Raising real men: Kindness isn't for wimps

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  • MrsH Altamont, UT
    Nov. 12, 2013 10:22 a.m.

    What a great article.
    As the mother of only boys, and now the grandmother of boys, I laughed a little, and cried a little.
    I think you are doing an awesome job.
    There will be naysayers everywhere.

  • Colby27 Logan, UT
    Nov. 11, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    Can you tell me how playing video games can lead to kindness? I see no connection. How is not playing them 100% anti-social? If the parents know how to teach their children, they will find ways to help them become social. In an earlier comment post, Moontan said that, "The particular burr under my saddle is the idea of women going off to combat while men in college play video games and eat Skittles." That's the problem, boys learn to play video games at a young age, go off to college and waste their time by playing video games. Just explain to me the connection between playing them and the interpersonal skills that you can attain by doing so.

    I did not feel,while reading the article, that her approach was harsh. I interpreted it as, her and her husband are on the same page, which is far more important than what others may say. She is honest in saying that she is immature and confesses that, but she does say that fatherhood begins in childhood.

  • BioPowertrain Detroit, MI
    Nov. 10, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    I like reading this type of article here at DN. I want my children to learn to be kind. At the same time, I think the author's child-rearing approach is harsh, which is the opposite of kind.

    Not allowing your boys to play video games is pretty much 100% anti-social. On a very real level, I believe it is unkind to do this to your kids. While growing up, a certain mother in my neighborhood decided she didn't want her kids to eat candy. She actually went to all her kid's friends houses and all her neighbors and told each mother not to give her children any candy, ever.

    Her kids are bright and well-disciplined, but the truth is they are also quite anti-social and have poor interpersonal skills. This costs them in friendships, at church, in their communities, and frankly in their marriages.

    So be careful with what you describe as teaching kindness. It's a very, very desirable and attainable goal, but I recommend looking at it from all angles as you decide what policies to implement in rearing your kids.

  • donquixote84721 Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 10, 2013 7:49 a.m.

    Only the Truly Strong can afford to humble themselves and let others be strong.

  • John T Scranton, PA
    Nov. 9, 2013 7:15 p.m.

    I look at two very public examples of young men, same age, loaded with talent: Justin Bieber, and David Archuleta. Similarly gifted with music, one is in the headlines almost every day with his "bad boy" antics, seemingly out of control, whilst the other is quietly serving a two-year mission for the LDS Church. I have no doubt that the parents of these two young men heavily influenced them in their younger years, but for whatever reason, one choose a path of narcissism and self-centered patter in the press which followed him everywhere (while also making gobs of money.) The other choose a "time-out" from his budding career to serve others - an experience which will influence him for the rest of his life, on stage and off. Somehow, I do not think we will see David Archuleta in the headlines for a growing list of bad-boy behavior. It seems that he absorbed the teachings of his parents far better than young master Bieber. I only hope that Bieber grows up and out of his current adolescent acting out before it's too late.

  • Moontan Roanoke, VA
    Nov. 9, 2013 4:59 p.m.

    A nice, inspiring article, this is. But I don't know what to think about young men anymore. The particular burr under my saddle is the idea of women going off to combat while men in college play video games and eat Skittles. I just can't wrap my mind around that. But .. at 60, maybe I'm just old and clueless.

  • Jary Phoenix, AZ
    Nov. 8, 2013 8:34 p.m.

    I am sorry, but I cringe when I read pieces like this. There is no question about the toxic nature of society, but it touches our young daughters every bit as much as their male peers. It has to be tougher than ever to be a young boy in the world today. Not only are they told to suppress their 'maleness' or strength, but their adult selves are also largely portrayed as dolts and idiots in most modern television shows and commercials. In what sad world can't boys and men not be both strong and sympathetic, or competitive and compassionate? Who wrote the rules that you cannot be both? Yet too many so called 'modern parents' will suggest a false choice that an young boy can either kick a winning goal or comfort a hurt child but not both. Why can't we praise our sons for both equally? Crudity is never appropriate, for our sons or daughters, and objectifying anyone is always wrong but why are "toughness" and sensitivity mutually exclusive as qualities?

  • Mona Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 8, 2013 5:15 p.m.

    Great article! I'm appalled at how many children and adults get their jollies from the misfortunes of others. When I was growing up we were forbidden to laugh at others, only with them, and we taught our children the same. They can move through life now with grace and humanity.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 3:13 p.m.

    I loved this article and would love to shake this mom's hand! We were accused of raising Amish kids because of our indifferent attitude to the "everyone has it" mentality. You really do become an odd parent when you focus on what you believe is best for your children and not worrying so much if they fit in. Our kids have not been short on friends either, debunking the pernicious myth that certain looks and possessions are critical for social success.

  • jj dexter South jordan, Ut
    Nov. 8, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    Mr. McGee,
    Let's not try to find controversy where there is none please. A simple blog post about the value of teaching young men to be kind is in no way an attempt to keep them from being morally strong as well. The two concepts are not exclusive as you imply. After all is it not an example of kindness to avert ones eyes if a woman's skirt takes flight in the breeze? How about to remind yourself that they are contributing human beings even when mostly exposed by choice? A man can be strong and kind in the very same moment.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Nov. 8, 2013 8:18 a.m.

    Bill McGee - excellent comment.

    I would like to add to that real men do no perpetually blame others for their short comings. So many times in society, disappointments are not learned from - they become the basis for a law suit or the driving force behind revenge.

    Men also need to recognize the importance of women and that, as Mr. McGee pointed out, are not objects, but should be partners in raising future generations.

  • Bill McGee Alpine, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    Real manhood also includes the ability to control your eyes and your urges, to see women as human beings and not objects, and to take responsibility for your own thoughts and not make women responsible for them. We get mixed messages here - be patient and nurturing and strong in some places, but women need to button up because we are too weak to control ourselves in others.