A baby boy is born; you strut around like a big strong cock (pun intended) with a fiery steady red comb; at the pub as friends pat you on the back and pass you free pints. You growl like a lion who has just conquered the jungle. For the first few years of the boy’s life you walk like a KING, a man with some heavy balls – steel balls. You’re tempted to look down you pants every now and then and congratulate yourself.
By the time he’s about 9 years who begins to realize you’re a sitting duck; the boy is beginning to challenge you, you are clueless as to what you’re doing or not doing. You’re scared – now when your mates ask you how the young lion is doing, you purr under your breath.
Since your ego won’t allow you to ask for help; you begin to run and hide – become unavailable. The boy who once looked up to you has now more questions than admiration, he asks you things you’ve never thought about, exposes your underbelly; the soft weak places you’ve kept hidden your entire life. You know you ought to teach him and lead him better, but doing so will expose your own vulnerabilities; and that can’t be allowed to happen.
So here is a way to help him get his act together, build confidence and raise above your own failures and success; a way for him to become an even better (version) man than yourself.
1. Give your son a task to complete
From beginning to finish; build a dog house, repair the fence, paint a room, or polish shoes. These activities are meant to give him a sense of accomplishment; from start to finish.
2. Participate in community activities
Marathons, clean-up activities, cash wash, and many others in your environment. He needs to see his role in society; where he fits in and what he’s supposed to solve.
3. Participation in SPORTS
I know many don’t like the idea of competitive sports, BUT; allow your boy to fight for something. Let him be hungry for an outcome where he comes out on top. He’s a lion after all – competitive sports are a great place for a young man to develop a healthy self-image and build his confidence.
4. Camping together
Cook your own food, give him duties – teach him to light a fire, cook a meal (have one special meal that only you two can cook), and how to survive in the outdoors. This is meant to give certain hardy life skills that are acquired through camping.
5. Farm together
Go plant some vegetables/food then watch it grow and care for it. Give him a small portion of the ‘shamba’ and allow him to grow whatever he can. Then teach him to care for it; to learn his responsibility in the process of provision, planning and patience as you wait for results.
6. Care for a Pet
A boy MUST learn to be selfless from an early age; teach him to take care of something, someone – let him take on responsibility under your gentle guidance.
All this are amazing and easy things we can do with our boys if we are to train them to not only grow in confidence but also be bold enough to effect positive change in society.
It’s vital that you observe him as he begins to transition for the pre-teen years (9-12years) and allow him to physically test his own strength against yours. Get a mat and begin to wrestle together, he’ll keep you fit and humble. After 13 years DO NOT GET INTO A RING/MAT with him; unless of course you’ve still got those balls of steel you were so proud of when he was born and an even stronger, faster trained body. Because he will put you down.
All the best and cheers to raising STRONG LIONS.