|What ideas do you have for raising boys who|
will have a positive impact on the world?
Like many people, I was horrified to read about the shooting deaths of five people in New Mexico yesterday. Gun violence, and violence in general, has been on the minds of many Americans since the gruesome Newtown school shooting, and the New Mexico killings were the latest reminder that something must be done.
In this case, a 15 year-old boy allegedly shot and killed his mother, father and three siblings. The youngest of his siblings was only 2 years old. It was reported that the boy had been angry with his mother and had been having homicidal and suicidal thoughts for months prior to the killings. He told police his eventual goal was to go to a Walmart and continue killing people until the police killed him. But, a courageous family friend talked him out of executing the second half of his killing spree. The full story is here.
Ever since the Aurora Theater Shooting, I have been thinking about what impact I might be able to have in curbing the violent acts of people with mental illness. I kept reminding myself that people with mental illness are no more dangerous than so-called normal people. And, these 'normal' people who are engaging in horrific acts of violence all have one thing in common: they are boys. At the very oldest, they are young men.
This gave me the idea to write a book, based on sound research, describing common-sense steps parents can take to raise boys in a way that minimizes the chance for later violence. In my more cynical moments, I thought of titling it How To Raise Boys Who Don't Kill. My new working title is How To Raise Boys Who Improve The World.
Here is where you come in: I have ideas on what to include in the book, and I have a solid outline of the chapters. I have started writing it as well. But, I need your input. What ideas do you have? Do you have any do's or don'ts for raising boys (of any age)? What has worked with your boys? What hasn't worked? Where have you succeeded? Where have you failed?
Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time,
Max Wachtel, Ph.D.