What Boys Need

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.

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One Response to “What Boys Need”

  1. Joe Powers Says:

    No I am not Jim’s cousin (I get that alot). I could not agree more with your three points from Ray Lewis (the Ravens Ray Lewis may agree as well). At Washington Jesuit Academy, we have dinner with the boys every night, we celebrate their talents at a weekly assembly and our teacher and coaches (most of whom are African American males) are tremendous role models and mentors for our boys. All boys need this is right, especially those coming from economically backgrounds like ours.

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