that when a boy is too aggressive with them, that the behavior is a sign that “He likes you..” If we are going to end generational trauma, we must become aware of and redirect these misunderstandings.
The fact is boys are different from girls. Compared to girls, on average boys have up to 20 times more Testosterone, a hormone associated with aggressive behavior. Boys also have less Serotonin, a calming nuero-chemical, although girls tend to use it up faster than boys and boys tend to replace it faster than girls. From the beginning, boys are physiologically working with a different set of influences on the human body than girls. Boys tend to be more impulsive, physically active, while girls tend to have better memory and verbal skills. These are simply facts, not excuses for behavior. And yet, it puts a different spin on the parenting approach Dads need to take with their sons. Dads are responsible for teaching their sons how to be a man. Dads are the model. So, how do we model this for our sons…? What skills does a boy need to acquire to become a productive, nurturing example of manhood? When Dads are good men first, they can become good Fathers for their children, and a guiding example for their sons.
We have lost certain rites of passage for boys in our culture. Fathers and Sons need rituals that are considered sacred and understood to be lessons on becoming Men. Father’s must first have a personal understanding of their own journey on what it means to be a Man. Some men grew up father-less or with an absentee father, who had lost their belief and understanding of the importance of ritual and practicing the skills of manhood. Some of us have had to discover for ourselves what it means to be a Man in our own way, without the guidance of substantive fathering figures. At Parent Aid, we have several classes, like the 24/7 Dad programming, which explore our past influences and our present needs as Men, Fathers, and Dads. Please check out our list of classes here. https://parentaid.org/calendar/
Until next time, keep your Dad game strong.