Skip to comments.Culture Challenge of the Week: Raising Strong Boys in a Soft Culture
Posted on 01/18/2011 5:26:44 AM PST by Kaslin
Parenting boys can be tough.
From sexually provocative media, to the influence of bad boy athletes and self-indulgent celebrities, to violent video games the cultural undertow exerts a powerful pull in the wrong direction.
When looking for alternatives, parents like Angela and Ty, who both work full-time while raising three boys, feel overwhelmed at times. Angela observes. Its hard to know whats going to benefit our guys in the long run and be something they like.
Their vision is to raise boys who will become strong, Godly men of character, with inquisitive spirits and service-oriented hearts and the self-discipline and drive to achieve their goals.
Thats no easy task in a culture thats gone soft: entertainment idealizes gender-bending celebrities and devalues strongly masculine traits; the social media environment fuels teenage narcissism; and schools inflate self-esteem by pouring on unearned praise in the absence of actual achievement.
How to Save Your Family By Partnering With the Boy Scouts
So how can we raise strong sons?
As parents, we must set clear direction and be positive examples. But we also need to find strong partners - organizations, friends, and churches - to support our values, provide admirable role models, and to offer friendship and encouragement to our children.
Theres no better organizational partner for parents than the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).
A recent Gallup poll found that, while fewer young men are Boy Scouts than in years past, boys involved in scouting have higher academic achievement than non-Scouts. And as adults, former Boy Scouts out-earn their non-scouting peers.
Dig a little deeper and its not hard to understand why.
According to recent research, scouts are highly likely to internalize positive character traits like honesty, leadership, and dependability. And boys who were scouts are more likely than non-scouts to resist negative peer pressure, on the one hand, and to value family life and lifelong friendships, on the other. They learn, as one BSA executive told me, to live a life of honor. Those qualities are indispensable not only for career success, but for family life as well.
Why does Scouting work so well? For starters, the Scouts have a hundred year track record of building character and fitness. Though times change, human nature does not. The Scouts incorporate the latest technologies and current interests into the time-honored merit badge system; boys learn to try new things, set goals, and persevere until they accomplish them.
But the capacity for achievement, by itself, doesnt create better human beings. And heres where the Boy Scouts shine most brightly: its activities explicitly seek to instill character and virtues within the hearts of young men.
Im so grateful to the Boy Scouts for the years of support they gave my own two sons throughout their childhood and teen years. My husband and I first introduced our boys to scouting when our oldest son was in second grade. The next year, his little brother joined the scouts too and for the next ten years our sons lives were filled with adventure, friendship, achievement and consistent teaching about God and His commandment to serve others. Our two sons thrived in the Boy Scouts. They found strong role models and lifelong friends and both of them earned the coveted rank of Eagle Scout. But even had they not decided to pursue the Eagle Scout rank, the years of scouting would have been a blessing. I will always be grateful for the way scouting strengthened the values we were working so hard to instill in our sons.
For parents looking for an assist in raising strong young men in a world thats gone soft, check out your local scouting troop. Your boys will be prepared
Nice article, thanks. Rebecca Haglin is always a pleasure to read.
Scouting is key for young boys to become young men. I went through Scouting, my brother did not. The differences are stark and very real.
My boys will be scouts whether they want it or not. The values of scouting are timeless and conservative.
I told my pregnant wife a few weeks ago that I had a career ambition: to be a scout leader. I couldn’t agree more. To teach a boy dependability, build confidence, to learn to commune with nature, to work as a team, to build character, and grow in one’s faith are huge steps toward becoming a successful, morally upright individual.
Our society needs more scouting and less Xbox.
Simple we’re not and it’s just the way the lefties want it.
The kids, well young adults, see it. They call those who succumb,(excuse the term) a bunch of Vag’s.
I think it’s the “helicopter mom’s “ and the lawyers, who are destroying our boy’s
PC = Soft Culture
What’s this verb “parenting”... has everyone forgot about the old fashioned “bringing up” ???
Hubby was Assistant Scoutmaster while our youngest was in the Scouts and for several years afterwards. He's still on the Executive Committee. I was a Venture Crew assistant adviser while my daughter was a Venturer (hurrah for Explorers and Venturers - lets girls get into the BSA program).
My son didn't stick with Scouts - but he lateraled into the Navy Sea Cadets and is now in the USMC. I think it did him good in spite of himself.
I’d say that’s the culture challenge of the century, along with raising principled, serious girls.
As character is destiny, national character is national destiny.
Great to see such a well-deserved plug for the Scouts, but one part of a sentence stands out to me:
...parents like Angela and Ty, who both work full-time while raising three boys....
IMO, a huge part of the problem in childrearing today is the reliance on turning the kids over to a stranger instead of having the mother home to teach and monitor her own children.
Good for you!
Really...all these new terms: partnering, birthing, parenting. I'm still trying to figure out nouning and verbing.
"Don't verb words. Verbing weirds language."
Thanks for the post and the ping.
We are raising a generation of the most pathetic losers, ever, ready to enter an economy on its deathbed...but the girls are different. They, at least, will be able to take care of themselves.
We just started a new troop three weeks ago. I’m Scoutmaster and having a blast. None boys so far. Most are new to scouting and are very excited for the adventure. I love the leadership opportunities scouts gives boys. It gives them the oportunity to become men...real men.
See my tag line. I use that in our recruiting material.
Good timing on this article. I just got back from a real character building experience with my sons troop of Boy Scouts. They needed a place to do wilderness survival training. I volunteered some land I own in east Texas. The character builiding part comes in with the 30 to 40 degree weather and 4 inches of rain we had. I think everyone had a good time despite being very cold and wet. The best part for the scout is that I let them gather wood, build shelters, and build a pretty big camp fire. You can’t do any of that stuff in state parks anymore.
I’ve been a Scout leader for 18 years now. Let me tell you a little secret. Scouting will make your son a better man. But ifyou become a leader, it’ll make you a better person as well.
Fun with a purpose.
IMO, Scouting is needed more now than ever.