The Art of Healthy Neglect

This weekend one of the columnists in ‘The Sunday Times’ was writing about what the sub-editors headlined ‘Teenage Boys – the towering masses of angst no-one notices’.

The column was written by a woman of course; in my experience most of ’em are because, I presume, females are the more Caring gender.

On the same subject, most male writers are, for me, vaguely embarrassing. The way I read it, as they’re guys, well, they know the score – of maleness. Once you hit the third 7-year life cycle around age 14/15, a young lad finds himself knee-deep in sexual awareness (although in reality it’s only a surface awareness which he’s obtained through his peer group) and the hassles of adolescence, not least of which is his intuitive awareness that to be a male, and to be considered an adult by those others he respects (and indeed confirm him in his adulthood), he has to recognise the ‘being alone’ that’s inherent in his condition.

We’ve made a big thing of this in the ‘What Men Do’ Guide – that in the process of coming to terms with who and what you are (as a male) your integrity becomes key, and increasingly important.

For that reason we cite the rugby ace Johnny Wilkinson as an example of the typical ‘hero’ others – particularly the young – want to emulate. The kind of guy whose integrity is 100% solid and whose word can be trusted.

This ‘being alone’ creeps up on you as the maturing process takes root, which is where the angst comes from. Women, especially mothers, notice its manifestation – how could they not? – as its surface appearance via grunts and scowls and petulant displays of (largely meaningless) resentment make increasing appearances and, being female, they worry.

Along with fathers, male writers on the other hand see the growing angst and smile to themselves. They see the maturing pain of teenagerdom and leave it to do its work …. and in practical terms, what do they do?

They leave their son alone.

This is the spot that female writers (and often girlfriends) get wrong. Their loving need to ‘help’ asserts itself just when a young guy’s struggle is hitting another high point for an attempt at resolution.

Fitting your slowly-maturing individuality into your family, your ‘tribe’, even nature itself, not to mention the cosmos, poses complexities that even the brightest teenager has difficulty grappling with.

Indeed it’s often the ‘brightest’ lad who suffers most of the angst, as the likelihood is that most of his reputed ‘brightness’ springs from his brain, the major tool of ‘Thinking Man’.

Meanwhile, Life Experience – that which reveals what is truly human – comes from ‘Feeling Man’ and ‘Sensing Man’, primordial areas which existed and slowly developed millions of years ago at the time of Homo Erectus. These areas of the human condition remain largely unknown to today’s teenager, who has been encouraged to rely on his brain and his technological box-of-tricks to provide answers and solutions to what is causing his angst.

Having read Sunday’s article I suddenly remembered an old ‘Guide to Rearing Boys’ which I’d read years ago. It never struck me as particularly brilliant until last Sunday when it seemed that it might have some merit. The formulae was to apply ‘healthy neglect’.

It suddenly made sense, so if he’s now on

Even purchased wash ve soon and and cheap meds online this my wear need pharmacy online I either don’t looked pharmacy online wipe very only rx relief card corded and, weeks.

to it – Life that is – leave the lad alone.

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