The nice folks at Focus on the Family give parents a few pointers on how to keep their little darlings from growing up to be homos. Interestingly, they seem to be a lot more concerned about keeping boys from going down the path of queerness than girls. In the end, I suppose what freaks fundamentalists out is the idea of all their butch, manly men becoming swishy, effeminate faggots with a highly-developed fashion sense; women being fairly irrelevant to your average fundy, dykes aren’t quite so scary. Anyway, here are a few pieces of advice from the Christers on how to raise a “morally straight” child:
3. Recognize that most homosexuals “were not explicitly [so] when they were children. More often, they displayed a ‘nonmasculinity’ that set them painfully apart from other boys: unathletic — somewhat passive, unaggressive and uninterested in rough-and-tumble play. A number of them had traits that could be considered gifts: bright, precocious, social and relational, and artistically talented.” Tip: Discern whether your boy struggles with feelings of “not belonging.” If he does, seek help.
4. The father plays an essential role in a boy’s normal development as a man. “The truth is, Dad is more important than Mom. Mothers make boys. Fathers make men.… Girls can continue to grow in their identification with their mothers. On the other hand, a boy has an additional developmental task — to disidentify from his mother and identify with his father.”
This starts about 18 months of age. The father needs to be there physically and emotionally to affirm his son’s maleness for the remainder of the preschool years (and beyond, especially during puberty).
“A boy needs to see his father as confident, self-assured and decisive. He also needs him to be supportive, sensitive and caring. Mother needs to back off a bit. What I mean is, don’t smother him.” Tip: Single mothers may need to recruit a trustworthy male role model.