Raising boys

Raising boys
Raising boys

Working with difficult children provides abundant food for thought not only about these children themselves and their family environment, but also about the many socio-cultural factors that contribute to the shaking of an already weak child's psyche. At the same time, it often turns out that the ideas about certain things that exist in the modern mass consciousness are pure myths. Sometimes harmless, more often not. But in any case, they lead away from understanding the true state of affairs. And, accordingly, blocking the search for the right solutions.

Raising boys

Myths leading through the looking glass

In my opinion, the myth of the increased vulnerability of the male psyche is among such by no means harmless myths. Say, the female psyche is more stable, and although men are considered the stronger sex, this is more of a misunderstanding. In fact, everything is exactly the opposite. Hyperactivity, autism, various types of addiction (alcoholism, drug addiction, computer and game addiction) are much more likely to affect males than females. And men, as you know, live less than women. In general, what is there to talk about? - An indisputable fact!

And, meanwhile, you can talk about many things. To begin with, if men were always such weaklings, the human race would have been cut short long ago, because men at all times have had the most difficult, dangerous occupations, the most difficult jobs. Try to fight, having a fragile, vulnerable psyche! Or even hunt ferocious animals, and without firearms, as many generations of our ancestors did! And what about the life of a peasant farmer? How much exhausting physical work! How many, in modern terms, stress and trauma! The constant threat of hunger due to crop failure (at least in the Russian zone of risky agriculture), high infant and child mortality … No matter how you convince yourself that then people looked at the death of children differently ("God gave - God took"), it doesn't matter it was a grief that needed to be experienced. For which it took a lot of effort.

And what a responsibility lay with the head of a large family! It is even difficult for modern people to imagine what a huge load this is, because from the cradle we tune in to something completely different. For us, three children are already a large family, and five or six (the average number of children in Russian families before the revolution) is almost a sign of insanity. Especially if "conditions do not allow." And the "conditions" should be created by the state, which we are always dissatisfied with, because it "does not provide". That is, citizens take the position of adolescents in relation to the state, who are fighting for their rights, but at the same time striving to evade their responsibilities. I will not go into details so as not to stray too far from the topic. I will only say that such a perception of the world was deeply alien to our ancestors. About 150-200 years ago, a Russian person would have been very surprised to hear the now fashionable maxim "I owe nothing to anyone."

But it is quite obvious that only strong people can bear the burden of responsibility. And the greater the burden, the stronger the person must be.

This means that the thesis about the initially more fragile, vulnerable psyche of men does not stand up to criticism. But on the other hand, men are really weakened, which is proved, in particular, by the statistics of the aforementioned mental disorders.

What's the matter? It seems to me that the fact is that a man, so to speak, is a more social being than a woman.For centuries and even millennia, the world of women has been confined to the family circle. They did not take part in public affairs. Of course, there were exceptions, but they did not change the order of things. Men, on the other hand, shaped the conditions of life in society, created public and state institutions, governed them, and made laws (among others, those concerning the family). This is probably why their psyche reacts more strongly to the situation of socio-cultural breakdown. They quickly adopt new social attitudes, feel more sharply where the "social wind" is blowing, they have less conservatism. Accordingly, if social and cultural changes are positive, boys will tend to move closer to a positive ideal. If the society is promoting degenerative "values" and patterns of behavior, the male part of the population degrades more intensively than the female.

Just a few fairly recent examples. In the 1990s, when an alcoholic president was in power in Russia and everyone knew about it, drunkenness at work (including in very prestigious institutions and departments) became almost a widespread phenomenon. And it seemed that nothing could be done about it. It got to the point that the bosses, who were not allowed to drink for health reasons, sent their subordinates to take the rap. So it was with a friend of our family, who occupied a very high place on the bureaucratic ladder. The poor man almost got drunk and was forced to change his place of work under the threat of divorce …

But another person came to power - and the unrestrained drunkenness in the workplace quickly stopped. Moreover, this did not require any special decrees! It's just that drunkenness "suddenly" became not prestigious among the bosses, and the subordinates are guided by the bosses. No wonder they say that the fish rots from the head.

Another example. In the 1990s, when the cry of “Get rich!” Was thrown from above, many of the preschool and primary school-age boys who were brought to us for counseling dreamed of getting rich. And to the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" they answered amicably: "A businessman." Now dreams of wealth (at least among our contingent) are much less popular, and the profession of an entrepreneur almost does not appear on the list of “life strategies”. But a lot of people want to become a football player, including those for whom this obviously “does not shine” for health reasons. What changed? Has money lost its importance? Or has entrepreneurship become unnecessary? - No, but there has been a shift in public consciousness. The media is increasingly raising the topic of unjustly acquired wealth. The word "oligarch" is already strongly associated with the label "thief", and football began to be promoted (again, from the top). Football news stands out, with many cafes now offering live coverage of football championships as bait. The state again slowly began to support the idea that football distracts adolescents from bad habits … The result was not slow to affect.

What is the choice of profession! Even the desire to continue the race for many men arises not at the level of instinct, but under the influence of social attitudes. It is prestigious to be the father of a large family - they will strive for this. If, on the contrary, the image of don Juan is in demand in society, who, for obvious reasons, does not need children, many men will breathe a sigh of relief. Note how few of them are outraged by the gross violation of men's rights in abortion legislation, according to which a wife can have an abortion without her husband's consent. But we are talking about the murder of their common child! This means that men are satisfied with this state of affairs. They do not at all consider this an infringement of their rights, since both in the Soviet, and even more so in the post-Soviet period, having many children was presented as something archaic, burdening a normal person with unnecessary worries, interfering with development, living intensively,full (now they say "quality") life. Therefore, the situation when, according to the law, the wife actually alone determines the number of children in the family, often without even informing her husband about what is happening, does not seem humiliating to many men. Although in fact it is humiliating to the point of disgrace! But try to extrapolate the situation to something else, more valuable in the eyes of modern society. For example, propose a law according to which the wife will have the right to dispose of an apartment or dacha acquired in marriage without asking the spouse's consent to sell real estate and without even informing him about it, and the spouse will be deprived of such a right - this will cause all men a storm of negative emotions.

The social orientation of men was very clearly manifested in the difficult years of perestroika and post-perestroika. The state collapsed, the bonds that held the society disintegrated; the creators of public opinion began to assure the people that everything can be done that is not prohibited by law. Thus, morality was actually abolished, for many unseemly acts condemned by public morality are not formally prohibited by law. Vileness is not forbidden, fornication and adultery too. Drunkenness and drug addiction, again, are not prosecuted by law. People were left to themselves: survive as you know. Do what you want. Or do nothing. The criminal article on parasitism was canceled, the compulsory treatment of alcoholics and drug addicts was declared harmful, ineffective, violating human rights, and even sobering-up stations were shut down. The country was flooded with cheap vodka, drugs, pornography and other attributes of Western freedom. And many fathers of families could not resist. Realizing that there was no government on them, they (not to mention the unmarried guys) went all out. Of course, not every man behaved this way, but it was (and still is) a fairly widespread phenomenon. Mothers, on the other hand, succumbed to the temptation to "throw the cap over the mill" much less often (although it also happened). A typical picture of those times: women shuttles with bales taller than their height. What forced them to strain, ruin their health, be exposed to various dangers, hardships, humiliations? Why couldn't they follow their husband away from the unbearably difficult reality? After all, alcohol was not sold by gender. And there was no government on them, like on men. What prevented them, taking advantage of impunity, to quickly roll down an inclined plane?

And the maternal instinct prevented them. The one that makes a small helpless bird with her breast to protect chicks from a predator, many times superior to her in strength and size. Mothers pitied their children more than themselves. And they could not imagine life without them, psychologically they did not separate themselves from the child, although he could no longer be small, but a teenager. Yes, and physically they had to part with him during trips to buy goods, and then work in the market. But all the same, she and the child were one whole, a family.

The same instinct prevents the vast majority of mothers from abandoning their disabled children. There are exceptions, but so far, despite more than twenty years of attack on morality, these are the exceptions. The situation when a father abandons a family in which a child was born with a disability is so widespread that it no longer surprises anyone. “I couldn’t withstand the loads,” they usually say in such cases. The wording is in the spirit of tolerance that is fashionable today: it seems to be an explanation and at the same time a hidden justification. What, they say, to take from him? Men are fragile, vulnerable, everyone knows that …

I am not writing all this in order to hurt men and praise women. The point is not to clarify the question "Who is the most?" and not in shifting the blame to the opposite sex. Simply, without giving up the myths that distort reality, you will not understand how to get rid of the distortions. Proceeding from false premises, you will not come to the right conclusions.And you won't get to the goal if you wander in the fog in some other direction.

Our goal, for the sake of which the whole previous conversation was started, is to understand how to bring up boys in modern conditions. What do we have to do? What should we start from? Agree, there is a huge difference between the idea of ​​men as initially fragile, vulnerable creatures and the statement that it is not masculine nature in itself, but the incompatibility of this nature with the features of the so-called post-industrial, post-modern society causes an obvious weakening of men, already observed with the naked eye. In the first case, fragile creatures must be cared for, cherished, and if tempered, then extremely carefully, otherwise the delicate plant will not stand and die. In the second case, the emphasis should be on changing attitudes, on reorienting the micro- and macrosociium. To eliminate as much as possible from the child's life the factors that interfere with the normal development of his masculinity.

Of course, this is more difficult to do now. Much easier to groom, cherish and do not demand anything. But we have no other choice if we want to survive elementary. Futurological reasoning about a certain posthumanity, which supposedly everything will be different, is a shameless bluff. At least, in our country, for so many centuries in a row everyone and all and sundry have open their mouths, a further weakening of the masculine principle is fraught with the loss of not only living space, but also life itself. It would be naive to believe that the people of the "extra country" - that is how Western politicians called Russia in the 1990s without ceremony - will not be superfluous at the winners' feast.

What prevents the formation of masculinity

Well, what exactly in modern society prevents the formation of the masculine principle?

It seems to me that this is, first of all, an attitude towards hedonism. The fundamental attitude of the consumer society. If society is in demand for an “ideal consumer”, if the thirst for pleasure is at the forefront, then, accordingly, egoism, individualism and infantilism flourish in a person. He does not grow up, does not develop as a person. Only the objects of desire change: instead of children's toys, adults appear. But the essence remains the same. It is not a person who controls his desires, but they overwhelm, overwhelm him and drag him along like a stormy stream - a light, small chip. And when a person cannot resist his passions, what willpower is there to talk about?

It is easy to see that all this contributes to the success of the enemy in the information and psychological war, the purpose of which is to weaken the potential defenders of the Fatherland (that is, men). And if we now look from this point of view at the modern "problem child", we will see that the goal has been largely achieved. Based on our own observations, as well as on the complaints of parents and teachers, who unanimously testify that there are more and more difficult children (mainly boys) in recent years, we sketch a rough portrait of such a child.

He is excitable, poorly concentrating attention, quickly gets tired, superficial, often does not have expressed creative, cognitive interests, but strives only for entertainment, easily gives in to bad influence, does not know how to predict the consequences of his actions (first he does - then he thinks), is undisciplined. At the same time, he is ambitious, competitive, he has inflated claims, claims to leadership in the absence of potential for such a difficult task. He is often anxious and even cowardly, but he tries to disguise his cowardice with bravado. Feeling unpunished, such a child shows demonstrativeness and self-will. He is emotionally underdeveloped, is not capable of deep feelings, treats others, even the closest, consumer, as objects of manipulation, does not take into account the experiences of other people, in case of benefit for himself, he can easily deceive, go over his head, does not admit his mistakes, does not experience real remorse (shameless).

It is these people who are at risk for alcoholism and drug addiction, which are very effective ways of destroying the population in the Cold War phase. And in the transition to real hostilities, an army consisting of men with a similar profile of behavior has no chance of winning.Some of them will be quickly killed, the other part will scatter or go over to the side of the enemy.

It is quite obvious that culturally and historically, not only in our country, but also in the rest of the world, this type of men was a sign of degeneration, since it did not correspond to the main tasks of the stronger sex: to be a protector, creator, breadwinner, head of the family and clan, the support of society and the state. And the creation of conditions under which the above negative qualities develop to the detriment of the positive, inevitably leads to the fact that the male psyche is distorted, the spirit and body are weakened, life is shortened. It's programmed.

There is another extremely important factor. The modern consumer society seeks to erase all higher meanings from human life. The point is in consumption and enjoyment. What else to do? The lower, the more uterine and the more primitive - the "cooler" you are! Everything that makes a person human is ridiculed. The media and other channels of influence on public opinion are making titanic efforts to blur - and in the long term and completely abolish - the traditional concepts of duty and honor, patriotism, love and loyalty. Naturally, the modern libertarian who sets the tone for building an "open global society" does not believe in God. And if he does believe, then in one who favors Sodom in all its manifestations (that is, not in God, but in the devil). But among ordinary people, whom especially outspoken ideologists do not even call people, but say "biomass", atheism is persistently promoted: talk about saving the soul is ridiculous, this is the day before yesterday, fanaticism, obscurantism and - again in the future - religious extremism …

In our country, which in the 20th century has already experienced a period of militant atheism, and not in a cold, but in a hot phase, with the destruction of churches and the murder of millions of Orthodox Christians, things are somewhat different. Two mutually exclusive tendencies are fighting here. On the one hand, more and more people are coming to Christ. On the other hand, the liberals are intensifying their attacks on the Church, trying to weaken it both from the outside and from the inside. The outcome of the struggle will depend on whether Russia succeeds in gaining sovereignty and following its own path of development, reviving traditional Christian values ​​and resolutely rejecting everything that tries to erode and destroy them. But sovereignty by itself will not fall on our heads. Whether we get it or not depends on each of us. Including how people will bring up their children.

What to focus on in raising boys

One of the most important sex-linked qualities (those without which men can hardly be called men) is courage. The development of this quality has been actively encouraged among all peoples at all times. Now this is a problem. Many families (not only incomplete, but also often those where the dad is) suffer from overprotection. And then there is the media stirring up fears. Juvenile practitioners who are hooked on Western grants are calling for a ban on leaving children unattended up to fourteen years of age. There are already quite a few cases when an abrasion or a bruise noticed by a teacher in a child - and even more so, an appeal to a trauma center with a suspicion of a concussion or bone fracture! - turned into a formidable piece of evidence of "abuse in the family." And my mother had to make excuses to the district police officer, proving that she was not a monster who wanted the child evil. If this practice takes root and parents, rightly fearing trouble, begin to shake over their children even more, protecting their every step, it will be possible to finally put an end to the education of courage. This cannot be allowed.

Of course, courage should be cultivated taking into account the character of the child, without overstraining him at an early age, so as not to cause neuroticism. But encouraging this quality in boys is absolutely essential. And now it often happens that the parents themselves do not have an understanding of how important it is.They are much more concerned with the development of intelligence, perseverance, diligence, creativity - everything that is needed for a good study and further getting a high-paying job in an office, etc.

But, firstly, it is far from the fact that life in comfort and coziness will continue for boundless times. No matter how much we would like to live quietly and peacefully, most likely we cannot do without trials. Secondly, even in the present, rather calm life, people are not immune from all sorts of unpleasant incidents such as attacks by hooligans. And, thirdly (and in fact, firstly), since courage is one of the most important masculine qualities, the masculine personality is largely built on it, as on the foundation. Judge for yourself.

A brave person is a courageous person (a word that speaks for itself!). And masculinity presupposes endurance and endurance, and "valiant daring", and a desire to overcome difficulties. And, of course, willpower, without which a man's character is not forged. Life in a modern city significantly limits the development of all these qualities. It is no coincidence that so many boys get hooked on computer games. The point is not only that it is fashionable leisure and the "currency of communication" in children and adolescents. Much more important is the fact that computer games enable a teenager to escape from reality and pretend to be a real man, not developing masculine qualities in himself, but replacing them with a phantom of the game. In life, you have to go to the gym, do exercises every day, do exercises that are not necessarily easy for you, endure the coach's comments and blows to your pride when someone else turns out to be more successful. And then - he closed himself in the room, sat down more comfortably, started the "computer", clicked the "mouse" several times - and you are a hero, you increase your strength, power … Cheap and angry! It is not for nothing that it is weak-willed, unmanly (although, perhaps, hiding their cowardice) adolescents so often become cyber-dictates. A brave, strong-willed guy will not waste all his free time on this rubbish. He, of course, can play, but it is much more interesting for him to engage in some kind of active activity, creativity, learn something new, go on a canoe trip, climb the mountains, fight the enemy not on the screen, but in the ring … Difficulties, failures he is only provoked. He is not afraid of life, does not hide from it like a snail in a shell, does not give hysterical reactions that are so typical for fans of computer games, does not act pretentious, trying to cover up cowardice and weak will with feigned bravado and "disregard". In other words, a normal guy does not behave like a pampered, spoiled muslin young lady who, for some reason, claims to be the commander in the family.

Other - no less important - masculine qualities are nobility and generosity. They do not allow the animal ferocity, cruelty to roam, do not allow mockery of the weak, veto the vulgarity and cynicism.

Modern mass culture is trying to send these most valuable masculine qualities to the scrap. The cutesy, hysterical "it" is being actively advertised, adorning itself with necklaces and earrings, caring for the skin of the face according to all the rules of cosmetology of the XXI century and not even hesitating to parade - so far, however, only on the catwalk, and not down the street - in a skirt. For those who do not want to be completely fucked up, another option is offered: a stupid, rude bumpkin, externally and internally not much different from the orangutan. I will not delve into the topic, but, as far as I can judge by the experts' estimates, these are two poles of the “culture of Sodom”. Neither one nor the other has nothing to do with real masculinity.

Reflecting on the differences between boys and girls, psychologists note that boys have a developed "sense of the pack", willingly recognize the social hierarchy. They are competitive, fighting for leadership. Girls are more sensitive to interpersonal relationships.Their communication is more confidential, each usually has a best friend with whom they share secrets. Of course, even among girls there are weak and strong personalities, but the desire to become the "leader of the pack", as a rule, is not peculiar to them. And this is absolutely understandable. The purpose of a woman is to be a wife and a mother, to give loved ones love and tenderness. The man is assigned by God the role of the boss. Someone - small, someone big - it depends on the potential and on how you manage to realize it, how your life will turn out.

But this most important role in the upbringing of boys must not be overlooked. Otherwise, the formation of a masculine character will be distorted. The weaker one will be crushed, passive and cowardly. Stronger natures will begin to be stubborn, rebel. Of course, parents should not allow their son to command them (now this is often the case, since it is easier for adults to give in than to endure the scandals of their offspring). But because boys are very sensitive to hierarchy, they stop respecting adults who let themselves sit on their necks. And they quickly get out of control, get loose, don't get used to discipline, work and responsibility.

Without the development of the above qualities: courage, stamina, endurance, willpower, initiative and independence, generosity and nobility, it is impossible to be a normal boss. Not in the family, not in society, not in the state. And without fulfilling his main purpose, a man does not feel happy, tries to console himself with surrogates and often gets completely confused, ineptly wasting his best years. Parents of boys should set the right goal for themselves from the beginning. And then many come to their senses too late, when even a blind man is already clear that the guy is not ready for the male role. And what to do with this then is a big question.

Spiritual education of boys: challenges of the time

Going in for sports, mastering wrestling techniques, participating in hiking trips, familiarizing with work with an emphasis on traditionally male work, many heroic examples that abound in history, literature, art and - thank God - modern life - these are, in the language of mathematics, the necessary conditions, but not enough for a real male upbringing.

In our time, when spiritual warfare is becoming more and more fierce, a person cannot resist without spiritual support. Everything is shaky, ghostly; traditions that allow people to follow the good customs of their ancestors, at least by inertia, have been lost, values ​​are challenged, the top and bottom are turned upside down. The overwhelming majority of fathers are not spiritual authority for children, they cannot instruct them in faith and piety. This means that they are not real heads of the family, no matter how much money they earn and no matter what managerial posts they hold. And sons, having matured a little, are more guided by their fathers than by their mothers. In recent years, however, there have been more men in churches, but the situation has not changed dramatically. And she must change dramatically, because a society in which a woman is spiritually, mentally, and now sometimes physically stronger than men, is doomed to self-destruction.

Moreover, in matters of the spiritual education of boys, it is also important to take into account their sex-linked characteristics. The perceptions of boys and girls differ significantly. Girls are better at assimilating emotionally charged information, as they are more sensitive, romantic, inclined to establish a warm, trusting relationship with the teacher. Their perception is usually more specific, directed towards practical tasks: where can the acquired knowledge be applied? The male mindset is different - more analytical. Therefore, among men there are much more mathematicians, physicists, philosophers. Boys are better at learning abstract sciences. In one of the studies conducted on this topic, the number of adolescent boys with mathematical abilities outnumbered their peers by a ratio of 13: 1 [1].It is important for boys to get to the bottom of the problem, to see the depth and scope of the problem. They easily solve new problems and, unlike girls, do not like stereotyped ones. They are aimed at new knowledge, repetitions are boring for them.

If we look at the initiation of the faith of children from this angle, we will see that it, like secular education, is now more designed for girls. While children are small, this is not so noticeable. Many boys are also happy to cut angels out of paper, paint Easter eggs, and perform in Christmas performances. But closer to adolescence, all of this, and even wrestling, hiking, pilgrimage trips, etc., becomes not enough for them. They, like many previous generations of "Russian boys" (expression of FM Dostoevsky), begin to look for a deeper meaning in life. And, not finding understanding from those around them, they creep into other sources.

And understanding is not easy to find now. Churched adults are now mostly women. And by adolescence, the psychology of boys is very different from that of women. In addition, the parents of today's adolescents, as a rule, came to faith at a more or less conscious age, having time to wander in the dark and finally come out into the light. Therefore, it often seems to them that their son is mad with fat: “Okay, we didn’t know something, but the meaning is open to you from the cradle! Go to church, pray, confess, receive communion, try not to sin, but if you sin, repent. And all will be well!"

And this, of course, is correct, but the boy does not like it. Deep, serious male mentoring is necessary for modern youth like air. It is unrealistic to resolve this issue only by the forces of priests, who are already overwhelmed so that they often hardly see their own children. It is important for parents to understand this and make sure that the teenager has someone to discuss with, share his opinions and doubts. It is best, of course, that this role should be assumed and adequately fulfilled by the father himself. It is even difficult to convey what a great happiness it is for a son - to be proud of his father not just as a respected person, an expert in some business, but also as a moral, spiritual authority. And what a great honor it is for a father in the era of the demonstrative overthrow of authorities, the triumph of rudeness.

If the understanding of these things is returned to society, many fathers will reflect and begin to behave differently. After all, all men, even little boys, want to be respected. The question is: why? Now this question is key. Until his decision turns into a spiritual plane, until men mature to the realization of the paramount importance of faith and begin to behave accordingly, the upbringing of boys will be lame. No matter how hard the mothers try to make up for what the fathers have not given.

Having given your word - hold on

Teach boys to keep their word. Once it was considered a matter of honor and an integral quality of a man. Even trade deals were often concluded by Russian merchants and entrepreneurs in words: "they shook hands." Not keeping a promise meant losing trust in your circle, being branded as a dishonest, low, unhappy person. The society did not show any condescension in this respect. “If you don't give a word, hold on, but if you give it, hold on,” popular wisdom demanded. Now we are being told that not keeping promises is perfectly normal. In politics, it’s generally like that it doesn’t happen otherwise. But if we justify the dishonesty of statesmen, then what can we demand from ordinary people: husbands, fathers, sons?

It turns out that there is no one to rely on. In response to your request, they say "yes" to you, but that does not mean anything. The mother, returning home from work, once again sees her son with unfinished lessons, buried in the computer, and a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, although on the phone he promised by oath that everything would be in order by her arrival. It is also pointless to appeal to your husband: he himself does not fulfill his promises.The shelves that my husband should have hung three weeks ago are still not even unpacked. Yes, and physically his presence in the apartment is not observed, despite the fact that the day before he firmly promised to return from work early and do mathematics with his son … I will not continue this realistic sketch. Everything is all too familiar. I will only say that in women, such an infantile optionality of men causes a rapid loss of respect. Apparently, because this is in sharp contradiction with the archetypal image of the husband as a hope and support, behind which it is like a stone wall. The wife can accept many of her spouse's shortcomings, but the loss of respect for a marriage is fatal. Even if he does not formally disintegrate, the wife will be deeply disappointed and will react accordingly.

Therefore, wishing the boy happiness, it is obligatory - I apologize for the pun! - it is necessary to teach you to be obligatory, to teach you to keep your promises. How to train? Yes, in general, there is no special wisdom here. If a child is inclined to cheat and manipulate, if he begs for advances, and having received them, does not fulfill the promise, then there is no need to give advances. This should be an iron law that cannot be broken by any persuasion and hysteria. "Money in the morning - chairs in the evening." And nothing else. And in parallel, it is worthwhile to periodically tell your son (not in reproach, but as if just like that) that real men know how to keep their word. It is worth reading the story of A.I. Panteleeva "Honest word" and discuss it. And also give examples from life. Including from the life of great people, hagiographic stories. Let's say, recall an episode from the lives of the holy martyrs Adrian and Natalia, or the martyr Basilisk. Adrian was released to his wife so that he would inform her about the day of his execution. And the Basilisk asked the prison guards to let him go to say goodbye to his relatives. Theoretically, both martyrs could run away, but they returned to certain death, because they wanted to suffer for Christ and did not want to lose their good name, to be branded as deceivers and cowards.

And also do not give in advance not only the coveted sweets and cartoons, but also - what is much more important! - the privileges associated with growing up. As, in fact, it was at all times for all peoples. The child first had to prove that he had matured to transfer to another age category, and only then his rights were expanded. And not vice versa, as is often the case now.

Boys are more mobile than girls

Boys are on average more mobile and more playful than girls. And this is also not without reason. It would be difficult for an inert bumpkin to cope with the difficult tasks of obtaining food, protecting the clan, searching for and developing new lands. Compared to girls, boys have a more developed sense of orientation. I remember how amazed me that my eldest son, at the age of three and a half, showed me the way when I drove him across the city to my great-grandmother by car. I myself have not yet really memorized the route, but several trips were enough for him to tell me where to turn and where to go straight.

In boys, the ancient instinct of the hunter is dormant. They need space, they need wanderings, adventures. 95% of adolescent male tramps. Spending most of their lives in a closed and rather cramped space - a city apartment and a school classroom - boys suffer from physical and mental deprivation (lack of movement and the necessary positive emotions). Therefore, at recess or running out of the apartment onto the street, they begin to play tricks, rush, fiddle. Attempts to suppress this surge of energy will lead to even greater overstrain, increased aggressiveness and disobedience. Many parents note that, being within four walls for several days in a row (for example, due to illness), the son begins to literally stand on his head. And having escaped to freedom, having run over and jumped, he calms down, becomes more controllable and accommodating.

Therefore, you should definitely reckon with these boyish features.It is necessary to build the children's regime so that there is an opportunity to walk and run in the fresh air, go hiking, see new places, ski and ice skate in winter, and cycle in spring and summer. In short, adults should feed the boys' need for physical activity and space exploration. A sedentary lifestyle, this scourge of townspeople, is fraught with many extremely unpleasant diseases for adults, but for a young, still developing organism, it is simply destructive. Of course, there are things to come to terms with. We are unable to abolish the classroom-lesson system of schoolwork, although within the framework of this system there are methods that allow children to move. For example, the V.F. Bazaar, along which the classes are equipped not with ordinary desks, but with desks, and schoolchildren can work either sitting or standing. But how a child spends his free time almost entirely depends on the parents: what they allow him, what they allocate funds for.

From these positions, it is also better not to encourage the sons' hobby for computers and TV. Especially on weekdays, after school. In addition to other disadvantages, this is an additional load for the eyes, and physical inactivity, leading to disruption of the cardiovascular system and the brain, which causes general weakness, insomnia, decreased ability to work, decreased mental activity. Physical inactivity negatively affects both the musculoskeletal system and the work of the gastrointestinal tract. In short, the whole body.

At school age, it is very important for boys to engage in some kind of sports section. This makes it possible to alternate mental loads with physical ones, disciplines, distracts from aimless pastime.

Take care of the development of the mind

By the way, about mental stress. Destruction of fundamental education, teaching schoolchildren to act mainly within the framework of given algorithms, training them to solve stereotyped problems, or even almost guessing the correct answer in the test mode, when a control or exam is more like solving a crossword puzzle than a serious, deep one. knowledge testing - such "innovations" that hinder the normal development of intelligence are simply deadly for boys. The male mind, inquiring, free, looking for independent solutions, is driven into a cage. And the chaotic presentation of the material, the lack of harmony and internal logic - all that was characteristic of classical education - are especially unbearable precisely for the analytical, male mindset. Not understanding the meaning, not seeing logic in an arbitrary set of facts, the clever boy is lost. He cannot mechanically memorize a lesson to please the teacher (a motive often enough for girls). Interest in learning disappears, difficulties accumulate, knowledge gaps become larger, and by the end of elementary school, a child who has shown so much promise often turns into a neurotic C grade.

If the boy is also addicted to computer games from childhood, then the matter is completely seams. Not only because this is a type of addiction, inevitably leading to a narrowing of horizons, a loss of curiosity, and often of any interests at all, except for games. The fact is that the computer, according to reviews of psychiatrists and psychologists studying this issue, distorts the child's thinking, teaches to think not creatively, but technologically. In most popular games, there is no room for a flight of thought and imagination, the search for solutions comes down to choosing from predetermined options (that is, these are also a kind of tests), standard images and clichés are imposed on children. Thinking is programmed, personality robotization takes place. The child does not learn to look for solutions on his own, does not learn to analyze and draw conclusions, but acts mainly by trial and error, because this is the only way to move forward in many computer games.

Notice how many guys in modern advertising have an openly stupid, even moronic expression on their faces. Unfortunately, in this case, advertising is no longer wishful thinking, but to a certain extent reflects reality. It is enough to take a ride in the subway, walk along the streets and look around. But the majority of children are still born not intellectually flawed, but completely normal and even smart! So we are talking about a typical pedagogical neglect and deliberate fooling of people in the framework of an information war, which is fraught with tragic consequences both for an individual person and for the country as a whole. Stupid men not only do not inspire respect among women (which means they lose the right of leadership in the family and society), but they often find themselves unable to realize what is happening. Therefore, they are easy to manipulate. And inertness, inflexibility, standardization of thinking leads to blindness, when even under the pressure of irrefutable evidence a person cannot accept a point of view that does not fit into the usual stereotypes, and either falls into aggression or leaves reality in the world of computer-television dreams, intoxicates himself with drugs or alcohol. That is, it even more turns off the already weak consciousness.

Boys need to be raised in a military spirit

For many parents, practically the only way to keep teenagers from leaving the streets and further, as juvenile human rights activists put it, "conflict with the law" is the cadet corps. For many, but not for all. For children with a fragile psyche (for example, those who, under the influence of stress, develop nervous tics and obsessions), separation from home and harsh male treatment can become an unbearable psychological stress. In any case, I have repeatedly had to deal with the fact that, having sent their son to a militarized institution on the advice of a psychologist or at their own discretion, the parents were subsequently forced to treat him for neurosis.

And for other, more "thick-skinned" children, the paramilitary educational institution is truly salutary. Moreover, it is possible to recognize who is more suitable for whom much earlier, without waiting for adolescence. How many times have I heard from the relatives of willful boys that of those who are gentle and affectionate with them, they twist ropes, and adore and obey a formidable teacher or a strict coach unquestioningly. And such a guy will not suffer from the oppression of hooligans. He himself will oppress whoever you want.

However, it often happens that a mother exaggerates the vulnerability of her child. And because he still seems small to her, and because many women lack sensitivity on the part of their husbands, they are looking for such an understanding in their son. And he, using his mother's indulgence, completely beats off his hands. In those, alas, all too common in our time, when the family cannot cope with the obstinate teenager, and he, due to his immaturity, is not yet able to do without control and external motivation to work, it is better to think about the boy's arrangement in some way. boarding school. Let it not be militarized, but still something where discipline is monitored, taught to self-control and self-service. Here is what Princess Olga Nikolaevna Kulikovskaya-Romanova, the widow of Prince Tikhon Nikolaevich Kulikovsky-Romanov, who was brought up by his own nephew to the Holy Martyr Tsar Nicholas II, says about this: to boarding school. There, the child learns discipline. At home, he can bask in bed and not wash. And try to behave like this in the boarding school. Children in a team usually do everything together with everyone. In the boarding school, everyone gets up, everyone goes to the line, everyone goes to the class … As for the boys, it is very important to revive the system of cadet corps in Russia … Boys need to be brought up in a military spirit.Boys need it. They do not necessarily have to become military after graduating from the cadet corps. But they will be disciplined for life. And children will get themselves friends for life. Cadet friendship is forever."

Olga Nikolaevna knows what she is talking about, since she herself studied at a closed boarding school for noble maidens. “If I had not been accustomed to discipline at the Mariinsky Don Institute,” the princess testifies, “I would not have endured the trials that befell me” [2].

Maternal pity (“How can he cope without me, he’s so insecure!”) In such cases is by no means good for the son, and if you give this pity free will, the consequences can be very dire. How it happened, for example, in the mother of thirteen-year-old Leni K. As a child, he had a whole "bouquet" of diseases: bronchial asthma, neurodermatitis, gastritis, scoliosis, endless acute respiratory infections. His mother raised him alone. The husband formally existed, but in reality he was not present, he did not give money, he was interested not in his son, but mainly in vodka. Lyudmila Vadimovna "dragged" the child alone. By the age of ten he had grown stronger, although he still could not boast of excellent health. But psychologically, the situation was rapidly deteriorating. The guy turned into an "asocial element" before our eyes. And the mother, understanding and admitting this, admitted her helplessness, saying that she had too soft a character and had no influence on her son. By the age of 13, it became clear to her and to everyone around her that if urgent measures were not taken, the guy would definitely follow a crooked path. He had already thrown out all the circles, did not want to study, he was rude to his mother and desperately sought independence, understanding by this the opportunity to come home whenever he pleases (or not at all) and do what his left leg wants. Lyudmila Vadimovna called for help, begging to arrange the child in a good boarding school. They refused to take him to the cadet corps for health reasons.

Some compassionate people with great difficulty managed to agree on the admission of Leni to a good closed school located outside Moscow, far from the city's temptations. Truly gigantic works were undertaken, since my mother did not have the money to pay, and with such marks as Leonid's, it was risky to meddle in not only a good school, but even the most seedy one. In addition, the boy himself constantly put a spoke in his wheels, realizing that in the boarding school you will not be spoiled. The maximum that he agreed to was to go there on vacation to “just look” (and during this time they promised to pull him up in basic subjects). But, having got to the place, Lenya, as often happens with children, quickly settled down, became involved in an interesting, meaningful life, which the teachers tried to arrange for the students who did not leave home for one reason or another, made friends with the guys. Then the school year began. Lenya did well in all subjects, did not break discipline, and became interested in playing basketball. In short, what more could you ask for? However, after the end of the first quarter, mother took her son to Moscow. For what reason? And because Leni, when she visited him, looked tired (and, as it seemed to her, unhappy), he complained to her about fatigue and about the strict coach, forcing him to push up on his fists. Well, he also had a runny nose, and the nurse did not pay enough attention to it, she just gave the child drops - and that's it. And Lenya is absent-minded and irresponsible: he put the bottle on the nightstand and forgot. So long and sinusitis to earn!

Now Leonid is sixteen. Mother had bitten off all her elbows a long time ago, but what has been done cannot be returned. True, the son still held out until the end of the ninth grade, but this was given to her at such a high price that at the very thought of what she had experienced, tears flow in a stream. At the moment, the guy does not study, does not work, sleeps until four days, then he staggers somewhere or sits at the computer, with obscenities and threats extorts money from his mother, steals in supermarkets, gets drunk. Naturally, he does not think about health.Lyudmila Vadimovna inspires herself and those around her that at least it hasn't come to drugs yet, but it's more like psychotherapy … Recently, Lenya got in touch with football fans. What will happen next is better not to think. One of his friends, three years older, is already in prison for stabbing, the second in a fight broke two ribs and a collarbone …

Listening to this saga, which becomes more and more nightmarish with each chapter, I want to exclaim: "Well, what have you achieved, protecting your son from a strict coach and from a cold?" But what's the use of asking? But Lenya was even going to be transferred over time to a cadet class - there was such a one in the boarding school - he proved himself so well …

And how were the boys brought up before?

Thinking about upbringing, it is instructive to refer to the experience accumulated among the people. For example, how did the Russian peasants, who constituted the overwhelming majority of the population before the revolution, brought up the boys? “The lack of strong authority and proper supervision by the father, backed up by the practice of using force, was considered the cause of disorder in the family, promiscuity, indiscipline of children, quarrels and fights between them,” writes V.G. Cold in the article "Paternal punishment in the upbringing of a teenage boy among the Eastern Slavs in the late XIX - early XX century." “Among Russians, disobedience to the father's will secured the nickname of“disobedient”/“disobedient”,“disobedient”for the son, which was considered shameful, and could become a reason for expulsion from home without the due part of the father's property” [3]. The Little Russians even had a proverb: "Whoever does not hear the tata, the one who does not hear the kata (executioner)."

“Until the end of infancy,” the author continues, “the father, who appears in the rituals of“humanization”(in the first swaddling, christening, tonsure) as a symbol of familiarity with the family, clan, and for the boy, who was the prototype of masculinity, almost did not participate in the upbringing of his son … Up to 5-7, and sometimes up to 12 years old, children were under the care of the mother, she was responsible for the main responsibilities of caring for and caring for the children. The head of the family performed the function of general supervision, he was called up as the highest authority when the child broke the rules, but punishment during this period was not his prerogative."

“The father has little contact with them, since they are not yet helpers to him. He punishes them only on rare occasions, and for the most part the mother does it,”informants from the Vologda and Kostroma provinces reported.

“Batko doesn’t hit children in vain. In the summer he has no time to get together with the children, and in the winter only in the evenings: he puts him on his knees, tells fairy tales”[4]. In the Vologda district, while the sons were small, they were called "mother's children." Caressing them, she said bluntly: "This is still my son." From the age of 12, as soon as the sons began to help their father in field and other male work, they left the supervision of their mother and, unlike their daughters, became “father's children”. Now the mother communicated with her sons less, the prerogative of upbringing, and therefore of encouragement and punishment, went to the father.

The son, brought up by his mother until adulthood, outside the male community, was ridiculed among the people as spoiled, unlucky, awkward. He was given the nickname "mama's son", which speaks for itself. In 1772, a peasant widow of the Tomsk province “announced” in the Berdsk court hut that she had “with her son Fyodor … there was no one to teach arable farming and housekeeping,” and asked permission to move with her son to her brother-in-law. “Observers unanimously confirm the conclusion about the exclusive role of the father and, in general, the elders in the family of men in the upbringing of their sons,” the historian N.А. Minenko [5].

Children under 5–7 years old were treated gently, almost never punished, they turned a blind eye to many misdeeds and pranks. ““Yong ishsho is small, he lacks meaning,”the father responded about his son,“if he grows up, he comes to his senses, he will do it, and now what to take with him? You do not whip him, but tomorrow again for the same "… As soon as the children" came to their minds ", the attitude towards them became stricter and more demanding,they began to "teach", that is, to scold and exact for their pranks and disobedience. They acted especially severely if the child was mischievous in front of adults, interfered with and did not obey the remarks; a second punishment (“they knock out a wedge by a wedge”) could also be deserved by the one who, having received his, for a long time yelled and complained”[6].

Labor education of boys began early enough. In the peasant environment, ingenuity, thrift, and skillful hands were highly valued. “A three-year-old boy has already been helping his mother: peel potatoes, sweep the floor, find his father’s sash, collect spilled peas in a cup, drive chickens out of the garden,” reported at the end of the 19th century from the Novoladozhsky district of the St. Petersburg province [7]. Then the boys gradually became accustomed to men's work. At the age of 6–7, they already drove cattle into the yard, from 8–9 they drove the horses to a watering hole, rode with the older children at night, learned to sit on a horse and manage it, and took adults lunch to the field. By the age of 9–10 (in other places a little later) the boy knew how to harness a horse on his own, helped his father in the harrowing, planted sheaves on the barn and threshed. The boy driving the horse while harrowing was called the harrow. Reaching the age of the harrow (from 10 to 15 years) was proud not only of the child himself, but also of his entire family. There was even a proverb "Your own harrow is more expensive than someone else's worker." At the same time, they also taught various crafts necessary for running a peasant economy. Depending on the specifics of a particular area, it could be processing wood or leather, weaving bast shoes, twine, etc. Boys were accustomed to fishing and hunting. All this took place under the supervision of elders. Laziness was especially severely suppressed.

Usually, by the age of majority, and even earlier - at the age of 14-15, family punishment ended. For offenses, they were no longer punished with flogging, but tried to inspire with words. The older the son got, the more respectfully the adults treated him. Only a community court could punish an adult son for disobedience, disrespect, or insult inflicted on his father. At the complaint of parents, the administration could punish with arrest or publicly flog with rods, and the rural and volost authorities had no right to refuse assistance. The offended father gathered the village and asked the neighbors to tear off his son in the presence of everyone. Such an extreme measure covered his son with shame, opposed society and actually removed him from the sphere of reproduction, because a public spanking of an adult guy was considered an indelible shame, the girls refused to marry him.

The basis for the rigid system of restrictions on the activity of a teenage boy was the idea of ​​spontaneity, uncontrollability of his essence.

Much attention was paid to the heroic upbringing of sons. The generals and military heroes who gained the glory of Russia were highly valued in the mass consciousness. The type of national leader of Ancient Russia is represented by princes, leaders of squads … In their exploits, both personal righteousness and national service were valued - the fact that they, not sparing their belly, defended their native land. Ordinary people who sacrificed themselves for the sake of the Fatherland were also very revered. At the end of the 19th century, one of the correspondents from the Gzhatsky district of the Smolensk province reported to the Ethnographic Bureau that “the people are pleased to read about the people who sacrificed themselves to Russia … the exploits of many insignificant persons displayed during the Patriotic War of 1812 evoke the pride of the people and deep respect to unknown heroes, the memory of which is passed on from the elder to the younger”[8]. The ideal of a brave, strong, loyal to the Fatherland warrior, reliable friend and comrade runs through all folklore - from epics to late soldiers' songs. The very fact of the existence of soldiers' songs is noteworthy - their themes were close to the peasantry. Since the time of the Northern War, when the mass of soldiers first appeared as the collective hero of the Russian epic, these songs have become almost the main ones in Russian historical poetry [9].

The man called up for military service was in the eyes of the people the defender of the Fatherland and invariably felt the respectful attitude of his fellow villagers, all the inhabitants of the area. Seeing off to the soldiers was held solemnly. The recruit was blessed by his parents, godfather and mother. The return of a soldier from service was also an event for the entire village. Many people gathered in the hut to listen to his stories about our military power. The topic of battles, military exploits in the past and present was constant during conversations at meetings of adults, often in the presence of children. The stories of the wars focused on the successes of the Russian troops. Bad news penetrated the people from time to time, and they did not attach much importance to failures, being sure that the enemies would not be able to resist the Russians, that “God himself, the Mother of God and Saint Nicholas the Pleasant would not allow this” [10]. In other words, optimism and faith in victory were brought up in the growing generations of future men. The decadent sentiments that were so widespread among our population in recent decades were not popular, although living conditions were much more difficult than modern ones, and defeats, as we know from history, also happened.

To coward, to evade hardships and trials, to hide behind the backs of comrades was considered shameful. Here is some interesting evidence of the nature of the Kuban Cossacks' ideas left by a war correspondent in the Far East during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. He had a chance to talk with the Kuban Plastun - that was the name of the special units engaged in reconnaissance, sabotage operations, etc. We can say that it was an analogue of modern special forces. “Tall, mighty like an oak, the Kuban Cossack bitterly complained that he had been assigned to the train. “Did I come here just to clean the horse and haul the groats? What will I say at home when they ask me how I fought the Japanese?” Genuine grief shone on the energetic face … “Isn't it possible to do that,” the Cossack continued, “so that we, the scouts, all enroll in the ranks, and replace our place in the train with reserve soldiers? Between them there are very poor peasants”” [11].

[1] Bogutskaya T. Boys prefer to compete, and girls prefer to cooperate // Home education. 2004. No. 2. P. 3-4.

[2] Kulikovskaya-Romanova ON. I see the transformation of Russia //

[3] Men's collection. Issue 2.M., 2004.S. 170.

[4] Derlitsa M. Selyanski diti // Ethnographic collection. Lviv, 1896.Vol. 1.P. 131.

[5] Minenko N.A. Russian peasant family in Western Siberia (18th - first half of the 19th century). Novosibirsk, 1979, p. 121.

[6] V.G. Paternal punishment in the upbringing of a teenage boy among the Eastern Slavs in the late XIX - early XX century // Men's collection. Issue 2.P. 175.

[7] Listova T.A. Traditions of labor education in the countryside. Russians. M., 1997.S. 115.

[8] Buganov A.V. Warrior-hero in the historical memory of Russians // Men's collection. P. 200.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Ibid. S. 200–201.

[11] I. Tonkonogov Our Cossacks in the Far East // Collection of stories of correspondents and participants in the war, placed in various periodicals. SPb., 1907.S. 28.

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