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Guide For Sons

Guide Versions: English | Español | 中文

After researching the Millennial generation and iGenz, I began receiving a few questions from parents and educators about young men. Parents felt concern that their young men were performing poorly in school and some educators didn’t understand why their material didn’t connect with young men. Initially, these concerns seemed to reflect the idiom of girls mature faster than boys, but data began to show concerns with young men and the implications. To help parents, I wrote a short and free guide on a few suggestions that will help sons succeed.

Are Young Men Struggling?

This depends on who you ask. Some of what we observe with young men reflects the old idiom – girls mature faster than boys – and I heard this from an older person who grew up in the early 1900s, so this idiom has been around for at least 100 years. Some of what we observe may reflect a poor understanding of what some cultures expect boys to know. For an example, some cultures expect young men to initiate relationships (including romantic), therefore these boys in these cultures need to learn social skills early in life. They also need to learn related social skills to social initiation. Most schools in these cultures do not teach this. In a sense, some of the perceived failure is a disconnect in what is expected of boys and what boys are actually learning.

In addition, the below information may be of interest to some readers:

  1. “Women earned the majority of doctoral degrees in 2016 for 8th straight year & outnumber men in grad school 135-100. http://bit.ly/2x34WZqLink
  2. “Three male college graduates for every four women college graduates.” Link
  3. “For the current graduating class of 2013, the Department of Education estimates that women will earn 61.6% of all associate’s degrees this year, 56.7% of all bachelor’s degrees, 59.9% of all master’s degrees, and 51.6% of all doctor’s degrees. Overall, 140 women will graduate with a college degree at some level this year for every 100 men.” Link

These measure success in terms of educational achievement, which one may challenge. My own research showed that the median Millennial female made 6-8% more than the median Millennial male (while using ceteris paribus variable measurements). Overall young women are doing well – and I expect this to continue.

Books Covering Young Men’s Struggle

Outside of my short guide, other authors have written about young men struggling with some of these books offering suggestions. When I’ve mentioned some of the below books to parents, they’ve expressed concerns, one of which is that the books don’t offer them useful suggestions about what to teach their sons.

Still, if parents want to seek further research on the topic, I highly recommend the above books.

Legal and Medical Note

Before reading this guide, be sure that:

  • Your son is not suffering from a psychological, chemical, or medical issue.
  • You have a doctor that you visit regularly for your son.
  • You live in an area where all the advice is within the confines of the law.

. If you see anything listed in this guide that is forbidden in your jurisdiction, skip it. For example, some jurisdictions may not allow you to learn other languages, so you can skip this section. If you see a section that is not allowed in your jurisdiction, skip it and move on to the next piece of actionable information. Also, if anything is required or recommended before an activity – such as seeking medical approval before starting a physical activity – get the recommended or required help. If your son is struggling, always start with medical and psychological help, as hormonal issues, or medical issues cannot be solved by mastering skills or learning valuable information.

The Guide

Guide Versions: English | Español | 中文

The short guide addresses some of the following concerns that parents of boys have:

  • What skill will significantly increase your son’s social pool?
  • What technique can your son use in every situation to prevent wasting energy in any action?
  • What is one action your son must do daily to prevent stagnation and to increase his happiness?

I wrote this short guide to help parents with some actionable recommendations for raising boys. The guide is free and available in multiple languages and most parents will be able to read the guide in less than three hours. My hope is that most parents can find several suggestions useful for their sons. This guide only gives parents some insights into useful skills their sons can use – how parents implement that or find that is up to them. As a parent, you have insight into how your son learns and the feedback you receive from him, so you’ll know how he can learn the recommendations.

Support

While I appreciate the offer, if you want to help, send this guide to any parent who’s been searching for help with their son. You can also make a huge impact on your community by sponsoring scholarships for low income young men in educational or health opportunities before college, like paying for low income kids to attend a self-defense class or learn a language. Finally, there are foundations that help men, such as the Movember foundation.

Questions & Answers

Below are some popular questions I’ve been asked related to the topics in the guide.

I live in a rural area with few options for my children. How can I do some of the suggestions considering the limited options?

Rural environments offer more challenges to parents than urban environments because of what you mention – few options in the area. The advantage a rural environment carries is skill concentration: some of the most talented people in the world in respective fields are from smaller environments where few distractions exist. As you determine your child’s passions and talents, help your child concentrate on these skills. Also consider:

  • If you live near a large or medium size city, set aside one day a week to do activities in the city that will help your child build the skills mentioned.
  • Research cost-effective ways for some of the skills mentioned. Like in the case of exercise, some YouTubers have built great physical playgrounds for their children at a very low, which has helped their children complete daily exercises. An example which cost less than $40:
  • If you have access to the internet, consider that some tutors teach through Skype, so this is an option for people in rural areas. Some forms of teaching may also be done through email or messaging.
  • Look for organizations that teach children practical skills like 4H, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, Camp Fire, Pathfinders, Navigators USA, or similar organizations. If you are open to religious organizations, you may find some groups such as Awana, Royal Ambassadors, Royal Rangers, and SpiralScouts International. Some of these may be local to country, while some exist in many countries. For instance, while Awana is a religious organization, it is a worldwide organization. If none of these exist in your area, look for ways to start one. For an example, 4H can open a world of opportunity in practical skills for many children in rural communities.
  • Leverage the skills you do have: rural areas can teach kids how to grow their own food. Four college friends from a rural area rented one house and completely grew their own food through college – saving them money on food (plus reduced rent).

We are a low income family with few resources for education and our public schools do not offer many opportunities for our children. Are there ways to get access to private schools in our area?

This heavily varies by jurisdiction and the above books that I link to, such as Why Boys Fail, do a better job in this discussion. You may find scholarships at local private schools, though this isn’t a guarantee and the jurisdiction matters. Also, some public schools offer magnet programs, so these may be available in your area.

What are some examples of non-seasonal physical activities my child can do?

Here are some examples of activites that can be done anytime during the year and numerous other activities exist. Aim around your child’s interest level when considering activities:

Tae Kwon Do and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu:

CrossFit and Power Lifting:

Gymnastics and Bodybuilding:

Running and swimming:

While many of the above videos contrast these disciplines, they all carrya advantages and disadvantages and some children will gravitate to some and avoid others. All of them can be done throughout the year. Sports, like football, baseball, etc, can be great for your child, but they are seasonal.

This page does not follow a few of the items listed on this site’s disclosure and is intended only as a placeholder for this free guide for parents.

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