Earlier this year Dr Jerome Teelucksingh, my friend from Trinidad in the Caribbean, called for the inaugural celebration of International Day of the Boy Child on May 16. Dr Jerome Teelucksingh also founded International Mens Day. I suggested to Jerome for the sake of ease of communication that we shorten it to International Boys’ Day or more colloquially just Boys Day.
Jerome said yes, and so the team at Dads4Kids helped create the artwork and build the website and get everything ready for the global launch last Friday. The historic inaugural observance of International Boys Day on May 16 is all about dedicating a special day of the year to focus on boys and their wellbeing just as International Day of the Girl Child does for girls.
International Boys Day is a celebration of all the positive elements that boys bring to their families and communities, and a day to spend quality time with them doing fun activities. Boys Day also aims to bring awareness to the challenges that boys face as they grow up.
So why do we need an International Boys Day? To put it bluntly, we are in the middle of a ‘worldwide boy crisis’ and no one seems to want acknowledge the problem. We must work together to do something about it. Check out Dr Warren Farrells & Dr John Grays brilliant new book called “The Boy Crisis” to get the full story. These two men are leading the way at this time and their website tells the story.
Current research shows that boys:
- Are worldwide 50% more likely to fail meeting basic proficiency standards in reading than girls.
- Are 100% more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD compared to girls.
- Are more likely to be the victims of violent crime.
- Are severely behind girls in school grades. Boys take 70% of D’s and Failed grades.
- Have a suicide rate four times higher than girls.
- Are 5 times more likely to end up in juvenile detention.
In a media release which has been sent out all over the world, International Boys Day founder Dr Jerome Teelucksingh said, “There is an urgent need to focus on the home and school as we save the boy child. If a boy child is neglected or fed a diet of hate and violence it is obvious he will develop into a teenager who is misguided and confused. And the next crucial transition into manhood will be even more difficult.
Our goal is that every boy will grow up to become a man of honor and integrity and be able to contribute in a vital way to his family, his community and his nation and be able to make the world a better place for boys and girls everywhere.”
Jerome’s words are very true. Interestingly, the International Day of the Girl Child was first celebrated by the UN in 2012, so we have a bit of catching up to do. Better late than never! Our intention is to inspire boys, families, communities and governments to engage and collaborate to address the issues our boys are facing. Positive male role models are critical for our boys’ successful development and wellbeing. That’s why the enthusiastic celebration of International Boys Day is so important.
Fathers, family and the broader community play an important role in boys being happy and valued. There are a few ideas on the website for spending quality time with your boys that can be implemented anywhere, from a family gathering to a broader community event. Your boys will also have many suggestions themselves as to what they would love to do on their special day. If you are ambitious you could bring your community together by organising small park events with community leaders and local councils.
Obviously, we are pressed for time this year but why not put International Boys Day in the calendar for 16 May 2019. Feel free to use the Boys Day Logo in resources to create your event, whether on Facebook or otherwise. The aim is to create fun outdoor games and activities to celebrate International Boys Day. Whether it is a small group of family and friends or a larger community event, have fun with some of these activity suggestions!
In particular we encourage you as a Dad to celebrate this historic inaugural International Boys Day event as best you can by doing something special with your son(s) this coming International Boys Day – Wednesday 16 May 2018. Boys love adventure, whether it be large or small, focus on making it fun.
Yours for Celebrating our Sons
PS1: It is a huge weekend this weekend as we also celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday 13 May 2018. Pull the stops out and make it happen. Check out our Dads4Kids ‘Thanking Mothers’ TV ad here for inspiration if you have not already seen it. Several of the mothers in the TV CSA were interviewed. Kylie, a young mother with a new baby, shares her story here. Indigenous mother, Christine-Lee, talks about the joy of being a mum here.
PS2: We need your help. Dads4Kids is in the process of renewing our website and newsletter. Please watch the video asking for your help here. We also want to grow and improve but we need your expert advice to do so. All we are asking is that you give 5 minutes of your precious time to fill out the Dads4Kids Online Survey. To encourage you to do so, and to thank you for your amazing expertise, we want to give you a FREE COPY of “The Little Blue Book of Tips for Fathers and Father Figures” by Dr Bruce Robinson. (FREE BOOK offer only till end of MAy 2018: