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The Manhood Tree

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  1. The Manhood Tree: Introduction and Purpose
  2. The Manhood Tree Group Rules
    1 Quiz
  3. Session 1: Your Roots
    5 Topics
    1 Quiz
  4. Session 2: Neighborhood
    4 Topics
  5. Session 3: Boyhood
    5 Topics
  6. Session 4: Teen and Young Adulthood
    7 Topics
  7. Session 5: Relationships
    8 Topics
  8. Session 6: Brotherhood
    5 Topics
  9. Session 7: Fatherhood
    6 Topics
  10. Session 8: Manhood
    7 Topics
  11. Session 9: Graduation
  12. The Manhood Tree Survey
  13. Additional Resources
Lesson 7, Topic 1
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Introduction: Relationships (Relationship with Self)

hey October 10, 2021
Lesson Progress
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For The Manhood Tree, boyhood starts at birth and continues until the age of 12. The first couple of years of boyhood are pretty much the same for boys and girls. When a boy baby or a girl baby cries, the response is the same. Someone picks him or her up, providing a bottle, attention, and love. What mostly separates the boys from the girls is the use of colors: blue and pink.

A boy’s development is shaped by his parents, family members, and what he is exposed to. By the time a boy enters school, he has already learned the “Boy Rules.” Concepts like “Big boys don’t cry” and “Boys are tough” are expected of children barely five years old. Throughout boyhood, boys are constantly learning and being influenced by what it means to be a boy or what is expected of them to be from their parents, friends, television, and society as a whole. However, just like girls, boys need care, nurturance, guidance, and love

The idea that boys need to be tough, shouldn’t cry, and should not be allowed to express their feelings stays with boys into manhood. As men, what seemed like a simple lesson that will help the child actually prevents men from being able to express themselves fully. From boyhood, we teach boys to bottle up their feelings and emotions, which creates men who are unable to communicate their feelings effectively. Additionally, the messages about “maleness” given to some boys provide them the wrong messages.

The concepts, ideas, and beliefs we were taught during our boyhood do not have to be passed down to our sons. One of the goals of The Manhood Tree is for men to think deeply about their lives and give themselves permission to change the areas of their life where they have made the wrong choice in the past. Just because you did not receive everything you needed when you were a boy doesn’t mean you have to do the same to your son. Boyhood is the first of the six “hoods” discussed in The Manhood Tree. It is also the first opportunity to reflect on your past and make the changes for a better future.