Family Life

Raising Boys in a Woman’s World

I’m raising boys. One of which is 21, and so far so good with that one – and now two more to go. My younger boys are almost 13 and 9 so I’m currently living deep in the trenches of a crazy combination of trying to navigate blossoming testosterone, bicep flexing, preteen eye-rolling, race car contests, dirty and/or smelly feet rubs, gymnastics practices, Kenpo Karate classes, wrestling, climbing, jumping, yelling, witnessing awkward glances at girls, arguing about nothing, sweet and sweaty boy hugs, homeschooling, allowing some staunch independence intertwined with being needed beyond all reason, and always dodging Nerf gun bullets. Sound exhausting? Yes, yes it is. I’m a powerful (sometimes) woman trying to raise good men and trust me; it’s a challenge, especially in today’s world.

Our family has made a lot of decisions over the years to protect these crazy Fragoso boys – to let them be boys, and to stay true to their needs despite the fact that I’m raising boys to be men in what is becoming an ever increasing female driven world. Now before you start writing me your hate mail, please understand that I’m not at all suggesting that I’m ignorant to women’s rights issues. I’m not at all suggesting that women should be oppressed or seen as “less than men”. I’m not even close to saying that men should always lead women or that women can’t keep up with men, so hear me out – please. This is not my opinion of men vs. women. This is my opinion of the needs of boys and how often these needs are ignored. I’m also well aware of the severe women’s issues in today’s world, all over the globe, and I’m an advocate for continuing to make change and bring awareness to these issues, and I’m absolutely not turning a blind eye to the huge neglect, shame, and fear that many women must live through every single day. This post is about my opinions, struggles, and observations of raising boys, not about ignoring women’s issues. This post is about bringing up boys in America, in a society that is expecting me to raise my boys in such a way that isn’t set up for boys to thrive in – at all.


Despite the fact that there continues to be issues, women really have come a long way in our country – which is great, and I am thankful, but we’ve come so far, in some areas, that I fear we have changed society in such a way that being masculine has been deemed as scary, even wrong, and not expected or wanted – and forget chivalry, we can open our own damn doors! Boys are sent to school and expected to sit quietly for hours, to line up perfectly, and to always pay attention. They are taught to not question authority or to act assertively and if they are caught fighting it out on the playground – it’s instant expulsion from school. Sports programs are fewer and far between, and PE has been dumbed down to jogging or throwing a ball around; no more climbing ropes, racing, competing, or even breaking a sweat if you don’t want to. If boys act out, they must be medicated. If boys fight, they must have anger management issues, and if boys try to question authority, they obviously are disrespectful and must be put in their place.

But wait? How is this affecting our young generation of boys who are trying to figure out how to be men? I have hopes for my boys that might seem strange in today’s world but here they are. I want my boys to be chivalrous. I want them to be masculine. I want them to be strong and brave and tough (when they want to be). I want them to stand up for their women someday if they have to and to lead when it’s appropriate and to know how to and be confident in their abilities to defend themselves and their families and to be assured that it’s 100% ok to be a lover and a warrior and a peace maker and a leader and a MAN, despite what society might expect of them.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, the expectation that we are all homogeneous people who can fend for themselves equally, and in general, has taken the masculinity away from boys who’s natural tendencies are typically to rough house, play fight, yell and scream, have pretend battles, pretend about “killing bad guys”, protect when they need to, and to work through the hard stuff; often without words but with their bodies. This kind of “play” and “acting out” is where boys learn how to handle their own strength, how to stop when it’s too much, how to listen when their friends have had enough, how to value each other as competitors, mentors, and adversaries, and how to handle their anger appropriately; when they are actually allowed to be angry.

They then need to be led in the direction that has the most peaceful yet impactful outcome; this is when boys learn to be warriors – and not just fighters.

These preceding reasons is in part a huge reason why I homeschool. My boys are in a place where it’s safe to be THEM – where they can punch a pillow when they are mad, learn how to talk it out instead of going straight to war, and to get it all out in a safe place so that it doesn’t come out years later after having to repress every single natural urge and tendency that most little boys have. I need them to explode in rage at home when their bodies don’t know what else to do so that I can help them learn to control that rage, that innate need to protect themselves and others, and that desire to prove to the world what they think is right, to guide them through the scary life stuff, to give them opportunities to fail and succeed, so someday they don’t explode when stuff gets too tough to handle and no one has taught them how to control their very intense emotions. When boys aren’t modeled and taught these life skills when they are young, this is when we later read horrible stories in newspapers about men doing horrible stuff to other people. Again, this is all my (not so humble) opinion…

I also want my boys to understand their responsibilities someday as men – that they will be put in situations where they must know how to respect women AND men, where they must know that they have incredible strength and power, and that they must use their power for good, for protection, for respect, and for what’s right. Instead, when boys are medicated, ignored, belittled, and told to sit quietly – when their successes are only measured on a piece of paper with a letter written at the top telling them their worth; how are boys supposed to know how to be men? How are they supposed to be innately who they are without being able to quantify their value and self worth in any type of way that makes sense to them besides what society expects? How are they supposed to learn to control all of that awesome testosterone when they have zero opportunities to do so, or when they do, being told it is bad, or too loud, or too crazy, or just straight up wrong – rather than showing them where and how to distribute and use that amazing and powerful energy?

Another huge problem that I worry about with my own boys is the lack of competition. Boys AND girls are very rarely expected to compete, especially in a school environment. We are teaching our children, that everyone wins – all the time. In video games, they always come back to life, and are given more chances than they’ll ever get in real life. Sports teams hand out medals to every participant and everyone always has a chance to go first, they always get picked, and often nobody even keeps score. Disappointment no longer exists when it comes to anything that might be considered competitive, and although I don’t believe we should demolish our children’s dreams, or make them feel like failures, or suggest that they are worthless, we should be realistic with them that sometimes things just don’t work out, that sometimes we aren’t that great at something, that sometimes we come out on top, and sometimes we don’t, and in order to achieve greatness it takes really hard work, dedication, visualization, positive thinking, determination, and commitment.

This is why I’m grateful that my boys have found sports like gymnastics and karate. These two disciplines take DISCIPLINE and concentration; one wrong move or lack of focus and you will get hurt. If your score isn’t high enough, you don’t get a medal. If you can’t perform the moves, and you fail to practice and focus, you won’t get another belt. These sports have built in consequences, something else children rarely face – where everyone else generally stays at the same level and are offered the same opportunities and given the same feedback no matter how great, wonderful, horrible or indifferent you might be; and if you mess up, there’s a million more chances, and if you’re awful at something, we cheer you on anyway. Where do kids have the opportunity to learn to handle failure or rejection when everyone is pretending you’re awesome at everything and yet we have high school students who don’t even know how to read? Where do we start helping kids focus on what they are passionate about instead of helping them be kind of OK, sort of, but not really – at everything?

I will reiterate again, I fear that by emasculating our boys we are making them oppress their natural tendencies. They need to mimic our hunter-gatherer ancestors, to learn how to be brave and given the opportunity to do a variety of things that challenge them physically and mentally so they will know how to handle life when they are older. Boys are not allowed or given the chance to do so many things that they innately need to do in order to know how to be in this world, and I’m concerned that society is becoming afraid of masculinity in general, and I’m terrified that our boys are starting to feel like they simply are no longer needed as they are, but rather as something that they were never intended to be.

I suppose I do have an antiquated point of view, all blended up with my modern day powerhouse womanhood voice that I am proud to have. Speaking from my heart, I personally want a man to be stronger than me, that can hold me up, that can show me where I’m wrong, and that isn’t afraid to (lovingly) call me on out on my craziness. I’m ok with this, and I want this, because I know I am strong, independent, capable, and amazing – but sometimes I am weak and sometimes it feels really good to have a man to rely on, to have a door opened for me, or a hand to hold me up when I need it (or don’t need it), and it feels great to know that if I need to be protected, or helped through a challenging time, or supported when I’m exhausted, that I don’t have to do it all on my own. In my opinion, it’s actually a natural way for a woman to feel, exactly like a woman – feminine and powerful, yet ok with not always having it all together – or at least it is for me… I want my boys to know that it’s ok to follow their instincts and be there physically, emotionally, and in any other way that is helpful and real and makes them feel needed and masculine to their future women.

I also want them to lead fearlessly, but with respect and attention to what others around them might need. I want them to make choices based on their knowledge that everything in life is not always perfect, and that they might fail, but that it’s worth going for things that they want to achieve, even when risk is involved. I want them to be confident in who they are, even if it means being a bit louder, a bit more out of the box, and maybe not as submissive or sensitive as they are expected to be, but with enough compassion to know exactly when to be there when someone else needs them. I don’t want them to be afraid. I don’t want them to be confused, and I don’t want them to float through life unsure of which line to stand in, which scenario they must stand up and fight for, or which passions they should follow. I want them to be strong and able and focused because as little boys they were allowed to be boys and not singled out for their fierceness, their warrior spirits, and their innate need to provide for their packs and to be willing to risk their lives trying (even when it’s all in fun and play).

My hope, that when my job is done, I can look at my boys, and be confident that they will respect, honor, cherish, love and protect their families without shame, and that they will know that they have a mom who loves them for exactly who they are.

Sarah Fragoso

Sarah Fragoso is an international best selling author of 6 books, co-owner of the Chico, CA based gym JS Strength and Conditioning, and founder of the Everyday Paleo franchise. Sarah is the co-host of the popular Sarah and Dr. Brooke Show podcast and she also conducts workshops and retreats on the subjects of nutrition, lifestyle and fitness.

Her message is from the heart and she carries a genuine desire to help other families looking for guidance. These attributes have contributed to her successes and provide the drive to keep the discoveries coming.

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  1. Claire says:

    Love this post and agree with you 100%! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you Claire!!

  2. Angela says:

    This is so brilliant and breathtakingly true on all points.

    1. Thank you very much Angela!

  3. This is beautiful! Love it!

  4. Jenny says:

    Amen, sister! We also homeschool our two boys for the same reasons. We had to leave one homeschool group because a few of the moms had issues with “violent” play and consequently enacted ridiculous rules. One of the rules banned play with sticks, I kid you not. I love my boys and their warrior spirits. And I appreciate all you do. Thank you.

    1. Well, you know, those crazy horrible “sticks” – should probably also ban trees in general. Geez Louise… 🙁

      1. Mary Seltzer says:

        I remember playing as a little girl and we used our thumb and fore finger as a “pretend” gun. Would they cut-off our hands? Crazy thinking of scared people.

    2. Chantel says:

      HAHAHA! I am not surprised at those moms and their rules. #ridiculous. Using sticks as weapons is just INNATE for boys! Although, we do have a rule for our 6yo & 9yo boys that all “wrestling” occurs outside. But, hey, they are outside more! We are homeschooling our 9yo for the first time this year. I’m truly looking forward to it. I not so secretly hate the way schools are set up. I tell my kids when else in life will you have to walk in a line, not talk in the hall, have a specific time to use the bathroom…but prison! Um. No thanks!

      And for those of us raising girls too, you probably could have had just as impassioned a post about where things have gone wrong in that arena as well.

      Good stuff Sarah!

  5. This is great. I really applaud you for writing this

    1. Thank you very much Meagan!

  6. This! Thank you!

    1. Thanks Amy!

  7. Melissa says:

    I love this Sarah. Thank you for being brave enough to speak your mind. I agree with you completely. I have a younger boy (5) and he is ALL BOY. I worry that school with squash his adventurous spirit, but I am not able to homeschool My husband models all of the behavior that you describe above and I’m so thankful my son has a model like that in his life. I know your boys do too and their have a fierce warrior Momma willing to fight for them.

    1. So awesome Melissa and thank you for your support!

  8. Tory says:

    This! All YES! Thank you for saying it out loud. I don’t have children (yet), but I am an independent, strong willed woman who loves having a Man (yes, capital M) by her side. I am the proud auntie of lots of little boys who are trying to find their way in this world. You nailed it, Sar!

    1. Thank you so much Tory!!!!

  9. Wow, this really hit the nail on the head. We homeschool our boys for many of the same reasons. We sold everything we own, quit our jobs, and are traveling the world for many of the same reasons. I especially love how you explained the balance of femininity:

    “I personally want a man to be stronger than me, that can hold me up, that can show me where I’m wrong, and that isn’t afraid to (lovingly) call me on out on my craziness. I’m ok with this, and I want this, because I know I am strong, independent, capable, and amazing…it’s actually a natural way for a woman to feel, exactly like a woman – feminine and powerful, yet ok with not always having it all together…”

    Thank you for taking the time to write this — it has inspired me to allow my boys to be loud and rough more often. 🙂

    1. Hi Natasha – you are living my dream!!! I would love to be able to just travel with the kids, maybe someday!! Enjoy every minute of it with those loud awesome wild boys!! 🙂

  10. Jeffrey Mudd says:


  11. Scott says:

    Hi Sarah,

    From an adult man’s perspective with two young boy’s, all I can say is WOW.

    What a great and refreshing piece.

    1. Thank you very much for the feedback Scott!

  12. Beth says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this.

    1. You are so very welcome Beth and thank you!!

  13. Lisa says:

    Your boys are blessed to have you as their mom. I agree while heartedly with your opinion. I too Ana homeschooling mom to an amazing boy… Who is allowed to be a kid and run and jump and play and wiggle and stop mid lesson to go runoff energy so he can focus again to complete the lesson… He went from scoring average on his testing to off the charts. Best of all, I get to be a part of his learning. I don’t always get it right… But together we are learning.

    1. I love this Lisa – and yes, I don’t always get it right, in fact sometimes I feel like I RARELY get it right but then I see my boys out in the world, interacting with others, and I can tell I’m at least maybe doing a couple of things right. 🙂

      1. Lisa says:

        I had a dear friend tell me that what we see as moms raising our children is not an glimpse at how they will be…rather the steps they are taking to become what we have nurtured. I have to remember that every day… He’s developing… You’re doing a great job.

  14. Todd says:

    Great post, I completely agree. If you haven’t read Boys Adrift by Leonard Sax, I suspect that it would really resonate with you.

  15. Colleen Mantegna says:

    Bravo and job well done. I am a non to 3 boys as well, ages,19, 18 and 11. I hate having to make explanations on the playground because he always wants,to win!

  16. Katie Shaw says:

    Oh Sarah. I love this. I feel the same way… on every account. Every. Single. One. Thank you for saying it. I’m sure you’ll get some not so good responses, but I agree. Kids need to play and let their emotions run out and learn how to handle them. Suppressing them doesn’t teach them anything. I have an 11 month old little boy who will someday be someone’s boyfriend, husband and dad… and I want him to be able to teach his kids (if he has any) how to be respectful and own his feelings; happy, sad, angry, hurt, etc. Feelings are feelings and everyone has them. Don’t suppress them, learn to embrace and handle. Again, thank you for a great read. I’m saving this one.

  17. As a new mom to an 8-month old son, this has been on my mind and heart very much already. I wholeheartedly agree with everything that you wrote. Thank you for so eloquently voicing this point of view.

  18. Mike says:


    This is a great essay. The truth is, as most psychologists will tell you, boys and girls are wired differently period. All this happy happy joy joy and get a medal for showing up doesn’t exist in the real world. Learning to deal with anger and failure is best done at a young age.

    Adult life has many jobs and careers have functions where second place can be considered first loser. And you can’t be number one at everything. Just showing up doesn’t make you special.

  19. Royal Thomas Williams says:

    I do not think molding anyone’s personality is always positive. I wonder what would have become of Albert Einstein, Steven Hawkins, or Linus Paulin had they had masculine schooling.

  20. Erin says:

    I totally “get” your heart here. We have a six year old & one on the way. And have found we have to be intentional as parents in this area you’re writing about. Our society isn’t upholding masculinity, competition & leadership as positive characteristics in our men so we must at home. Blessings to you & your family. And thanks for your bravery in addressing this!

  21. Sherry says:

    It’s for every reason you stated here that I homeschooled my own children, a boy and a girl. They are both very well adjusted, intelligent, and confident college students now. Both understand the differences of the sexes and honor the dignity of those differences. Keep up the great work.

  22. I’m giving you a standing ovation from Washington state … great article!

  23. My hubby and I are also homeschooling and raising our 3 sons! 17,14,13. Yes, yes, yes and YYYEEEEESSSSSS to LITERALLY EVERY WORD U TYPED!

  24. Roger Tolar MD says:

    Well said, Sarah, and an increasingly concerning issue for those of us that understand how male and female were created differently. I’m finishing the book “Wild at Heart”, which is a reflection on the same issues, and a stirring challenge and encouragement to men to grasp what it means to be a man as we were created to be. Thank you for putting this out there. It seems that things will only get worse going forward in our culture as far as this issue is concerned.

  25. Ryan says:

    A – Frikin – Men!!!
    Great read, as a single father of a 7 year old boy I’m glad to know I’m not “doing it all wrong” LoL

    thank you for your wisdom!

  26. Crystal says:

    Very well said!! I’m a mother of girls, and there were few “real men” to choose from when they were ready to find husbands. And that was 6 and 8 years ago. In addition to being wives: one of our daughters is a career lady and is an accomplished bank manager for an established bank firm. The other daughter is a wonderful mother and part time hairstylist. I also home schooled our girls. Taking the responsibility to teach them in the way that they should go is our God given responsibility as parents. Keep up the good work Sarah, you will be so happy that you went in the direction you thought was best for them (and society), knowing you did the best you could for their best! And in closing, I love that my husband always opens the door for me!

  27. Hi Sarah, I expect you will get a lot of push back from this post but you won’t hear it from me. I think you are right on track and the only thing I disagree with is your choice to home school. I have 4 children and only one is a boy. I think boys need to be around other males their own age to figure out their masculinity and all that “alpha male” stuff that goes along with being in a group. My son has Asperger’s and believe me, it was tempting to educate him home and manage his adolescence in the safety of our home, but we decided against it by researching schools and ultimately deciding on a very traditional boy’s school that didn’t subscribe to (in the words of Clint Eastwood) the pussification of our boys. You can find schools that do this. I live in a very liberal area and there is great pressure here to make our boys into…well…essentially hairy women. Not on my watch. Keep up the fight. Your future daughters in law will thank you.

  28. Debbie says:

    Wow! That was all wonderful with what you said. Very thought provoking. I don’t have children, but I commend you on raising your boys, with a more realistic view of how the world really is. I’m glad my husband is masculine. All the qualities you wrote about are admirable and respected in a man. We don’t live in a ‘cookie-cutter’, fairytale world. Your boys sound like they are given every chance, to grow, and mature, being guided by loving parents. I could go on and on, but you said it all!

  29. Very beautiful and very brave Sarah. Your boys are lucky to have you as their fierce and loving mother.

  30. Vivian Meredith says:

    I can hear the pain in your voice. I wondered what was going on when you quit earlier and knew you were going through a rough time in your life. Raising children is the hardest job anyone could ever do. You do not understand until you are there. Some children are much more challenging than others. I was a highschool teacher. Not all schools treat children as yours have been treated and I am sorry for all of you. I can not imagine how diffucult home schooling is for you. We love our children but we need a break from them as they need a break from us. I hope all gets better for all of you. I know you are doing a terrific job and your boys are going to be the better for it. By the way, I have all your books!!!

  31. I enjoyed your article. Too often television portrays boys/men and parents as stupid. I applaud your decision to home school. If your young boys are socialized, then all is good with that decision. Our 23 year old son attended a military boarding school for high school. The first year was hard for him (and awful for me) but he put effort into it and was well rewarded by all he got out of it. He was never a book learner and only made fair grades. But attended college and graduated in four years with a solid GPA. We as Morhers must figure out our children’s needs. For us a very black and white, structured to learn self discipline, high school was a great investment. The physical and academic goals were strong and self esteem was earned, not falsely given. Love and service of country were high priorities. I am so proud of my strong man in a very confusing world.

    1. I enjoyed your article. Too often television portrays boys/men and parents as stupid. I applaud your decision to home school. If your young boys are socialized, then all is good with that decision. Our 23 year old son attended a military boarding school for high school. The first year was hard for him (and awful for me) but he put effort into it and was well rewarded by all he got out of it. He was never a book learner and only made fair grades. But attended college and graduated in four years with a solid GPA. We as Morhers must figure out our children’s needs. For us a very black and white, structured to learn self discipline, high school was a great investment. The physical and academic goals were strong and self esteem was earned, not falsely given. Love and service of country were high priorities. I am so proud of my strong man in a very confusing world.
      P.S. I really appreciate your antiquated but modern views. They define me well.

  32. Sarah, thank you so much for writing this! I wish this for all boys!

  33. Patricia Revzin says:

    You are spot on in your observations and express so well your thoughts and opinions on how to raise young men in today’s society. I grew up during the post WWII era and joined my sister women during the start of the Women’s Lib movement. What we need now is a balance between both eras, teaching the good points from both. Thank you for verbalizing how you are implementing the tools to bring up sons in today’s world.

  34. Renee says:

    So refreshing! Our society is in a downward spiral – so great to see this voice of reason! XO
    My daughter will have at least three real men to marry

  35. Mary Seltzer says:

    Great post and your opinion is sorely needed. Thanks for publishing this.

  36. Michelle says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Very well said!

  37. Terrie says:

    OH my gosh – did you just dive into my head and write every word I’ve been thinking? I also have 3 boys (18, 16 and 14). I homeschooled them for years, then sent them to school in the late middle school years. One just graduated from our local charter school, one is going to a vocational/technical school and I am bringing the youngest back home with me this year (he’s having lots of difficulties with school expectations) It is frustrating dealing with a society that seems set up to demonize men (white men in particular!) these days. Please post more (if your boys are ok with that) on how you manage/overcome some of these issues. It would be very encouraging. I feel moms of boys are almost doing battle every day, these days. Thanks for having the grace and courage to address the issue.

  38. Gail Davis says:


  39. Owen says:

    I agree with the homeschooling. Boys now have very reduced outlets to develop their minds and bodies in a way that allows them to flourish. I recall a one week stay at an outward bound centre when I was at school at the age of 14. I came alive. I remeber more of that than the rest of that same year at school. Aside from that one precious week my formative experiences were things like cycling and exploring the place I grew up in. Making rope swings and wandering around parks with friends getting into minor scrapes. School merely caged me in, though I didn t know it at the time. I went on to devlop an office based career and I saw how women tended to do better in that environment than men. Most of the men I worked with I would say were over burdened with stress. But I supposes that s another discussion.

  40. Melanie says:

    Completely and utterly agree Sarah. Awesome 🙂 xxxx

  41. Charley says:

    As a father to a 1 year old (today!) I have been thinking of these issues much more lately. I agree with many of your opinions. I also want to raise a leader and a warrior. One that is kind and compassionate but powerful and capable of protecting his tribe. Can this be done through public schools? I’m hoping that with enough help from his mom and myself and with the right exposure to sports and something like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu we can do it! Keep voicing your opinions, even if some will disagree.

  42. Gill Desmaret says:

    Just beautifully said but how do you do this?

  43. Sarah! You just put into words what my heart cries out for our young men! I am sending this article to my daughter, a young mom of 2 sweet tiny boys. Thank you for just getting it!

  44. Leah Farrell says:

    Yessss! So completely & amazingly well said! Love this article! So, so true!

  45. Jane G. Burkhouse says:

    Very good article. I have two grown sons and two grown Grandsons. Or maybe I should say 2 gown Peter Pan Grandsons, who are floating around refusing to go to college and living off minimum wage jobs in their Dad’s home as they work on finding their happiness in life.

    But my 4 grand daughters are focused and driven to complete college and become famous In their chosen career fields.

    I was shocked when I realized that both my precious Grandsons are content to allow their Girlfriends to support them. My youngest grandson just finished a week long trip to Hawaii with his girlfriend. She paid for the trip and all he paid for were the liberal amount of OR Wines they drank during their vacation.

    Very good article. How do we raise responsible boys in a world that is determined to keep them in the Peter Pan Stage of development. On a practical livel my Grandson who stayed with us July through October 2015 never left his bedroom to search for a job. The four jobs we found him were not what he wanted and he was determined to finish developing his computer game so h e could market the game and make his first million in a .com business. Didn’t happen.

    RAising responsible adult men is a difficult task in the best of worlds. In today’s world it is downright impossible. GOOD ARTICLE SARAH. KEEP POSTING GREAT BLOGS.

  46. Jayne says:

    Amen Sarah! Absolutely wholeheartedly agree. My boy was singled out for just the things you point out. With our support he has blossomed into the most wonderful, caring, strong minded gentleman. No thanks to the ‘system’ but through continued careful nurturing at home. Keep on fighting their corner!

  47. Putt OBrien says:

    I have two grown sons and a baby grandson, you are right on the money it’s hard to teach them to be real solid men. The best teacher is to have a real solid man in their life to be an example for them. My generation of women really screwed up when we decided daddies whether biological or not were not important. From what I see your doing the exact right thing!

  48. Denise says:

    Great read, so true.

  49. Judy says:

    I’m age 66, raised one boy, three girls. I totally agree with your blog. It’s very, very different today. My husband and I had this same conversation about two weeks ago. Males are very different in needs and behavior. In today’s society I see many trying to make everyone equal instead of appreciating their differences. It’s especially harder on males. I don’t envy anyone raising children in today’s society.

  50. Shelly Morris says:

    Yes. And while I know they are for both sexes, right along these lines is making it ok to not be college track! “Blue collar” jobs are important to our society – let’s bring back strong ag, woodshop, autoshop, etc. classes. The ROP programs at many schools now are still college prep – engineering and architecture focused. We are failing our boys in an effort to lift up girls. BOTH need us.

  51. Marci says:

    I applaud you! Standing ovation!! This world has turned values upside down. I am the mom of two boys. We set the standards high for them. But, we definitely make sure that they are boys! Raising kids as a whole is tough in today’s ‘standards’. My husband and I are both appreciative that someone with such a public stance is standing up for what is right! Thank you!! Kudos!!

  52. Earl Marble says:

    I am impressed on your insights. Keep up your good work!

  53. Nickie says:

    Well said Sarah. I couldn’t agree more and as the mum of 3 adult boys i commend you for your comments and convictions for your boys. How refreshing to read an article that isn’t politically correct but just downright sensible!!!

  54. Melinda says:

    “ever increasing female driven world” WORLD? WORLD? I so wish that were true for women all over the world. Imagine if that were true for women in improvised, war torn and oppressive countries. Women that lack free education, access to healthcare, good jobs, etc. This is only true in your white privileged “world.” I do admire what you are doing for your sons but please don’t kid yourself.

  55. Dear Sarah,

    I love this!! I often wonder if my girls (who are also homeschooled for a myriad of similar, but also different, reasons) will find MEN to marry who match them and how they were raised and how they think. I love knowing there are others out there like you, who are raising these boys who will be the men my girls would be blessed to marry! Keep up the good (tough) work!

  56. Susan Russell says:

    Amen, great article! We too home school and allow our boys to be boys. Your descriptors at the beginning were so right on I almost cried, as we have nearly all those emotions and actions going on all at once daily…

  57. Shannah Pace says:

    Oh, girl. If you were in Dallas, we could sit down over bacon and homemade kombucha and TALK. I have two boys (ages 11 and 6) and we homeschool both. My oldest went to public school for kindergarten and 1st grade and in just those two years I realized that it was not the public school experience I had. They only had 30 minutes of recess each day (with the last five minutes spent getting in line and being silent) and the list of things they were NOT allowed to do was much longer than the list of things they were allowed to do.

    No playing chase
    No playing tag (both of these were “dangerous”)
    No throwing anything (balls were not allowed on the playground)
    No running on the play structure
    No climbing on the outside of the play structure
    No jumping off of the play structure
    Only one at a time on the slide
    You must do down the slide feet-first ONLY
    No going UP the slide (only DOWN, OK!)
    Absolutely NO climbing the tree
    Absolutely NO pretending to shoot guns. (Pretending to shoot someone with your fingers or a stick was grounds for being sent to the principle’s office.)

    When my son came home to tell me he had been made to sit on the bench during recess for playing a made up game called Spy Mission because they were all running together and it looked as if they were playing chase, I resolved that THIS was not the way to be a kid…AT ALL. When I asked him what they actually DID on the playground, he answered, “We usually sit under the slide and play school or restaurant with the girls.” Sitting under the slide at recess because actually moving could get you in trouble. Not only that, but they were not allowed to touch each other. If you throw your arm around your best friend, you could get a warning. If you’re a boy and throw your arm around a girl who happens to be a best friend, you go immediately to the principle’s office and your parents are called to the school. They couldn’t play and they couldn’t even touch each other. I was done.

    That year we found a wonderful homeschool playgroup in our area full of like-minded, free-range parents. We have park days at least twice a week that often include water gun and water balloon fights, Nerf gun and sword battles (Hunger Games-style), parkour, made-up ball games, tree climbing, and the list goes on…all things that were forbidden at school.

    They also frequently throw their arms around each other (boys and girls alike) without being made to feel they are committing a crime, and sometimes they even wrestle on the ground (the horror). But most importantly, the parents sit back and remain hands-off while the kids make their own rules, take their own risks (within moderate reason), and figure things out on their own.

    Giving them this freedom through homeschooling is by far the best thing we have done for our boys…physically, emotionally, and socially. They can now be boys without being made to feel like they are a problem, or inappropriate, or that they’re doing it wrong. When people ask the inevitable homeschooling question, “But what about socialization. How are they ever going to learn to socialize?”, I just smile really big and say, “Oh, socialization is INCREDIBLY important to us….and that’s PRECISELY why we homeschool.*blink, blink*”

    Thank you ever so much for sharing this. I very much enjoy reading about your homeschool journey with your boys, as it mirrors our own in so many ways. Best of luck to you and please keep sharing!

  58. Brea says:

    This is extremely encouraging! Thank you for being willing to raise your boys this way and being open about it, no matter the opposition. It gives me hope that there are and will still be good men out there, that know who they are and are ready and willing to be leaders! Chivalry is definitely not dead and very needed! It’s important for men to feel like men and for women to feel like women. That’s how it was created to be.

  59. Anne says:

    Well said! I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for having the courage to speak your heart.

  60. Tricia says:

    Beautiful!!! Sarah your words ring so very true to me. I’m a public school teacher, mother of 3 boys and a powerful daughter, who are now in their 20’s, yet still apply. Where were you while I was rasing my children. The crazy intense world of raising children has one questioning so many aspects of their own lives and values. I appreciate your words…rock on!

  61. Yvonne says:

    I love this!! Thanks for putting it out there Sarah!

  62. Caitlin says:

    Thank you for writing this, Sarah. I’m pregnant with my first child and we find out in a few weeks if its a boy or girl.

    As a woman myself, I find myself thinking about raising a strong girl but your thoughts & opinions on raising boys has opened up my mind to what I can do to raise a strong boy.

  63. Kristina says:

    Thank you! I appreciate your insight. You and I have things in common… 3 sons and we’ve lost our mothers. I often wonder “is it my kids??” Is it my children who cause the problems? Or is it because of the stringent rules that tell my boys not to be boys. It’s such a fine line and so frustrating! Thank you for sharing your heart. Very much appreciated.

  64. Jennifer says:

    I loved this article. I know that you are busy…but I really really suggest that you read Sebastion Junger’s “Tribe”. It’s a pretty fast read but hits on many of the topics you hit on here….mainly the lack of rituals in modern Western culture that usher young boys into manhood. I can’t say enough good things about this book.

    Thank you for all you do 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! I’ll absolutely check it out. Love getting new book recommendations!!! 🙂

  65. Peter says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Great article and so true. As a Director of Athletics at the high school level, and a PE teacher for 12 years prior to that, I could not agree more.

    I know you are an extremely busy person, however, I hope you can and will make time to check out a book titled The Art of Manliness by Brett McKay and his wife. It is a GREAT read and I think this should be not only required reading for all boys but I actually think this should be part of their curriculum in school. I tell everyone I know who has a male child that they need to read the book and then have their son read it. It is a game changer.

    I love that your passion courses through your life, your family, your blog/website and all your endeavors. It is inspiring!

    All the best and continued blessings!


  66. Dominick says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. I couldn’t have said this better myself. It’s difficult to support wholesome development of today’s boys without appearing as misogynistic or a dinosaur.

  67. Bravo! Thank you for speaking up!

  68. Thank you for your very helpful insight and clarity of thought. I have been very concerned about boys and how they are raised in what’s becoming a Female-Dominated society, because there is so much influence about Girls being smarter, better, etc etc. It’s true that Girls excel in school and college, so will take over the high-paying jobs. But I am wondering if that’s because the education system favors the way Girls win, as a result of Feminist influence in education? Can someone enlighten me?

    On the other hand, I believe that boys should be raised to understand that Girls/Women, ARE extraordinary and special; that they are to be admired and treated with utmost respect and consideration; and that a real relationship with a Woman (humble, supportive and respectful) is a precious and rewarding gift.

    But that said, such a relationship, even if Female-led, must honor the strengths of each partner, while abating and offsetting the weaknesses. It’s a marriage partnership that needs to support each other’s strengths to move forward positively and productively. I’m wondering if that’s possible, depending on how Women wield their new power over men in the arenas of our culture.

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