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Always trouble with the boys

Why are boys worse than girls in school? What do you need to become a "real" man? Read in the following article how parents can support their sons to grow up.

Children orient themselves towards the behavior of adults in order to develop their own personality. This is often the first problem for boys: there is a lack of time with men. In many families, the father is only available to the children in the evenings or on weekends because he has to earn money. Dirk Zeuner, school psychologist at the regional school counseling center in Coesfeld, showed around 40 rural women from the Coesfeld district association why boys are neglected in our society.

In most families, the women are responsible for bringing up the children. But women are not only responsible for raising children in the family. Dirk Zeuner makes it clear: “Women are completely overrepresented in boys' everyday life.” Boys are constantly surrounded by mothers, educators and primary school teachers, from whom they can only learn female behavior.

Six tips for dads
- Make time for your son.
- Acknowledge your son's limitations. Accept a clear “no” and slowly approach challenges. In this way you strengthen his self-esteem and take away his fear.
- Share your own limits and shortcomings. Show your son that you are not perfect. He will not lose his respect and you will take away the fear of failure.
- Do not overwhelm your son with things he cannot do.
- Allow loving body contact.
- Set an example for him to accept help and show him that asking for help is not a weakness

More time among men

In order to be able to define their role as the “real” man, boys therefore need men's time. This of course also includes working together. But above all, time to talk. Dirk Zeuner recommends combining the practical with the useful in order to make the situation easier for father and son. A real conversation with men while mucking out or repairing bicycles doesn't hurt anyone.

In addition, fathers should be careful not to turn everything into a competition. When boys have to constantly measure themselves, they put themselves under pressure: “I have to be faster, higher, better than others - no matter what the price!” With this pressure, frustration is inevitable.

What boys need

Parents should be there for their sons and encourage them. But also show clear structures and boundaries in order to provide security. Praise is also very important. Parents should show and tell their children that they are loved. In general, it is important to talk about feelings in the family.

In addition, the school psychologist makes it clear that adults should behave towards children exactly as they would expect children to do. “When was the last time you apologized to your child?” He asked the group, providing important food for thought.

Six tips for mothers
- Don't just be a mother.
You should appear as an independent person with your own ideas.
- Have confidence in the father of your child and allow both of them time together.
- Cuddle your son a lot, but accept it if he doesn't want to do it in public.
- Don't take it personally if your son distances himself from you every now and then.
- Have confidence in your son and give him the freedom to gain his own experience.
- Show him caring and social behavior.


School as a problem area

Since PISA we have it in black and white: boys are worse at school than girls. Especially in grades five to ten, boys show deficits in language and reading skills and learning organization as well as significantly lower social behavior than girls. “Boys inevitably do worse when compared to girls of the same age,” says Zeuner.

It has been proven that boys are on average two years behind girls in development by the end of puberty. Knowing this doesn’t make it easier for the boys or their parents. Therefore, parents should show more understanding and not constantly address problems in school. Most important tip from the professional: "If there is too much argument about homework and studying, ask others to take on this job." Eva Osterholt