May 2009

Andrew Fuller

The long, winding road to manhood

  • Importance of resilience over the whole life span, but education system and parenting designed to reduce resilience or prevent its development
  • Harsh inconsistent parenting is a key determinant of poor development
  • Importance of play
    • Can’t learn to walk unless you learn to fall
    • CF Feng Shui Detective
    • Loss of knowledge of excitement and ability to form a large enough life.
  • Problems of lack of experiences during childhood and experience of play and other adults
    • Epigenetics: genes demand triggers for development
    • School is the only environment which retains ‘normal’ developmental experiences
  • Challenge of electronic parenting and verbal messages: families are word poor but schools are word rich and boys have no idea how to receive the messages
  • Lowest resting heart rate: kids with the lrhr are at most risk of violence because of adrenalin brain
    • Think about re-reading favourite stories from childhood and reflect on messages (e.g., We Didn’t Mean to Go To Sea, To the Wild Sky)
  • Adolescence is a time of grief and loss stemming from the loss of the relationships with childhood
    • Loss in adolescence is expressed through anger
    • Often accompanied by a depressed mother
    • Importance of bombarding boys with positive messages (love, regard, appreciation)
    • Roll of significant adults
    • Successful work with girls and boys is a work of spiritual transformation
    • Children need our love most when they deserve it least
  • Aspiring Adulthood (21–28)
    • Delayed identity formation (Moratorium)
    • Some become achievement-obsessed (climbing the ladder when it is placed against the wrong wall
    • Importance of relationships and work
  • Fatherhood
    • Sartre’s quote: good dads die young because they force their sons to find out for themselves
    • Father Son days are important
    • Don’t get put off by the electronics: get them to show you.
    • Living in a Father-absent society (and have been doing it for years, cf the war)
      • Create discussions around fatherhood (what would the ideal father be like?)

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