A few days ago a topic arose that caused quite a stir. I was saying how I was keen to get Levi involved in mixed martial arts at our local gym - that I felt it was important for a boy to feel strong, to let off steam in a safe, controlled environment. I want him to get that opportunity to be wild, to wrestle and kick and punch and go mah-shoogah! (especially living with 2 olders sisters....!)
It was at his request that I took him along to try out the class. He obviously LOVED it - what little boy wouldnt?
A debate arose and I was quite vocal on my opinion that I believe boys need to feel strong, powerful and that they are 'enough'. They need to feel like they could face up to another man and hold their own or protect those close to them.
The other side of the argument came from, what I term 'christianese thesis' : that a boys' self esteem shouldnt be built on his physical prowess but on an 'inner self confidence which is instilled by ???' No-one at the table could quite fill in (?????) those blanks.
The overwhelming response was that I was probably going to raise a bully. At this stage of the conversation I felt I should pull the handbrake - not one of the parties even have sons - the arguments presented were clearly laced with prejudice and possibly some past experiences that had been unpleasant.
I am under no illusion that just because Levi may one day be able to crack a wall with his forehead that he will be the most confident boy around.....however I am not deterred from trying to execute what I believe to be a reasonable course of action in attempting to facilitate a socially, physically, mentally and emotionally well-adjusted kid.
Isnt that what we are all trying to do with our children?