Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bad News Boys

One thing you learn when you write a blog about boys: a lots of the news about boys is negative.

Think about the stories you've heard in the news lately. When was the last time you heard something positive about a boy? (Short of the every-so-often Eagle Scout announcement.) Most of the stories are about boys failing, boys murdering, boys drowning, boys beating.

The news out of Milwaukee this month includes boys beating an elderly man, dancing atop cars and vandalizing a car dealership. In each case, at least one of the boys claimed his motive was boredom.

Clearly, we need to find productive things for our boys to do. And clearly, boredom does not excuse bad behavior.

Our boys need us -- parents, families and communities -- to set health and safety limits. But our boys also need us to show them the positive path. What are some positive way boys can channel their energy? Some positive ways they can channel their innate sense of competition? Some positive ways they can seize and exercise power?

We also need to talk about the positive things our boys are doing. Beyond the fact that headlines for bad behavior may actually encourage more bad behavior, positive news stories can inspire other boys. Just imagine: what if our boys grew up surrounded by a million positive messages? What if they heard about all the ways other boys are helping their communities? What if your son heard the story of one other boy, and that story touched something inside him? Your son might never be the same again -- and this case, that would be a good thing.

Think about it: What messages are surrounding your sons? How can you help counter the constant flow of bad news boys?


  1. This is such sad news. Makes you wonder where the parents are. My ds keeps so busy that he is exhausted at night.

  2. (Let me preface my response by saying that I don't agree with elephant culling. Unfortunately, it is fairly common).

    It reminds me of the problems they had in Africa a few years ago with young male elephants. When they began culling to keep down herd numbers, they did what they thought was a "logical" thing - they culled the older males and left the younger males alive. It wasn't long before they started having major problems with them. They were stampeding through villages, attacking people (and other animals), and generally running rampant. Turns out, without any older adult males in the herd to show them the way and keep them in check, they were being rebellious teens!