Throughout the years, I have met with hundreds of men for counseling. At some point in the conversation, I hear this statement: “I wish someone would have spent time teaching me about being a man when I was younger.” In this statement, I hear the current struggles and past mistakes. Many of the men feel unequipped to live as leaders and adults in our homes.
So, what are we to do about this? If you have boys in your home, you have an opportunity to change the next generation. Evaluate your own heart and mind, but also pour into your boys to make sure they will act like men. Here are 3 reasons men still act like boys—and how you can make sure your boys grow up to be men.
1. They never learned how to problem-solve.
My youngest son loves to eat and we are constantly kicking him out of the pantry. Sometimes when we tell him no, he breaks down and throws a fit on the floor. When I give in and let him have a snack at that moment, I am reinforcing his behavior. Men who act like boys in certain areas of life only know how to get what they want by using childish behavior. A boy who is never taught how to solve problems in a healthy way will be the man who slams the internet router on the ground because he can’t fix it. We must teach them healthy problem-solving techniques and ways to communicate that do not reinforce childish behavior.
2. They never had an initiation into manhood.
Recent studies have shown that adolescence is now extended to age 24. With college students spending more time on education and delayed marriage, many young adults still function as children. An uninitiated young man is lost and longing for direction and purpose. My boys are still boys and I want them to enjoy being kids, but I am planning to take each of them on a trip of initiation when they are ready. When they become adults, I never want my boys to wonder if they are men.
3. Their perception of masculinity isn’t correct.If we fail to give our boys a correct image of masculinity, they will default to what they see on TV.
Many men see masculinity through the lenses of movies and TV shows. The men we grow up watching on our screens are either overly assertive macho men or passive goofballs we laugh at. If we fail to give our boys a correct image of masculinity, they will default to what they see on TV. As dads, we must define the type of men we want our boys to become and we must be that man for them. They will learn more from watching you than from watching TV.
Earn some points: Are you married? Share this iMOM article with your wife. Are You Getting in the Way of Your Son Becoming a Man?
Sound off: What other ways have you seen men act like boys?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What do you think it means to be an adult?”