raising superheroesHow much power over their lives do we give our boys? Are we raising them to be the superheroes they were born to be? 

Human beings thrive on having a sense of purpose, and men especially have an innate need to feel powerful. We see this everywhere, with men being drawn to fast power driven cars, in the gym with powerlifting, and physical fighting if they or someone they protect is threatened. They were born to be physically and mentally powerful beings, that is how they are wired, but they are raised in a society where they are not only disempowered but punished if they execute any power over their own lives.

If society was raising empowered boys then the suicide rate wouldn’t continue to rise so rapidly. Suicide is the leading rate of death in many countries, and in New Zealand it is the leading cause of death in boys over ten, and the leading cause in men only after heart disease.

Empowered people don’t take their own lives.

People who commit suicide do so often because they feel they have no other choice. They feel they have no way out of a situation or the circumstances of their life. They feel unsupported to be who they really are, and at times they are not supported to even discover who they are in the first place, for society has already decided for them. Disempowerment starts from a very young age and continues into old age for many men.

How much power does the average boy have over his life in an average weekday?

He is woken at a time decided by his parents

He is told to eat the food bought and prepared by his parents

He is then told to eat all the food on his plate

He is told what to wear

He is told off, for being messy, cheeky, loud, slow and late for school.

He then attends a school decided for him by his parents

He is told what to do and what to say from the moment the bell rings

He is told to sit still

He is told to listen better

He is told to line up

He is told to be quiet

He is told what to learn and how to learn it

He is told when he can go to the toilet and when he cannot

He is told when he can eat

He is told what he can eat

He is told how long he can eat for

He is told when he can play

He is told what types of games he can play

He is told how he can play those games appropriately

He is told when to return back to the classroom

He is told who he can sit by and who he cannot

He is told what book to read and how to read it

He is told what to draw and how to draw it


He is taught he must conform to be accepted


He then attends after-school activities decided for him by his parents

He is told what to learn and how to learn it

He then goes home to recover from the day of trying to fit in and please so many people

He is told what to eat, how to eat it and how much he should eat

He is told when to wash and how to wash

He is told when to go to bed and how long he should sleep for

He is told to stop being so annoying, loud, silly, angry and tearful.


He is told he is naughty, disobedient and rude.


If we truly knew how much effort our boys put into trying to please us each and every day we would never call them these things again.


When is he allowed to just be himself, as loud or annoying, or silly as that may be, when does he get to just be?

To let them be, to let them free, is to love and accept them exactly as they are.  We need to step back and give our boys more power over their own lives, let them make decisions, let them experience the consequences and joys of these decisions, and be there for them unconditionally.  In an upcoming blog, I’m going to be sharing my own families journey, how I was unintentionally taking this away from him and what we did to make him feel in control and empowered once again.


‘Today I empower my son to take back the power that he so desperately craves. I accept him as he is, and for today I drop my expectations and allow him to just be who he needs to be’


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