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Boyhood seminars and presentations

BOYHOOD is delivered in a face-to-face mode by Mark Evans.

The program can be tailored to meet the needs of small or large groups. It can be delivered in shorter meeting length sessions (2 hours) or in longer in-service style presentations (1 or 2 day/s).

Key concepts covered in The BOYHOOD Program are developed in the program's modules. The modules are listed below with an accompanying explanation.


The Mystique of Boys: What are some of the beliefs and attitudes we hold about boys and men?

Participants are facilitated to reflect and name some of beliefs and attitudes they hold of boys and men. Though we may not wish to admit it, each one of us carries deep and powerful attitudes concerning gender and how boys should/do act out their masculinity. These attitudes can initiate expectations within us concerning how boys are required to act and live as males.

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Keeping the End in Mind: What kind of man do we want our boys/sons to grow become?

Significant adults grow the children in their care. Children are greatly influenced by the adults in their lives. Adults must be aware they have the opportunity to mould a boy into the man they wish him to be. Keeping the End in Mind begins by setting the scene in relation to the fact that the boy we grow today will be tomorrow’s man.

Our modern concept of childhood carries many adult misconceptions and myths. Many adults view childhood as the happiest days of one’s life. For a significant number of children this is not the case. A number of the myths surrounding childhood are discussed and a more complete perspective presented.

Boys undergo a number of psychological stages on their journey to adulthood. The work of several childhood developmental theorists provides a useful framework to understand a boy’s journey from infanthood through to young adulthood. The passages of boyhood provide a backdrop for parents and teachers to understand a number of the psychological underpinnings of a boys’ personal development.

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Biology, Emotions, Relationships: Guilt by association: Testosterone

This module outlines the inextricable connection between the structure and workings of the brain, with a boy’s behavioural and emotional life. The key to a boy’s behaviour and biology is the structure of his brain. The natural biological rhythms and functions associated with males have a considerable impact on their behaviour and emotional life.

The genetic and instinctive coding in all human beings plays a significant influence in our behaviour and interaction with the world. This is especially so for boys.

Significant others have an impact on a boy’s attitude and behaviour. Cultural and social forces work with biology to mould a boy’s expression of his humanity and masculinity. Social constructs of the male gender also have an enormous impact on how a boy will live out his masculinity.

Mark explores a Nature via Nurture view of boys’ development.

There are many forms and sources of influence on a boy’s emotions, biology and ability to relate. None are so powerful than the influence other males and in particular, significant adult males.

Quite simply, boys learn to be masculine from other males. This fact has an enormous impact on boys’ emotions and their relationships.

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Boys, Fathers and Masculinity: Boys learn to be men from men.

This session explores the drama of boys and the relationship they hold with their father or father figure. This relationship is critical because it is within the way the father figure models masculinity that a boy gains greatest insight into his own masculinity and how it can be lived out.

Many boys suffer from Father Hunger, that is, an absence of significant adult male influence in their lives. An absent father will still speak quite clearly to a boy about the actions and qualities of being male.

There are other pervasive influences on a boy’s concept of his own masculinity. Included are the media and the boy’s own peer group. In varying degrees when there is a distinct absence of a significant male figure in a boy’s life, these two influences become the beacons for a boy to discover his own masculinity.

Boys, Fathers and Masculinity explores many of the wonderful ways men bring love and vitality into the lives of their children. The drama of fatherhood is very different to that of motherhood. The love and nurturance provided by a father is distinctive and most necessary for the development of loving and caring boys.

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Boys, Mothers and Masculinity: The closest friend a boy will ever have.

As the most important relationship for a boy’s masculinity is the father/father figure, the most intimate is the relationship is the one he has with his mother. The mother/son relationship is often the closest relationship a boy will ever have. The presence of a loving mother provides a boy with an opportunity to learn of intimacy at a variety of levels, something not readily taught through the relationship with his father. The loving presence of a mother creates a life-long harbour for a boy. Throughout his life, he will often return to it.

Powerful forces work against this life-giving connection between mother and son. As this relationship is founded on a close and intimate link, the Boys’ Code often cannot easily exist with the close mother/son relationship. This code is built upon the dualism between male and female. Closeness to female forms of intimacy is often tarnished as being unmasculine. Within early childhood, a boy quickly learns that being male requires one to distance oneself from all things female. That includes the mother. By the time a boy reaches adolescence this separation is almost complete. This presents dire consequences for the boy who depends on his mother for his internal emotional compass.

This module exposes many of these important issues and provides practical support to maintain this key relationship in the boy’s life.

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Boys and Learning: Schools becoming more boy-friendly.

Much of the current debate concerning boy’s development concerns itself with boys and their learning. This module seeks to place learning not as the centre of the debate, but as an aspect that ‘floats’ on the strong foundations of every other part of a boy’s life. An emotionally and psychologically strong boy has the strong internal foundations to make learning possible.

This session develops an awareness and skills for significant adults to create the best possible environment at school for a boy to be engaged in learning. Teachers are given support to differentiate their learning environments to accommodate a boy’s cognitive needs.

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Other modules include:

  • Motivating and Understanding Boys: Working with and growing boys
  • Brain Stuff About Boys: The centre of it all
  • Discipline and Boys: Making him a disciple
  • Peers, Friends: Best Mates, Great Enemies

© Mark Evans 2004.

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