What Makes Johnny a Naughty Boy?
(August 1, 2009)
Some readers may remember some articles recently in magazines and daily newspapers pointing to the fact that some of our problems in society at large may be the consequence of a changing environment for children. Many reasoned there is no strong male figure on which boys can model their behavior and from which girls can develop positive attitudes towards boys and men.
This may be true in some segments of society, but generally speaking, this problem could originate in kindergarten. Most boys aren’t ready to compete with girls in a structured school environment as girls usually surpass the boys of this age in maturity by two years or more. This is a significant gap, especially for boys who are often too immature for the school setting. Elementary School teachers will reveal that most discipline problems are boys who make up most of the children with academic deficiencies.
Much of what we do in elementary school classrooms is designed primarily for girls. The demands on students in terms of conduct, neatness, politeness, and other such characteristics are really more geared to girls than to young energetic boys.
Besides the advantage of girls in the development of the visual perception parts of the brain needed to read, girls have longer finer muscles for writing and drawing skills while boys have shorter, harder muscles, making them poorer writers and messier in these areas. Everything little girls do is exactly right. They usually sit quietly in their seats and are not rowdy.
Years ago, while visiting my daughter in Arizona, I went to the office to pick up one of my grandchildren and noticed a shelf of prescription drugs. When asked, the secretary revealed that most of them were for hyperactive boys. I assumed this was to make them act more like girls in the classroom.
Society seems to be in a hurry for children to grow up. I remember my early childhood as a happy time, playing and exploring the new world around me. I believe that children need more time as children. Most children, especially boys, could do better if they had a longer childhood and started school later.
They might be more ready for adult life and college if they graduated from High School at 19 or 20. I find that preschool is more of a babysitting exercise than a learning experience.
Childhood should be the joy of creativity and exploration rather than the onset of regimentation. They will have more of this than needed as adults.
The inferiority complex of many boys in school, originating in kindergarten, is generally carried on throughout the life of many males. Most high school dropouts are boys. The student body of universities is now 60% female. Our prisons are now bulging with male convicts and our military is predominantly male.
I wrote a similar view in the former Sacramento Union back in the 70s and was trashed as a male chauvinist pig by the women’s liberation organization. Many readers didn’t read the words “generally speaking.” There will be many exceptions to my assertions, as in any supposition, but as a whole these have been my observations.
The following may be controversial with many men, but this difference of maturity is carried on throughout life. Most men, even those who are the breadwinners in the family and in charge in the outside world are subservient in the family. As Woody Allen says,” I’m the boss in my house. My wife only makes all the important decisions.” Women who let their husband think he is in charge stay married. The other 50% are divorced.
There’s a good chance that when Obama gets done with running the country all day, Michelle has him take out the garbage, pick up his socks, and berets him for not ending the two wars and solving the economic crisis during his first six months in office.