When our son was little, he and mom had a very close, happy relationship. Mike was a sweet boy who had no problem giving mom hugs and asking her lots of questions. He was her little boy. But then Mike moved into the early stages of puberty and the relationship changed . . . dramatically. With tears in her eyes, Jan asked me why her son hated her.
What Jan didn't know at the time was that Mike was at a crucial point in his life—the point where he had to start moving into manhood. And the movement into manhood meant he had to begin to pull away from his mom.
Most moms I know aren't prepared for that moment. They don't understand it. As their boys start moving into manhood, many moms often feel lost.
It's Tough to Be a Boy
On top of that, add in the challenges boys face today in the 21st century:
- Seventy percent of all Ds and Fs are given to boys.
- Eight-five percent of stimulant drugs prescribed throughout the world are prescribed to American boys.
- Boys have fallen behind girls in virtually every area of education.
- According to The Demise of Guys, one in three boys is now considered a "heavy" porn user, with the average boy watching nearly two hours of porn every week.
- Some 40 percent of boys will spend at least a part of their growing up years without a dad.
- Seventy to ninety percent of all boys leave the church in their teens and early twenties . . . and most will not return.
What's a mom to do?
In light of the challenges boys face today along with a mother's own sense of loss as she tries to understand her son, how can moms (and dads) call their boys into manhood?1