The boys in your life need your time and energy. Your son, grandson, nephew, younger brother. The boys you teach, coach and mentor. All need you to help them grow into healthy young men.
Boys are swamped with influences outside of the home – from friends, the neighborhood, television, the internet, music, the movies… everything they see around them. They hear all kinds of messages about what it means to “be a man” – that they have to be tough and in control. There are numerous conflicting and some harmful messages being given to boys about what constitutes “being a man” in a relationship.
Boys need your advice on how to behave toward girls. Boys are watching how you and other men relate to women to figure out their own stance towards girls. So teach boys early, and teach them often, that there is no place for violence in a relationship.
Teach Early. It’s never too soon to talk to a child about violence. Let him know how you think he should express his anger and frustration – and what is out of bounds. Talk with him about what it means to be fair, share and treat others with respect.
Be there. If it comes down to one thing you can do, this is it. Just being with boys is crucial. The time doesn’t have to be spent in activities. Boys will probably not say this directly -- but they want a male presence around them, even if few words are exchanged.
Listen. Hear what he has to say. Listen to how he and his friends talk about girls. Ask him if he’s ever seen abusive behavior in his friends. Is he worried about any of his friends who are being hurt in their relationships? Are any of his friends hurting anyone else?
Tell Him How. Teach him ways to express his anger without using violence. When he gets mad, tell him he can walk it out, talk it out, or take a time out. Let him know he can always come to you if he feels like things are getting out of hand. Try to give him examples of what you might say or do in situations that could turn violent.
Bring it up. A kid will never approach you and ask for guidance on how to treat women. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t need it. Try watching TV with him or listening to his music. If you see or hear things that depict violence against women, tell him what you think about it. Never hesitate to let him know you don’t approve of sports figures that demean women, or jokes, video games and song lyrics that do the same. And when it comes time for dating, be sure he knows that treating girls with respect is important.
Be a Role Model. Fathers, coaches and any man who spends time with boys or teens will have the greatest impact when they “walk the walk.” They will learn what respect means by observing how you treat other people. So make respect a permanent way of dealing with people – when you’re driving in traffic, talking with customer service reps, in restaurants with waiters, and with your family around the dinner table. He’s watching what you say and do and takes his cues from you, both good and bad. Be aware of how you express your anger. Let him know how you define a healthy relationship and always treat women and girls in a way that your son can admire.
Teach Often. Your job isn't done once you get the first talk out of the way. Help him work through problems in relationships as they arise. Let him know he can come back and talk to you again anytime. Use every opportunity to reinforce the message that violence has no place in a relationship.
Become a Founding Father. Show him how important the issue of violence against women and children is to you. Join thousands of men across the country who are taking a stand against violence. Become a Founding Father yourself. Go to founding-fathers.org to sign up.
MILWAUKEE - The families of two boys missing for almost a month said Saturday that their bodies had been recovered from a park lagoon near where they disappeared
Purvis Virginia Parker, 11, and Quadrevion Henning, 12, were last seen on the afternoon of March 19 when they asked Quadrevion's grandfather if they could play basketball at the nearby park. The bodies were found in the park lagoon on Friday.
"Honestly I don't think there was any foul play," said Dennis Frazier, Quadrevion's uncle. "That makes it kind of nice for the family that they weren't held against their own will."
Police did not immediately confirmed the identities. Autopsies were scheduled Saturday and police scheduled a news conference for later in the day.
Frazier said family members had identified Quadrevion from a photo that police showed them. Angela Virginia said she also identified her son, Purvis, from a photo.
The first of the two bodies was found about 7:30 p.m. Friday after a man and his son walking in the park saw something floating, Police Chief Nan Hegerty said.
Police and Fire Department divers found the second body around 10 p.m. Both bodies were fully clothed, had been in the lagoon from quite some time and were bloated, authorities said.
After the boys' disappearance, police and volunteers searched the neighborhood, posted leaflets around the city and made repeated appeals for information anyone might have.
Divers had waded through the lagoon's icy water, but because of the muddy bottom, it was possible the bodies could have been missed in a search, Hegerty said.
The boys' families said the two had no history of running away and had good school attendance records, and police fielded hundreds of calls on a tip line offering possible leads.
A Florida group called A Child Is Missing also had helped police in the search. The group called all home and business telephone numbers within a mile of where the boys were last seen and played a recorded message about the pair, officials have said.
AP Photo: The undated photo at left provided by the family shows Quadrevion Henning, 12. The undated...
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