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January 28, 2020

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Snips, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails

April 20, 2015

What are little boys made of? Snips, and snails, and puppy dog tails. That’s what little boys are made of.

 

Recently an article came over my Facebook feed from a fellow homeschooling mother. (You can find it here.) It was a mock poem from a little boy begging his teachers to let him keep his recess because he was jittery enough in class and had a hard time focusing. Needless to say, this boy was one that had been diagnosed with ADHD.

 

He is, sadly, one of thousands. And the number of boys medicated into “submission” is growing by the day.

 

It is another blight on our public school system that no one talks about nor do they truly wish to fix. The result – we are losing generations of not only boys, but young men.  And we wonder why they play video games in their 30s, don’t get jobs, nor do they marry.

 

 

A lot of this problem is because of a rupture between our modern world (I mean 1965ish and backward) and the thousands of years before that to the beginning of time. Our grandparents back and beyond would be shocked senseless at the pressure placed on boys today to sit still and listen for hours on end. The idea would have been ridiculous to them and considered, frankly, a form of child abuse.

 

By their nature, boys are busier than girls. Their energy level is not only higher for longer periods of time, but they are more physical with that energy in a way that girls are not. They are harder on themselves physically, they do things that elicit small amounts of pain but label their perseverance as manly, they wrestle each other, the family dog, and even the fence post. They are wired for competition, and they push themselves to excel physically today beyond what they did yesterday or even a moment ago. Because of their energy level and their need to subdue the world around him, boys roamed the woods, worked on the farm with the animals, practiced shooting rifles and bows and arrows, worked the crops in the fields, and fished in the streams. More recently they climbed trees, built treehouses out of scrap lumber, fought pirates in cardboard ships, and played ball with the neighborhood kids in the empty lot down the street.