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The Dilemma of Being a Big Brother

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Dr. Helen Smith has this post over at her blog, Dr. Helen, about the quandary that men face when they wish to volunteer for programs like Big Brother. As she suggests, many men are afraid to volunteer for fear of being accused of having an improper interest in other people's children. This is a very unfortunate sign of our times, since so many young boys need good male role models given the decline of active fatherhood in our society. In my experience as a law guardian and counsel in family court, many children -- especially young boys -- are desperately in need of their fathers to set the right examples. This includes how to be a proper gentleman and learning to treat women with respect. I suspect that much of the juvenile crimes that boys engage in (and adult crimes when they grow-up) could be tempered or reduced if more good men were available as role models for young boys. It's easy in these times of biological psychiatry to forget that environment plays a vital role in the development of children. While it is certainly understandable that our society is fearful of men who wish to be involved with other people's children, we must keep in mind that most of these men have good intentions and would not think of harming a child.

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