Excerpt from Real Boys, chapter entitled The Power of Mothers:
“The problem for boys is not that mothers are confused by them. Mothers, today and throughout history, are simply part of a culture. And it is our entire culture that is confused about masculinity and therefore about how to raise boys…so if mothers are to be helped…it is also a society as a whole that must clarify the best way to support our boys as they grow toward manhood.”
“If we really think carefully about it, many of the qualities today’s mothers are trying to develop in their boys – far from being “feminine” qualities or qualities that women will tend to reject in men they choose to love – are actually the very qualities most of today’s women seem to be urging their male partners to develop.”
It is amazing the irony of it all!
“As early as age five or six, many boys are pushed out of the family and expected to be independent – in school, camp, at all kinds of activities and situations they may or may not be ready to handle. We give our boys in early adolescence a second shove – into new schools, sports competitions, jobs, dating, travel and more. The problem is not that we introduce our boys to the world – that’s what parents should be doing – its how we do it.”
Dr. William Pollack, in his Introduction of Real Boys, is addressing how we prematurely require boys, according to the “Boy Code” to separate from their mothers, in particular. He addresses in his book a myriad of issues that stems from this code followed by society. I am personally challenged to consider well how we are handling the issues of masculinity in light of the prevalent and sobering recent events related to boys, guns, and violence.