MARCH Parent/Guardian Guide

Making the most of the drive home

I remember catching a ride upfront— or "jump-seating"—on a Boeing 757 while flying to speak at a student leadership conference in the Pacific Northwest. I was in my mid to upper twenties and already a captain on a smaller jet. Still, I dreamed of one day commanding this magnificent piece of machinery—sleek, with giant underwing engines resembling balled-up fists. It's Tim Taylor's grunt approved—argh, argh, argh!


When the first officer stepped out to use the restroom, the older, gentle captain turned toward me, knowing it'd be a treat for anyone to sit at the controls of one of the most revered jets, asking, "Would you like to climb up here?" My ego was like bruh, I fly jets… but the kid inside me commandeered my response, yes, please!


The point is, for boys/men, no matter how old we are or the success we've achieved, there's something life-giving about a man who is older, wiser, and more successful, offering even the smallest of gestures—like allowing me to sit at the controls of my dream airliner. For younger boys, it's often in the form of "borrowed belief."


Borrowed belief is when a boy is unsure of himself yet finds his confidence because someone else believes in him.


Similarly, our early identity is borrowed. We are who others say we are. For example, research shows that if a kid becomes labeled as "the bad kid." The child often accepts this "identity" and continues living it out. Conversely, when we praise character—You're kind; I can see you worked hard; You're trustworthy, etc.—children begin to see themselves as such. (Books such as Nurture Shock and Originals delve deeper).


Like a baby tooth, their adult identity will push out this early identity, but hopefully be rooted in a healthy gum.


So, as we bring together their core values, strengths, and past experiences and practice the early identification of their purpose, I'd like to offer a small gesture to the boys: publicly share among their peers a note of encouragement—of belief. And I hope you'll consider something similar. This is a great week to create a special moment with your boy, ask about their purpose and who they want to become, and then speak words of life into their hearts—into their early identity.


What I'll share with the boys...


Adam: I know it can be intimidating to participate in a group with older boys, especially when some things we're discussing or doing don't quite make sense yet. However, here you are—open-minded to new things and even willing to put yourself up against the older boys during our last ultimate frisbee night. I hope all this helps you feel more confident and ready to keep trying new things.


Bryce: You are fierce. I see this when we're playing sports. You're teachable, play hard, and always have a great attitude. Over the past few months, I've also seen you be a loyal friend and do some cool things, like helping organize and run the surf competition! I'm proud of you—but more importantly, I hope you are proud of yourself.


Coy: You're a creator. I see you come alive when you tell stories or film clips. I'm impressed with the effort you put into expressing your creativity. It takes courage to put your ideas into the world—for others to judge. I admire your willingness to risk rejection for the reward of entertaining and inspiring others.


Deen: You talk about having "rizz," but it's true, you have charisma—this innate ability to attract others to you. I know they see your heart, passion, and make-the-most-out-of-life attitude. Having influence is an exhilarating and overwhelming responsibility, so I'm proud of you for seeking mentorship—for seeking wisdom and guidance so that you learn to lead well.


Devan: I'm writing again because of you. More than anyone, you've held me accountable to keep moving forward. I know my book will need considerable editing, but right now, I need someone, like you, genuinely excited about even my flawed writing. And you've even taken an active role by making yourself available to collaborate. I'm looking forward to including your ideas and am eager to see the art and creativity you share with the world.


Janu: Something I admire about you is the way you carry yourself. You don't demand attention, yet I see how others look to you. While I still have much to learn about you, I can already see that you've got great potential to be a difference-maker. You're a natural influencer; a big part of that is your positive attitude and the joy you share with others. 


Kallai: I'll never forget our first all-group gathering. I shared a quote and asked if anyone understood it. You spoke right up and were spot on. That's a special gift—to be able to understand, interpret, and help others make sense of things that might be complicated or confusing. In my short time knowing you, I can see that you are working to grow in knowledge and wisdom. These efforts will not only help you, but you will help others along the way! PS, it's super cool that we can talk about Adam Sandler movies together, lol.


Kodo: You are tenacious. You get an idea in your head—like a surf/bodyboard competition—and make it happen. The world is full of people with ideas, but what separates the dreamers from the doers is action. I admire your willingness to work, take risks, and see things through—to be a doer. Your passion and playful spirit are already improving the lives of those around you, and you prove that you're never too young to do big things!


Nate: First, congratulations are in order! I heard you won a 5k race! Holy smokes!! Secondly, stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new, like EQUIP BOYS, is no small thing. Speaking of which, I know you're unsure if it's a good fit at the moment, and that's totally understandable. Deciding where to spend time and energy is no small task! But I know that through this process, you're learning the skill of decision-making, which will serve you well in the future. 


Pekelo: When I first saw your Instagram, I noticed you hoped to be "sponsored." I've been around tweens/teens for nearly 20 years, and most have similar ambitions. Then I saw you skate. Wow. If anyone is going to be sponsored, you're a great candidate! But here's what I know. For someone to perform tricks like you, they've put in the time. They've put in the work. They've fallen. Fallen. And fallen. So, what strikes me about you is your willingness to get back up. Your skating is a testament to your ability to push through the pain and discomfort in pursuing your goals/dreams—and I believe you will inspire others to do the same.


Sylis: You are courageous. You've ventured into something new with such a great attitude. The first time I saw you be courageous was at the mini-golf place where you conquered the rock wall! Then, even though you're unfamiliar with football, you still came to play, willing to ask questions and give it a chance. There are not a lot of people who are willing to put themselves in uncomfortable situations where they might be judged or might fail, yet you rose to the challenge and showed up and gave it your all. That is courage!


-- Mentors-in-training --


Perry: You are an influencer. Your loyalty, humility, and maturity draw others to you. As a mentor-in-training, you serve as a role model, and I'm honored the boys get to see your example. Both in the way you help them and have fun, too! Another thing I'm glad the boys get to see is that you have a dream. And that you're researching and learning more about what it'll take to make that dream happen. And because they look up to you, you inspire them to dream, too. That's a wordy way of saying you're making learning cool. 


Skyler: On my first day volunteering at the PYCC, one of the staff members approached me and said I just had to meet you! And to my surprise, that's precisely what I got to do during my first HERO Project rotation. It didn't take long for me to see that you have a kind and gentle heart. You stand out because you are humble and teachable. I hope serving as a mentor-in-training helps you better understand yourself and who you hope to become. 


  • Conversation starters for the ride home:

- How would you define purpose?
- Do you think purpose is a fixed thing or can change over time?
- Why or why not?
- What uncertainties do you have about the future?
- What are some things you're hopeful about in the future?
- Who are some people that can help you become the man you hope to be?
- What would you want to learn from them?
- What do you need right now to feel more prepared for the future?
- How do you dream about the future but still live in the present?


  • Next EQUIP BOYS: 

Monday, April 1st, 2024. 5pm to 7pm, at the Albersons' home.


   No print-out this month.

My time will be limited early in the month as I'm off to Texas next week for my yearly re-current flight training. And then, when I return, I'm scheduled for my instructor/check-airman training (so that I can help other pilots become the best versions of themselves.) We'll have another sports night at Paia Ballpark on March 29th, from 5pm to 6pm.

  If you still need to register your boy/s now, CLICK HERE