15 boys, working out who they are and who is top dog. Trying to manage their own self-esteem place in the group with the use of dominating behaviour, over the top banter and cheekiness verging on being rude! Why would we miss the opportunity to work with a group like this? Going from being a boy to man is a process which requires encouragement, boundaries and the setting of good male role models. A local primary school had recognised that for one group of year 5 boys, this process of change had started to become disruptive to their social groups and to their learning ability. The school have a very good approach to creativity and classroom discipline but were looking for a way to help these boys move forward.
“Boys stepping up” is a 4 session program aimed at helping increase these boys self-esteem and self-confident so that they can be more at ease with who they are. Much of the behaviour which is labelled as “laddish” is about really about trying to project that I am worthy of a place in the group, if not the lead place. (Not that this makes “laddish behaviour acceptable and “laddish” has become an excuse for accepting ugly dominating behavour, which has nothing to do with being male.)
Our discipline focus is to praise the boys, not for outcomes, but for character traits. This week they did fire lighting, but we did not praise them for a fire, we praised them for the persistence and the courage to keep trying, for the teamwork and for helping others.
Boys tend to measure outcomes, which is why they compete to be top of the tree. We want them to know that when they are with us what counts is character.
To have the self-esteem to be world changers you need to have the self-belief and self-esteem to keep going even when there or no obvious outcomes.
I have 20 years experience of working with families, helping parents raise children with the self-confidence and self-esteem to be a world changer is what I enjoy doing and turns out I am pretty good at.
I’m a dad of three ( all of whom can rap the first part of Ice Ice baby by Vanilla Ice), all three would say I am not a perfect dad but then who is… but I am a great at being me.