We are a clan of mothers and boys who gather once a week in Sebastopol, California.
As mothers, we seek to engage and understand the different needs boys have in their development and learning, what makes them thrive as heroes, what keeps their hearts tender, and how we can bring into this world a good man.
“The better kind of man we can create is going to change the world” -Steve Biddilph
For our sons we are providing an intentional network of support throughout their childhood and adolescence of adults who understand them at a deeper level and who they can come to in moments of need. They are also gaining friendships with other males, who can serve them for the rest of their lives.
“Boys in the western world are in a sort of crisis. It all comes down to the old code that we now know is shifting. We need to stop hitting and hurting and shaming our boys.”-Maggie Dent
Everyone knows about the feminists, but silent and unheard is the suffering of our men and boys.
- Statistically, boys die in utero at a higher rate than girls; they die at birth at a higher rate than girls and they die in the first 12 months of life at a higher rate than girls, and so on throughout life.
- “Boys speak their first words later than girls and their speech does not become 99% comprehensible often until they are four years old — a full year later than girls. A preschool girl has a large vocabulary, has better grammar, and forms longer sentences than a boy of the same age.” — Ruth Hanford Morhard
- “Some of the research into the high suicide rates of men aged 40-44 years of age is suggesting that profound loneliness is a contributing factor. This suggests some men struggle making, maintaining and nurturing friendships and, in particular, with other men.” -Maggie Dent
- “Boys are not necessarily wrong, bad, disordered or pathological, nor are they tough guys who can succeed in life because they are male. Boys and their brains are quite fragile. Not to realize this is to continue approaching men and boys either as presidents or comic book heroes or as inherently defective — rather than who they are: people who struggle in life like anyone does and who need clear and appropriate aid, from the very early stages of their life.” — Michael Gurian
- “My research shows that the absence of a close relationship with a loving mother puts a boy at a disadvantage in becoming a free, confident and independent man who likes himself and can take risks and who can form close and loving attachments with people in his adult life. In the early years as well as adolescence I think boys benefit enormously from spending time in the loving environment created by his mother and her friends — the happy nurturing world of women.” — Dr William Pollack, Real Boys
So, what are we doing?
Waldorf meets Forest School meets Boy Scouts.
Free-form creativity, low-tech play, care of the gentle soul and tender heart.
Immersion into nature, respect for nature, a place to test one’s limitations and conquer
Adventures in community, boyhood pact, Interdependence.
We are a mom’s group -meet once a week to talk and craft and play. Troubleshoot and support each other through the challenges.
We are a book club, committed to learning and trying new ways of seeing and interacting with our boys.
We also go on fun mom & boy adventures.
who is this for?
- Have preschool age sons
- want to understand boy language and boy-ness to bring out the best in him
- Enjoy nature and being outside
- resonate with gentle parenting/ attachment parenting styles (with clear boundaries)
- appreciate the delicacy of young children’s senses and the need to feed all those senses with healthy, natural, and beautiful ‘foods’. For example, the ears hearing a real cello play instead of a toy car engine, the eyes seeing a prism of light instead of artificial blinking lights, the hands touching silk instead of polyester, etc.
- want to be in a local tribe together, parenting our children together, taking responsibility for all the children in a family way, as if they all belong to us
It’s not a good fit if you…
- Want daycare or babysitting -this is not a drop off program nor an educational program.
- Regularly offer TV, tablets or phones to your son. Why? Statistically and biologically boys are more at risk for developing addictive behaviors with videogames and media, curtailing their development and putting them at risk for depression and suicide later in life. We will study this more in depth in the group. This is an intentional group to support parenting our boys in relationship to nature and each other the old fashioned way. I get that this is a huge challenge in this digital world. However, one child who comes into the group playing batman and spiderman from tv is not going to go well with children who are not exposed to it.
- Use harsh discipline (yelling, hitting, etc) or shaming to control your child. Undoubtedly a boy (or several) will cross a line, and we all want to be somewhat on the same page about how to handle that, but these methods are not acceptable.
who is leading this thing anyway?
hi, I’m Kusuma, a first time mom with a bright toddler. I have almost no background in childhood education, or boys. As a parent I am relying upon my own unique childhood and the deep study I’ve been doing over the last decade of human development, happiness, health and gender.
When I was a child, my mother, a native American descendant, decided to adopt a tribe (Lakota Sioux) because ours was unknown. I draw deeply from this childhood experience and am using it to create something of my own vision for my child and this group.
I’m a full time mother and homemaker with a lingerie sewing business on-hold. My husband is a musician and music teacher.
I’ll be leading this group with the help of all the moms involved. Everyone will have a role to participate and manage. Just like a village clan. There will be chieftess of the snacks, chieftess of the activities, chieftess of storytelling, etc.
what about the dad’s!? If you’re a dad and you really want to join, contact me and let’s talk!
where are we meeting? Currently on a private and wild property in West Sebastopol with a fenced in yard. Depending on the participants, we may also choose to rotate homes and meet in destination spots like the beach, nature preserves or farms.
how much does it cost? This is not a profit program, but there will be costs to support the activities that we do. Whomever is hosting the meeting will receive $10 from each person for the use of their facilities. Activity hosts will divide up the costs for reimbursement.
“Right now, the world badly needs good men. There are some awful ones needing to be put in their place. Your boy can be one of those who grow up to help heal this sad and sometimes frightening world. Thank you for joining the boy revolution. As the 21st century rolls on, it’s badly needed. Enjoy your boy, love him well and watch him fly in his own special way.”Steve Biddulph, Raising Boys in the 21st Century (2018)