Friday, March 27, 2009

Men, Mentoring, Leadership, Role Modeling

I talked yesterday about the difficulty in finding ways to educate young people in an effective manner to reduce risk of drug use and addictions and indicated that the first line of defense are parents who are not addicted to alcohol,tobacco,or drugs as well as a peer group that is antidrug. In addition it has been found that tobacco use generally precedes other drug use and that delaying the onset of smoking behavior can reduce overall drug use. We still don't know yet though how to best educate teens and young adults that will actually reduce drug use. There is another factor for young men, however,and that is the role of fathering, mentoring and role models.

Men tend to follow leaders and other men more than ideas and ideals. The role of fathering is critical for development of emotional health and well being and many families are left without a father as role model or leader to assist in helping the young man channel normal masculine energy. There is tremendous physical and sexual energy that if unchannelled can lead to problems. In someone with a sense of powerlessness it leads to attempts to control others, particularly women. If a young man has a lot of anger it can lead to abusive and antisocial behavior, and fears and anxieties become depression and addictions fairly easily.

So in order to reduce teen and young adult drug and alcohol abuse it is not enough for us to say that the schools need to be doing something but the responsibility lies with us to see in what ways we are leading, mentoring, or fathering a young man in our lives.

Thought for the day

"What is man that though are mindful of him?"

The Psalmist

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