Ray Lewis, no – not THAT Ray Lewis but the London educator who specializes in working with at risk boys — believes that boys from disadvantaged backgrounds can still succeed if they have one or more of the following:
One, a teacher, coach, or advisor who forges a meaningful relationship with the boy: A caring adult whose presence says, “I’ve got your back” can help a boy through the slings and arrows of outrageous adolescence. (A male mentor is particularly beneficial for boys who are raised in female-headed homes.)
Two, an area of strength: It may be French or football, it almost doesn’t matter what the field, but having a skill can be a psychological safety valve or an inoculation against self-doubt. A boy can tell himself, “I may be bad at X, but I’m good at Y.”
Three, sit down dinners: This may sound like an anachronism, but remember that breaking bread is a physical act, sharing it is a spiritual one. And please remember to turn off the TV.
I can’t help but think these three variables also to apply to all boys.