We are in the midst of a growing generation that’s delivering boys into the real world.
Look no further than espn.com. A slew of boys are making millions of dollars a year. Johnny Football will be kicked out of the NFL for his boyish behaviors. The different movies being produced are a telling sign where we are in society. A few years ago, the movie Failure To Launch showcased a real issue in society. Young men or boys still living at home with their parents well into their late 20s and 30s.
We are in the midst of a growing generation delivering boys into the real world. Boys getting jobs at companies are frustrating employers. Young ladies are realizing they are dating another college boy rather than a man.
Things must change. As my dad told me many times growing up, “Grow up!” He was not being condescending either. He meant it. Boys need to grow up and be men. Men with integrity, confidence, courage, respect, and honor. Sad to say, this generation is lacking the production of these men.
I do not want to say there are no young men acting like true men. There are plenty, and these real millennial men care little about these boys. The consensus is, “They can dig their graves (by staying in boyhood).” As a very old millennial man, I have witnessed 11 reasons why young men stay stuck being boys.
- Fist pumps from the frat brothers is a priority. Friendships are great, but looking to impress the college buddies is no sign of a man. While other college buddies are growing into adulthood, there are always a few stuck in the college mindset. College was supposed to be four years, not 10.
- The safety net is kept too close. This generation has been raised overprotected. Protected from injuries, sickness, failure, and even discipline. As long as the safety net eliminates any pain from falling, boys will care little if they mess up.
- Parent’s allowance is a stream of income. Some parents are concerned about their boys hitting the real world. They consequentially continue to give their sons an allowance. Boys depend on this income and are upset whenever it eventually is pulled away. Men grow up and make their own income.
- Never willing to experience failure. The fear of failure is not only related to being hurt. Some boys do not want to fail because they may look stupid. The lack of willingness to fail eliminates young men from being courageous and daring. Men need this ambitious muscle. They need to not fear failure but attack it.
- Underemployment is not all that bad. Convinced employment at Best Buy or a fast food restaurant is acceptable leads to stunted growth. Yes, the boys may, at least, have a job, but they need to do more with their degree. Boys remain satisfied with any job because they can live off their parent’s income or their roommate’s real job.
- Listening to the wisdom of the older generation is devalued. Yes, the older generation has wisdom. The battle between Millennials and Boomers is sad. The two giant generations continue to battle for position. The longer the boys in the millennial generation devalue the wisdom of the older generation, the longer they will stay in boyhood.
- Believing formal education is the main source of knowing. Formal education is important, but it does not equate to the majority of knowledge. Experience and wisdom are the real indicators of true knowledge. Boys still stuck on using their formal education as proof of knowledge haven’t learned the values of experience and wisdom.
- Still irritated to hear the word responsibility. There is a growing trend of young men fighting against responsibility. They may be checking off on all of these other reasons, but when responsibility still drives them nuts, they will not fully develop into manhood.
- Convinced all authority figures are leading a conspiracy.The lack of respect and honor for authority is ripping this generation apart. No respect for parents, employers, government officials, and more is detrimental. This has to change.
- Commitment in a relationship is just as bad as responsibility. Not willing to commit to a relationship is proof to boyhood still being intact. Commitment teaches every one priceless lessons about life. Man up and commit.
- The umbilical cord has not been cut. Yes, I have left this to the last reason. Parents cut the umbilical cord if you ever want to see your boys become men. It is going to hurt for a while, but you are killing yourself by not taking this plunge. Do not wait any longer. Do it now.
Whether you are a young man reading this or someone leading a young man, there needs to be action. There is so much more young men can offer this world when they step into manhood. If any of these reasons hit you square between the eyes, do something about it. Grow up. Boys grow up. Men coach boys to grow up. Employers lead boys into manhood. Parents stop enabling and empower. This world needs more men, not boys.
Photo: Flickr/ Barry Lenard