Boys & the Developmental Stage of Fire

Sonja is a conscientious mother.  She spent a lot of time prior to having children educating herself about the responsibilities of parenting.  She entered motherhood with a very high level of commitment to her spouse, her children and the world at large.  Her youngest child, Stephen, is nine-years old and in the “fire” stage of development.  Although he has been raised in a non-violent and loving home environment, she is struggling with what she sees happening at this stage.  Stephen is quite competitive and seems to ignore many of the family values.  She has caught him on more than one occasion using a stick or toy car as a gun.  He mimics the sound of automatic gunfire while aiming at some imaginary foe.  Sonja has tried to talk to Stephen about the inappropriateness of this play and why she feels that guns are wrong, but he doesn’t really seem to listen.  When his friends come over to play, they almost always end up wrestling, putting each other into headlocks, knocking each other to the ground, or playing some video game.  Sonja recoils every time she hears another news story about violence in the classroom and worries that Stephen is at risk. 

Boys use role playing games, video games, shooting, pounding, tackling and wrestling as outlets for fire.  They are naturally drawn to this play as it affords them an opportunity to feel and release this energy.  Any behavior that seems innate, despite our attempts to modify it, probably has an energetic source.  Providing outlets for this energy is what is needed.  Dance (hip/hop), music, drumming, martial arts, sports, scouts, etc., are all ideal outlets.  Stephen may still enjoy wrestling, video games,  and gun play when friends come over, but if his parents have provided a variety of other physical outlets, they need not worry.  Truly violent acts are almost always a symptom of energetic disruption and misdirected fire.  Being comfortable with our passionate, creative, fiery and competitive selves is critical.  Without this creative energy our planet would cease to exist.

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