“For both sons and daughters, a dad’s affection is vital. Affection is reassuring; it conveys love in a way that words cannot.” – Steve Biddulph
In Raising Boys, Steve Biddulph highlighted the three stages of boyhood:
- Birth to 6 – the span of time when the boy primarily belongs to his mother. He is “her” boy, even though his father may play a very big role too. During this stage, the aim is to provide strong love and security, and to “switch a boy on” to life as a warm and welcoming experience.
- 6 to 14 – is the stage when the boy, out of his own internal drives, starts wanting to learn to be a man, and looks more and more to his father for interest and activity. During this stage, the aim is to build competence and skill while developing kindness and playfulness – to become a balanced person. This is the age when a boy becomes happy and secure about being male.
- 14 to adult – is the stage when the boy needs input from male mentors to help him complete the journey to being fully grown up. Even though Mom and Dad step back a little, they still need to organise good mentors in their son’s life or he will have to rely on an ill-equipped peer group for his sense of self. During this stage, the aim is for the boy to learn skills, responsibility, and self-respect by joining more and more with the adult community.
With G1 in stage 2 and G2 moving towards it, it’s time to release them from my apron strings and offer them “male” bonding time with their Dad. As much as I love the idea of getting behind the wheel in a go-kart, perhaps this is an activity where Daddy should to lead the way…
Took the boys to City Karting in Shah Alam where they each got a turn behind the wheel with Dad. G2 got to ride shotgun…
…while G1 learned to navigate and how to “find the line”.
The boys had the best time ever and were eager to go again. Secretly, I think Dad had the most fun of all…