Boys are different than girls. They are not defective because they are different. The differences between the sexes are glorious and proper.
Public schools, in particular, can promote the opposite of this truth. They reward rule-followers and seekers of safety. Any boy who steps out of line, even a little bit (like rebelling against sitting in a seat for 6 hours a day), is smashed back into shape, sometimes with drugs.
Boys might need to learn to sit still for 6 hours per day, but their failure to do so should not be treated as a genetic defect. And they shouldn’t be compared with the prim little girls who with their backs as straight as their pencils.
Boys don’t need their strength repressed. Boys need their strength directed and disciplined in the proper direction. Treating masculinity as a bug, not a feature, is a sure way to ferment toxic masculinity.
Boys need to be told, preferably by a man, where they went wild, where they took things too far. But also told that they were going in the proper direction. They just needed to stop before careening off the bridge.
Boys seem to know that they were born to fight. Instinctively. And they were.
But we suck this instinct out of them as fast as possible. They were born to control their strength for the glory of God, not suppress it.
Tell your boys good stories. And tell them lots of stories from the Old Testament. Be sure and pick the right stories because this is another way our culture denigrates boys: through stories.
Tell them stories of courage and bravery. Stories where the hero rescues the girl and slays the dragon.
From off the top of my head:
- Have Spacesuit – Will Travel
- Call it Courage
- The Paladin Prophecy
- 100 Cupboards
- Chronicles of Narnia
- Lord of the Rings
- Watership Down
Assumed defectiveness can go the other way as well. Everyone knows of the dad who has nothing but girls and so overcompensates by putting them in as many sports as possible. But in this day and age, boys suffer the most under this confusion.