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A Blessing… or a Curse

A Blessing… or a Curse

In many of the old stories and myths, the son will go to his father (often the king) and so desperately want his father to ‘see the king in him’. In essence he seeks a blessing from his father… he wants to know that he’s OK…

Or that he might even be special in some way.

Invariably his father will give him quite the opposite. So instead of a blessing, the son receives a curse and then heads off into the world to discover who he is, typically through hard learnt lessons. He faces his demons, conquers fears and then returns home having learnt more about himself when challenged beyond his usual comforts and resources.

It’s a rite of passage and the hero’s journey that Joseph Campbell devoted his life to.

The reality is that whilst these old stories map a path, many never make it back home and are stuck in a life of continual separation and challenge. Without true wisdom and guidance from older adults and elders the boy will drift rudderless through life.

The great irony and challenge is that there is a window of opportunity for fathers to bless their sons and this time is often amplified when we need to look harder for the blessing.

The teenage years!

Despite appearances, our teenage boys need the blessing of their father AND other men. At the same time they are separating from the family unit with one eye on the world and their beckoning freedom. They are no longer that wide-eyed and curious explorer of life. They may have hair over their face, earphones in and a hoodie…. they’ll also do things to their room so no parent would want to enter it!

They may even smell.

It’s a tough time for Dad’s to make a vital and very necessary shift in their parenting… and many teenage boys receive a curse instead of a blessing. If Dads don’t make changes in how they relate to their teenage sons, his natural separation and maturation will be significantly impeded.

Fathers really need to ‘get this’.

The ‘Sergeant Major’ or the ‘Voice of God’ will not work anymore and quite frankly is embarrassing for everyone. There is much evidence today to support what cultures through time have known… that the child’s maturation is directly linked to the adults around him… that change is required from all.

This is why we LOVE this work. To support families to embrace and trust change is critical and so needed.

In our soon to be released ‘What Makes Men Tick Story Library’ we ask 2 questions at the end and surprising to us is how consistent the answers.

Try it for yourself…

….Imagine that you are 97 and have lived a full life… You know a thing or 2 about the business of being human. Sitting beside you is the 14 year old you with his (or her) whole life ahead of him. What would the 97 year old you say to the 14 year old you? Not what you think he wants to hear, but what does the 97 year old want the 14 year old to know.

Before you read on, what is your answer? Take some time before you read on…

Whilst the answers have their own flavour, in most occasions the words are ‘You’ll be OK.’ That 14 year old was looking forward with uncertainty and trepidation.

“Will I find love, will I be successful… Will life work out for me?”

Parents…. get connected to that and you’ll go a long way with your kids.

We were expecting a variety of answers and have been surprised at how consistent the responses have been. Like this one;

What is your wish for the children of today?

Think about it…

The answers are regular that they want young people to ‘belong’ to something, to have community, to have strong bonds… friends that don’t just like you for your Xbox games. Friends and community that will listen to you and value your opinions and people close to you who will allow you to talk about your troubles.

Amazing… and it makes sense.

So as Father’s Day approaches…. Dads, will it be a blessing or a curse for your boy(s)?

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RAISING TEENAGE BOYS will reveal to you a proven man-making code for raising happy and healthy young men. Many parents butt their heads against the wall using tired old methods....methods that might have worked for our parents, or for when our kids were young......methods that consistently make things worse when our boys reach their teenage years.
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