The movie Courageous has powerful insights for dads in just about every scene, including one that asks us to ponder the question, "When did you know you were a man?"
Countless studies have shown that growing up with a father increases boys' school performance and decreases their risk of committing a crime and abusing drugs and alcohol. Here are eight more ways dads influence boys—whether they live in the home or stay involved on a regular basis.
If you have fathered a son, you influence how he ultimately comes to define himself as a man. The image he carries of you in his soul will in some way guide his steps. He may follow in your footsteps, intentionally choose a different path, or journey through a wilderness of ambivalent feelings concerning your relationship.
“Today’s men are obsessed with money, greed and sex. We will talk about the first two, somewhat, but the last one we avoid.” So writes author Archie Wortham. Wortham believes dads need to talk to other men about the challenges they have faced or are facing as men, then they’ll be better prepared to help their sons mature.”
In a 2006 article, Orlando Sentinel columnist Kathleen Parker addressed America's "boy crisis." Many have recently drawn attention to statistics showing that boys are falling behind in school performance. Parker responded to a recent study which concluded that the problem is really more about class and race, since the problem is most severe in Hispanic, African American, and poor communities.
A deluge of recent studies makes it clear that boys are vulnerable. They are falling behind in many key areas: SAT scores, reading proficiency and college attendance; and moving ahead in some undesirable statistics: emotional disturbance, school dropout and suicide rate.
Some moments you and your son will remember forever.
You're out in the country with your fourteen-year-old son, coming back from someone's house. You pull the car over to the side of the deserted dirt road and turn off the ignition. "Dad, what's going on?" your son asks.
According to recent research, boys in our country are "fragile." When compared to girls, boys generally show much higher tendencies to struggle with issues such as: learning disorders, failure to finish high school, obesity, violence, stuttering, gambling and video game fixations, hyperactivity, and poor school performance—especially reading and writing skills.
Sometimes—especially with sons—you have to "play hardball." If you're a father of boys, you have my prayers. They'll make you proud, but they also may make you crazy.
So it’s time for you to sit down and have a face-to-face chat with your teenage son. Actually, there might be a better option.
The public service announcements on television make it sound like the best approach is to just start a conversation about drugs or alcohol at the breakfast table. But most teenagers would just roll their eyes—and probably tune you out.