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Posts Tagged ‘self esteem’

Training Our Boys To Be Losers

absEvery magazine,  poster and ad campaign seems focused on helping our girls with their self esteem. There are  lots and lots of commercials about making sure our girls feel good about themselves. And I’m glad. Girls are brilliant, beautiful creatures. As my oldest daughter Mary says, “I’m awesome, have you met me?”

But our boys are being left in the ditch. These days a lot more girls go to college than boys and that difference is increasing every year. We spend a lot of time and money telling girls they are smart and can do anything but when was the last time you saw an ad on tv encouraging boys?

We tell girls their bodies are beautiful, no matter what size. But not the boys. Trust me, boys worry, a lot. I can name half a dozen 12 and 13 year old guys who have been in my kitchen recently and made fun of their own soft bellies, skinny arms, lack of defined abs or puny legs.

Unlike lots of girls with the same issues, guys tend to make fun of themselves before others do. The danger of boys lacking self esteem is they act out in a different way than girls.  Girls cry or get catty, boys start fights and turn into bullies when they think they aren’t good enough. Or they simply disappear into the back ground.

In school, boys with muscles are absolutely more popular than the smart guys. But that’s nothing new.

But the truth is a many athletic guys peak in high school. They are super stars that fizzle as adults. And because no one encouraged them to develop their brains as well as their bodies, they go on to live average lives . For some that’s great, but many of these guys are way too smart to be stuck in minimum wage jobs.

All the time,perfectly good boys, intelligent boys, tell me they aren’t smart. They tell me they are good at sports or gaming so they don’t plan on going to college or a trade school. They are already planning on small lives and smaller careers. And nobody really seems to be correcting them. Girls on the other hand we push and encourage constantly.

Several years ago when Sandor was in 3rd or 4th grade Alex and I went to a “Parents Math Night.” Teachers explained the math they were working on so we could better help our kids at home.  All the parents there had daughters. We were the only ones there for a male student.

When it comes to boys, Bs and Cs are ok, as long as they are passing. That’s about the best we can ask from our boys, right? Why don’t we insist our boys strive for excellence, for brilliance, for their best?

Parents, if you want your boys to be successful you have to build them that way. Teach them to shake hands,and insist they have good manners and be respectful. Boys who are respectful and know how to shake hands are able to get jobs and then be successful. Because bosses like those boys.

Society wants us to encourage our girls to succeed. So, parents you must push your boys to be more than strong. They need to be smart and hard working. And then you will have a successful man.

Little Girls on YouTube….Hey Dad I’m Talking To You

I’m writing this knowing I won’t change the world, but maybe I can change one life for one day. That’s enough.

There was a story on CNN today about tween girls asking folks on YouTube if they are pretty or ugly. Most of the little girls say things like, “everyone tells me I’m ugly ….”

Of course lots of the repulsive people responding say absurd and cruel things to the girls, one child has gotten over four million comments.

So today, if you happen to have or run into a little girl, a tween or teenager, for the love of God, look at that child and tell her she’s beautiful. She might actually hear what you are saying.

And for you daddys out there. You absolutely have the most important voice.  Your praise is what every girl really really wants.  You are the first and most important man in her life and as long as you think she’s beautiful and tell her, the rest of the world won’t matter so much.

This weekend a very good friend of Lexie’s was getting ready for her first date. She’s 15 and it’s a great  big deal because he’s a boy with a truck, a job and pretty blue eyes. Annie lives with her daddy who is a very very  protective cowboy daddy. I’m talking massive belt buckle and hat/ fully armed daddy. Annie has lots  of friends and is so pretty. As we drove back from a taekwondo tournament, Lexie and I listened as Annie talked to “the boy” for nearly thirty minutes. Over and over Annie mentioned or referenced her father. “My dad plays guitar too, but just acoustic.” or “My dad loves country music so you might not want to wear the Nine Inch Nails tee-shirt when you pick me up.” and “My dad and I ate Mexican food last week, I ate way too much cheese dip.”

Annie talked about her dad becasue he is, without question, the most important person in her life. Yeah, they fight and bicker and complain about each other aaaaalllll the time but her dad is her Number One Man.

So, Daddy’s out there…never every underestimate how important you are in your girl’s life. Tell her she’s beautiful ALL THE TIME then maybe she won’t end up one of those desperate and sad little things on YOUTUBE, staring at the camera and asking strangers if she’s pretty.