Time To Trust.
For the last 7 years a local charity, MAN&BOY has been supporting boys who are struggling with life by providing opportunities for the ‘man’ in their life to develop and stronger relationship with them, in the hope that this with build confidence and self-esteem. Below is the story of one man who came to a MAN&BOY adventure camp.
"I live apart from my son and his mother and only see him at weekends and because of my son’s autism and the conflict between myself and his mother about how to parent him we have struggled quite a lot over the last few years. There were a lot of arguments and the trust between us was at an all-time low.
Our son’s social worker recommended that we take part in MAN&BOY, so I met with the director at a local café and decided to give the camp a go.
The camp was arranged over 3 days and centred around spending quality time together and encouragement. I felt anxious because it was a new environment for me and my son and I was worried about how other people would accept us. The director kept in touch before the camp and encouraged me to follow through with my decision to come.
There were a number of moments during the weekend that really have made a lot of difference. One, for example, was when we did the raft building. I was very anxious and fearful that my son would misbehave and jump in the water. I didn’t trust him, but the leaders were very accepting of us and gave me the encouragement I needed to let go a little. This was a break-through because my son didn’t jump in and he saw that I trusted him. It gave me the confidence to trust him more.
Another element of the weekend was MAN2MAN time. Speaking with other men about our situations was really helpful and made me realise that I was not alone. Men are taught not to speak about their emotions and feelings, and sort of suffer in silence, but I got a lot of confidence from these times and now I’m talking to other men on a deeper level and displaying emotions when before I would bottle it up. I have realized that opening up to others is not a weakness, but a strength.
MAN&BOY also helped by giving me one to one support over the last year or so. There have been many times when I have been at my whit’s end with my son and given the Director a call. He was a great listener and didn’t judge my situation and helped me think through the situation we were in.
My son and I have got a huge amount from MAN&BOY; our trust has grown, I listen much more to him, I have more patience and I’m a lot less judge-mental of others. My son has learnt to share and work in a team and we have developed a much stronger bond".
MAN&BOY was awarded Best Kingston Charity in 2017. If you would like to know more about MAN&BOY, please follow the link (in bio)
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Trevor is part of the This Dad Can community. He is passionate about fatherhood and since 1989 has helped arrange and lead camping weekends for dads and their children. Trevor is married and has 3 grown-up children. He can be found making a huge difference over at MAN&BOY.
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