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Tough world for boys?

It can be a tough world for boys to grow up in. There is a lot of conflicting messaging in the modern world. For example:

  • Men should be tough, rugged and strong
  • Men should be sensitive, vulnerable and open
  • Men should be who they want to be
  • Men who aren't good at or don't like sport are not very 'manly'

I'm not arguing for or against gender stereotypes.  I'm just saying it can be a tricky landscape to navigate. Messages about being 'true to one's self' and then 'real men are like this' can certainly be confusing.

In this modern world where the definition of gender identity is changing and where people have even wider views (and therefore more chance of conflict), yet I remain hopeful. Hopeful that society moves towards the focus on the person - gender, race, creed aside.

I found myself slightly challenged with my own children recently - always a good thing for my development!  We were discussing the pros and cons of marriage.  Our conclusion?  How lucky any of us are to find someone we deeply, truly love.  What that looks like for each of us will not be the same.  We need to recognise the positive attributes in people, not be distracted by surface factors that no-one can control.

At Pilgrims', we try very hard to focus on the individual by knowing and understanding each boy, and to make him feel special but also part of something.  Making boys feel they belong and are understood hopefully gives them the building blocks to go into the world and find their way through the pitfalls and hazards of modern life.  It's hard work and difficult to always get right, but we are lucky.  This school is full of lovely boys with supportive parents.  We are all working together to try and help them find out who they are.

Mr Matthew Shroff
Director of Wellbeing

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