Boys Are Born To Be Wild

The other day, I had the occasion to sit quietly on my front porch and observe my son, who was playing on the street with some other boys. The day was hot, and they had their shirts off like a wild bunch. Each had a colorful plastic gun. I wish I had a picture of this because it was so classic. A part of me wished he could insert his old self into the midst of their pow wow as they huddled to figure out what the terms of their game was going to be.

I bring this up because an article passed before my eyes in the past few days that asks Why Boys are Failing in an Educational System Stacked Against Them which appeared in the Huffington Post.

This is not new to me. Jerry Mintz once remarked on a radio interview that he felt the intention of Public Education was to cure boyhood. Boys are naturally wild. For the most part, Noah and his crew are responsible for the majority of practical jokes that get played at BFS. And the wonderful thing about that is they do not get punished for it. It is seen as a characteristic of creative thinking. The fact that they get together to figure out these pranks is already a step up from most students coming out of grade school. Team work is one of the most important qualities that will be needed in the future economies. At least according to pundits like Daniel Pink.

I was a wild kid myself. I paid a big price for it as I have mentioned in my previous post. As I turned 13, I gravitated to those who shared my restless energy. It got us into trouble…a lot. But now I have stories to tell. My son loves hearing these stories.

It was not my intention today to get into a huge discussion about boys and their wildness. My hidden agenda was to share a video my son made with his friend Michael. They have been out of school these past 2 weeks and we have encouraged him to figure out days he could spend with his friends. The first week, I had boys over here most of the days. This week, I am trying to send him out. Any way, the video was shot, edited and conceived by the two of them. It is a kind of Spy vs. Spy thriller. I hope you enjoy it.

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3 Comments on “Boys Are Born To Be Wild”

  1. Thank you for this post. As the father of 2+ year-old twin boys, I see the difference between them and girls the same age, and at times I confess that I’ve felt badly that my boys didn’t sit still as much, or wanted to rummage and explore while the girls were investigating and learning in a less chaotic manner. My boys are very sweet; they’re not “hellions.” But, they like to go-go-go. And the activities they enjoy most are the ones that have a mix of physical and mental components.

  2. bzeines says:

    Thanks for your comment Michael. My son has been fortunate in that he has the opportunity to learn in a free environment where the focus is on becoming human. The imposition that our current model of education imposes on children is very stunting to their natural state. Especially boys, but girls too. There is an organic exploration that takes place in each individual that it is hard to allow, due to our own upbringing. But being a witness as I have been, has been a remarkable learning experience for myself and my wife. It is wonderful to watch an intelligent, focused and creative individual emerge without much intervention.

  3. Timothy Hudson says:

    Nice video, you are awesome.

    PS, I am coming to Brooklyn Free School next year and I might see you there.


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