Captain Capitalism wonders if there is an advice deficit.
Years ago I bought some men’s magazines, just to see what they had to say. You know, like Men’s Health, GQ, Details, and such. The first had some good advice on exercise, the latter were, to be quite frank, gay.
If you want to be a metrosexual, read a men’s advice magazine. If you want to be a depressed woman, read a women’s advice magazine.
The problem here is parenting. Only a man can raise a boy into a man. Only a woman can raise a girl into a woman. But a boy benefits from his relationship with his mother, just as girl benefits from her relationship with her father. It takes two, a man and a woman, to raise men and women.
Advice magazines are for losers. And you certainly can’t trust the public school system to raise your children, any more than you can trust the government.
But I’ll tell you what, my father never whipped me. He would smack me upside the head when I was disrespectful or out of line, but he never whipped me. But my mother, when I got expelled from kindergarten for shooting this stupid kid for trying to take away my spy kit, or when I peed on the neighbor girl because she hit me with a 2×4, man, she took a belt to my ass and grounded me for a month. I had one grandmother who would grab me by the ear and make me run around the house or mow the lawn with a push-mower. I had another grandmother who would just laugh and give me a hug, then feed me cookies, cakes and candies.
That’s what’s missing today. And I don’t know if we will ever get it back. Of course, that was way back in the 60s, which was what two or three generations ago.
I agree parenting is key. As a single mom I read as much as I could find and one book that I embraced was “Raising Boys” by an Australian named Biddulph (can’t remember his first name). He had fantastic advice, much of which I have followed. Especially helpful was the advice to find various mentors for my sons. They now have many wonderful adult males in their lives (teachers, coaches, etc.) that they can learn from.
I agree there’s a problem with advice columns, though. In real life, boys (and most men I know) don’t ask for advice formally. Boys discuss life’s problems while they’re busy doing other things! This is why the relationships are more important than any books or magazines full of advice might be.
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