Something kind of struck me earlier today as we had three early hehaviour child development specialists come to the house to test our little YY and see whether or not he is on track as a two-year-old boy. He is absolutely on track in all aspects of development, but that’s really another story. What I want to talk about is how all three specialists were women.
This got the little exercise wheel in my head turning. A lot of teachers are women, too. A lot – if not all – daycare teachers are women. A lot of single parents are women, also.
So, I wondered, what about the men? Well, men, historically until this generation and perhaps the last, have never really been the primary caregiver in the community, be it at home, school, or elsewhere. It’s often been the woman. And nowadays, it seems like there are very few male role models out there for little boys to look up to, apart from the ball-busting action heroes and sports stars. Really, seriously. Tom Brady and Batman are the big role models for kids these days. And god forbid, Dennis Rodman.
I’m not saying women have great role models of their own to look up to -
not in popular culture anyway. Movies are still predominantly written, produced and directed by men, with men as the leading stars. And so on.
But when it comes to real-life interaction, it almost seems as if there’s a lack of real social interaction between grown men and little boys in our society. I look at our little YY and see how much fun he has interacting with grown women in all kinds of different environments, but then I find myself wondering: Where are the men in this case?
This made me wonder about myself. I’m a red-blooded male, and kind of a beta one in the sense that I’m new-age, new-school, sensitive, creative, and driven by emotion rather than logic. But still, I’m a man. It seems that I’m my boy’s sole role model when it comes to men. That’s a lot on my shoulders. My wife has plenty of fellow peers that YY can look up to when it comes to women, but I’m one of the only men in my boy’s daily life.
Isn’t that interesting? Makes me wonder two things. Am I doing it right? Sure hope I am, because no doubt YY will look to me in the future for boy stuff. And the second thing is, what will become of the boys of today’s generation if they have this much lack of interaction with grown men?
Well, it’s not all that different from the past, is it? Men are often much more distant emotionally from their kids than women are, in the broad sense of community. But I guess the one huge difference now is that the father is much, much more involved in home life than he used to be.
That could well be a good thing. While things haven’t changed all that much out there, things have changed dramatically at home. It’ll be interesting to see how the next generation of men lives. I will certainly be watching, and I’ll have front-row seats to the whole thing via my little boy.