View Full Version : When does a boy become a man?

08-04-2011, 10:31 AM
I work with many younger "men". Most of them 10 to 30 years my junior.
I can say at 50 that most younger "men" aren't what they used to be; perhaps it is my age or perhaps this observation is correct.
As I am raising a teenage Son, I constantly strive to bring him to Manhood with the necassary skills, integrity and education to give him that edge he needs to be successful.
I've always pushed hard work and responcability and held my Son accountable. He isn't perfect, but he seems much further along than most of his peers and many of the "men" I work with.
What happened to Men in Amercia, did we fail our juniors?
How do you other Fathers out there deal with this?

Steve Paulson
08-04-2011, 10:42 AM
Wow...HUGE topic, and the importance can't be understated. "Raising a Modern Day Knight" by Robert Lewis is a cornerstone piece that every father of a son should read. It'll make your heart pound. He highlights the importance of ceremony, graduating your growing son into new phases of his development, and guides you in what your son needs from you along the way. It's critical for a son to hear from his father that he's become a man. His identity is more in your hands than you know. I love my dad, but he never told me and I was confused for several years. Get that book! Sounds like you're doing a great job, dad. Keep it up.

08-04-2011, 11:33 AM
12 per Jewish Law.

08-04-2011, 11:41 AM
Many young men have no fathers.

I talk to a single mom and she is looking for male role models for her son.

Football coach, boy scouts, etc.

I asked her where his dad is. She said dad is a drunk. (Why did she choose him for a dad?)

I told her she should get her son to join the Marines or the Combat Arms slot in the Army.

08-04-2011, 12:16 PM
Somewhat sensitive area for me as likely with some here my father figure wasn't any type of good role model. A brief summation; work before family, left my mom, sister and I on my 15th birthday for another woman and the child of their adultery. Kinda hot-blooded Italian, summed up by "ready, fire, aim." I met my wife when we were both very young (15, 14 respectively) and we were married by 20 - without a bun in the oven amazingly! I committed at that time to never be like my father and to love my wife and future family the best that I could. I suppose I was forced to grow up rather quickly, I certainly was a man before I could legally drink.

08-04-2011, 12:40 PM
Have we failed our juniors? Unless you just flat out ignore them I don't think so.
The older ones of us on here had WW2 and Korea vets as our fathers. We were taught from an
early age by both their examples as well as their words what being a man was about. Sure we may have had a few
other heroes too, Superman, Batman, but they were in the fashion of real men too. Even our sports heroes were mostly veterans also.
Don't get me wrong, there were many fine examples of real men that didn't/couldn't serve but they still did their part.
We were pretty much surrounded by real men.

Today many kids are from fatherless homes, were raised to be Obama type libs,
and have have drugged out rapper and other "musicians" to look up too.
Hell just look at the crap they have been fed in school and on the tube.

When does he become a man? You both will know. However it doesn't hurt to say "I'm proud of the man you have become,"
I think it will mean a lot to both of you.

08-04-2011, 12:44 PM
I can say at 50 that most younger "men" aren't what they used to be; ...
How do you other Fathers out there deal with this?

Well, I only have a teenage daughter, so I have to approach it from the other direction. I teach her not to be interested in metrosexual emo slacker drug-using game-playing free-loading hippy commie pantywaists.

08-04-2011, 12:49 PM
C'mon Bae... you are your daughter's father... no guy will ever be good enough. LOL

08-04-2011, 01:08 PM
When he adopts the mentality of .'It is how you handle life that counts'.

08-04-2011, 02:01 PM
C'mon Bae... you are your daughter's father... no guy will ever be good enough. LOL
LOL I agree. Then wait till you are a grandfather and then see how even stricter the rules would be if you have your way.
"Big deal, you passed her Dad's test, you still have to pass MINE punk!"

Chuck Brick
08-04-2011, 02:49 PM
You probably won't see it happen, but some day you'll look back and realize that it did and you'll be proud.
In the meantime just be proud of him every day and let him know it. That's the best fertilizer money can't buy.

Stay Dad,

Chuck Brick.

Gun Mutt
08-04-2011, 07:14 PM
"A boy becomes a man when a man is needed."
-John Steinbeck

08-04-2011, 07:30 PM
I think Robert Heinlein said that adulthood comes when you can accept your own mortality without fear or flinching.

I remember the exact time I realized my son achieved manhood. He called me from Afghanistan on Friday 17 July 2009. His first words to me were, "Dad, we have a truly awesome God." He went on to tell about his MRAP rolling over an IED earlier that day. The MRAP was destroyed, but he and the other Marines aboard were uninjured.

Travis was glad it was his vehicle that set it off and not one of the less-armored trucks. At that moment, I realized he was fully a man. He was aware of his own mortality, but he put the lives of his buddies ahead of his own.

Combat Medic
08-04-2011, 07:51 PM
I think the lack of men comes from the effimination of our men in the 60-70s. also a generation of men raised by their mothers contributes to it.

honestly look at worst of the African American community, many of the men did not have a father around and all they knew about being a man was Machismo. We need men to step up in our society and raise these boys into men. I think it starts with having powerful mens ministries at our churches.

08-04-2011, 08:07 PM
From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, we had young men serving as miiltary officers in the rank of Major all the way up to the General Officer level, and successfully leading men in combat and making mature, senior-level decisions.

Looking at today's young LTs (more specifically the ones fresh out of ROTC or the Academies, with no prior-enlisted experience), I have a hard time picturing them making decision of such magnitude. Leading troops at the platoon or flight level, sure, but not beyond that.

08-04-2011, 08:28 PM
When I was a kid, then a young man, most older men I knew were always moaning about how young men weren't what they used to be. (Ach, zees young peeple nowadays... zey haff no Disziplin. Beck in ze Reich, zey vould not have lasted long...!) I'm sure their fathers and grandfathers were saying similar things. Now I'm one of the older men, and my thoughts sometimes go in the same direction... but I take them with a few grains of salt. I think that there always has been and always will be some degree of generational conflict going on, just part of life.

I'm sure that in my youth, I must have been a disappointing specimen with a bad attitude to many people from the previous generation. So what? Ultimately, we all have to find our own way through life, and to me, one of the markers of becoming a man is when you begin to take full responsibility for your life and your actions, recognize your own standards and live by them instead of someone else's dumb-ass guidelines. I'll bet you $$'s to donuts that if you look at the biographies of succesful men, you'll often, not always, find that these guys in their youth had difficult relationships with their dads and authority in general.

08-04-2011, 08:46 PM
Well I won't get into detail with my childhood history so to make a long story short, father was a poor decision maker and loved his women. Parents divorced at an early age and stayed with my mom and two older brothers while my father started his new life without us. Grew up coming home from school to an empty house until my brothers came home as well as mom.
A boy becomes a man when he takes on his chores and responsibilities without question or delay. They also have to be willing to listen and learn from those who have essential information and tools for their benefit. I always remind my stepson, after his mother and I leave this earth, that he is the only one left to ensure his brothers' safety and care since they are special need. It may seem like a lot for a 12 year old to carry, but it is the truth and I want to prepare him for the truths that lie ahead.
Just my two Lincolns.

08-06-2011, 05:04 AM
Well, tonight when I came home we rushed over to get his Football physical, on the way I got a briefing on his chores and where we are at for the weekend.
I was pleasently surprised that he had monitored a couple of tasks that needed some work, and set-up his own physical appointment.
I know we are tracking and moving in a great direction.
I do seriously wonder about the young men I work with. I only share knowledge and mentor those that seem to display initative and a work ethic, that would seem to be far fewer than it should.
When it comes down to it, I am tying to give my Son a competative edge agaisnt all those who he will compete with in life. Maturity and education along with ethics and drive; thats what I want to give him.

midget tosser
08-10-2011, 12:30 AM
When he realizes he's not the only one with problems, but he deals with them effectively. There are certain things everyone has to deal with in life, but when you decide to treat the roadblocks as hurdles is when you're at the beginning of a long road. I know plenty of boys that think they're men and men that don't know they're still kids. All you can do is work towards your ultimate goal, the rest is irrelevant. Manhood is a great goal, but like many sports and tactics, its all set in the foundation of fundamentals. Without these base principals, honor, courage, respect, integrity, love, it takes considerably longer to achieve an understanding of where you are in life.

08-13-2011, 05:50 AM
I asked her where his dad is. She said dad is a drunk. (Why did she choose him for a dad?)

This will prolly be seen as a large dose of Misogyny but here it goes...

Because she was selfish, and ignorant, and thought of her own carnal desires before any thought of the consequences of her actions came across her mind. That, or he was "pretty" and she thought, by roping him with responsibility, she could tame the devil, which is also VERY common.

We're approaching the, what, second or third generation that has no idea how to be a man? There are no positive role models in the media. They're taught to be transgendered "pretty" things with no interest in the outdoors or manly pursuits at all. The closest thing they come to a manly endeavor is video games, simulations of hunting and fighting, and that is only a loose facsimile. They're taught that a man is selfish and self-centered and uncaring. They're taught not to be strong, or aggressive. They're soft, and untempered, and they grow up weak and prone to lady-like flights of fancy. In short, they're raised as WOMEN, by WOMEN.

I think al ot of the time even "gangsta" culture's appeal to young children is less bad people naturally being bad or evil, and more like that is the closest thing to masculinity they have in their lives, the hoodrat on MTV singing about being a punk. He seems strong, aggressive, he gets what he wants, he doesn't set back and wait for it to be given to him.

This speaks naturally to all male minds, because instinctively that is how all men are. Historically, though, we've had codes, and oaths, and familial obligations, and things that shaped the explosive energy that is testosterone into a concentrated force. Without that shaping, all you are is just another stupid, ignorant thug.

There is not, however, a woman alive that can shape testosterone into anything positive. In all likelihood they'll tell you it's bad and evil instead and shame a boy into pussification or he'll explode with frustration and anger. If a boy's only outlet for his manly urges is thuggery, then he will be a thug. If a Man teaches a boy other outlets for those urges, he'll become a Man instead.

So to answer the OP's question, and summarize, a Boy becomes a Man once he learns to channel his urges into something positive and constructive rather than selfish and destructive.

08-14-2011, 09:12 AM
I was lucky enough to have a strong father figure growing up, partly because he didn't have a dad. He taught me to manage money, respect women, fix cars and houses, cook over a fire and hunt. (we used pistols for rabbits and squirrels...until I was old enough to hunt with others, I had no idea that most people used shotguns for hunting) I knew I was "old enough" when he gave me a pistol of my own.

08-21-2011, 09:28 PM
If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, Or,being lied about,don't deal in lies, Or,being hated,don't give way to hating, And yet don't look too good,nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master; If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim; If you can meet with triumph and disaster And treat those two imposters just the same; If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools, Or watch the things you gave your life to broken, And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, And lose,and start again at your beginnings And never breath a word about your loss; If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew To serve your turn long after they are gone, And so hold on when there is nothing in you Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you,but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son! -Rudyard Kipling

Silat Student
10-23-2011, 04:52 PM
I don't think that particular transformation has a specific date for any boy.

But I would offer up the following opinions (for all the money you spent to get it) with the caveat that I have no children of my own, but spent about 10 years specifically mentoring young boys in children's ministry and my whole life working on the parts of my manhood that were not cultivated by my own father who has a 3x2 photo under the dictionary definition "mentally absent",
-I measure a man in three main areas: Protector (guarding physical well being of loved ones), Provider (keeping roofs over heads and food in mouths, in abundance), Priest (guarding the spiritual and mental well being of loved ones). Great men are high functioning in all three.
-The ability to function in those three roles is, to me, an outgrowth of the attributes possessed by a man: Loyalty, Honor, Duty, Work Ethic, Understanding of Sacrifice, Perseverance, and Discipline to name just a few. Cultivating those attributes in a boy is the duty of a Father. The only way to do that is to put the boy in situations where those possession and growth of those attributes is the only way to "win". In that area a Father has to be strong and wise enough to not just find (or recognize) those situations which his Son has to go through, but also to reign in the protective instincts of the Mother who will usually pull her kids outta the fire if given the opportunity.
-Being intentional about this process and explaining to the boy what is happening and why will usually take care of the initiatory process mentioned in other comments and more importantly it will make the initiatory process something that is relevant and unique to each young man.