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How to raise a boy: my mission to bring up a son fit for the 21st century

By Tom Lamont

01 Aug 2021 · 20 min read

Increasing awareness of the price of toxic masculinity has led many parents to wonder how best to prepare the young men of the future. One father consults the experts

My little son has a gang he roots for. All boys, dudes everywhere – they’re his gang. I figured this out, recently, when we sat down to watch the Grand National. He’d picked a horse in the family sweepstake and his choice was out in front for most of the race. When it fell back, out of contention, my son paled a bit. Possibly he’d already spent the sweepstake winnings in his head (on stickers, sweets, toy balls) but he took the disappointment quite well, I thought, for a four-year-old. The race was won in the end by a female jockey. It was the only time a woman had ever finished first in a Grand National, the commentators shouted. And all at once my son did cry, real fat gushers, instant snot moustache, the works. Now this was too much, if a girl had gone and beaten all the boys.

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