When boys enter their teen years and advance to high school, a lot can change.

Their sweet dependence on Mom dissipates into a feigned indifference, and friends become the focus of their social development. Sports take on an intense new height, grades become the stuff of stress and family movie nights can be greeted with a “do I have to?” instead of the usual, “Great, what are we seeing?”

Mom, on the other hand, is still juggling the myriad tasks that go along with parenting while still advancing her own career or life goals, enriching the lives of all the other siblings, as well as spouse, living parents and probably still managing a few volunteer commitments here and there. She’s also probably hyper focused on some social ill or global issue, and either donating time or money to help the cause.

All the while, she’s wondering how she will infuse enduringly important values to her kids so they can be leaders for the next generation, and wondering what happened—who kidnapped—the sweet little boy she had been raising thus far.

Enter the high school years …

The National League of Young Men (NLYM) is the cure to the seemingly thinning bond between boys and family, which can set in at the start of high school. It’s invariably true, that boys come back. But as they go from adolescents to young adults, they seem to pull and weave to find their way into their own personality, separate from their identity within the family dynamic (which they still rush into when they need reassurance).

NLYM is a program that helps sustain and even strengthen the bonds of moms and their boys on the precipice of adulthood, keeping them engaged in community service, cultural engagement and philanthropic activities that help the Young Men stay grounded and connected to mom.

If you have a rising ninth grader and live in 90077 (Bel Air), 90024, 90025 (Westwood and Sawtelle), 90401, 90402, 90403, 90404, 90405 (Santa Monica), 90265 (Malibu) 90049 (Brentwood) and 90272 (Pacific Palisades), join NLYM’s local chapter and connect with nearly a hundred other local families with boys in area high schools, who come together to build enduring memories, maintain meaningful bonds and strengthen the character of boys who will go on to lead this great nation.

Maryam Zar

The Palisadian-Post accepts letters to the editor via email at mypost@palipost.com or mail/hand-delivered at 881 Alma Real Drive, Suite 213, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. To be considered for publication, letters must be signed, and are subject to editing for length and clarity. Opinions expressed in letters do not necessarily reflect the views of opinions of the Palisadian-Post.