The role of fathers in raising sons
The famous American teacher Warren Farrell in his works paid a lot of attention to the problems of men after 30 years. He sought the roots of these problems in childhood, so much attention in the scientist’s work is also paid to raising boys.
Only the last 10 years began to actively talk about this problem. Perhaps the main reason for this is that in society for a long time the problems of women came to the fore, and the problems of men (and boys) remained out of focus. Warren Farrell was one of the first to draw public attention to these issues.
Warren Farrell was worried about the fact that in litigation or divorce proceedings or custody issues, children were more likely to stay with their mothers than with their fathers. In one of his works, he writes:
“In the 70s, I noticed that after divorces, most children remain with their mothers. In modern culture, the role of fathers is reduced to making money, and their role in raising children is diminished. Therefore, fathers are criticized primarily for the fact that they do not pay child support, and not for the fact that they are not involved in raising children.
Communicating with men, I often heard the point of view of divorced fathers. I was amazed how much they cared for their children. There was a lot of anger and sadness in them that the court did not take the side of men. But when I asked them about the children, tears almost always appeared on their eyes. It turns out that their anger was just a mask behind which vulnerability was hidden. When they could see their children only on weekends, they felt powerless. It seemed to them that such short visits were not enough to convey their values to the children and teach them something.
Many of these fathers were depressed, some had protracted litigation to gain the right to see their children more often. ”
Over time, society realized the importance of fathers in raising children. Increasingly, opinions have begun to sound that women will be able to achieve their career goals faster if men take a greater part in family affairs and raising children.
In his works, Warren Farrell says that in the event of a divorce of parents, it is necessary, first of all, to take into account the interests of the child. Numerous studies show how important the role of the father is in raising children. But it is especially important in the education of sons.
Another key point that is reflected in Warren Farrell’s writings is the idea that in modern society men are discriminated against. Throughout history, it has been taken for granted that men take part in wars, work in hazardous jobs and engage in extreme sports. The fact that men help women carry heavy bags is the norm. This is consistent with the theory of species survival during evolution, which states that the survival of a female is more important than the survival of a male.
Warren Farrell notes that today, when the world around is much less violent, a conflict arises between the so-called “heroic thinking” and “healthy thinking” in the lives of boys. The first encourages children to take risks, often (but not always) – justified. One way or another, heroic thinking helps the boys to assert themselves.
Healthy thinking is necessary to live a long life and maintain health. Thanks to him, a person understands how to take care of himself. Speaking of such a conflict, Warren Farrell concludes: “A boy who is trying to assert himself risks losing himself.”
Farrell comes to this conclusion: now that women can occupy leadership positions, serve in the army and perform many types of work that used to be considered exclusively male, it should be recognized that men do not have to endanger themselves. Just as women have been encouraged for many years to engage in homework rather than build a career, so men from early childhood are forced to show courage and courage. Parents who see their son taking risks that are not characteristic of girls often feel a conflict between the desire to “let the boy be a boy” and the desire to keep him from risky behavior.
Farrell admits that boys and men have been discriminated against for a long time. Without denying certain needs for manifestation of heroism, he believes that it is necessary to find a balance between heroism and “healthy thinking”. Although he himself did not have sons (and there was only one small grandson), he understood the conflict between fathers and sons.
In his book The Boys Crisis, Warren Farrell examines the many problems boys and boys face: problems with learning, lack of life goals, typical of many young men, frequent cases of attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity in boys, etc. However, at the same time the main problem that he raises in his works remains the problem of the relationship of boys with their fathers and the need to establish physical and mental health as the main life value.