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The Code Of Boys was a code of silence. Boys would do terrible things to each other, but you didn’t want to be a snitch, so you didn’t go to adults about it.

In the sixties and early seventies there was a pretty extreme laissez-faire style of parenting, at least in Southern California. Kids were left to take care of themselves without hovering parents. I was hitchhiking everywhere by the time I was 14, traveling the coast looking for waves.

I think of it as an old fashioned American boyhood from Tom Sawyer onward, but it reached a kind of extreme when I was an adolescent. There was a lot of ambient violence. I liked to box. I’d invite boys home from school, put on the gloves, and we’d just beat each other senseless right in front of our house. Nobody thought anything of it. That’s what boys do: they box. –Bill Finnegan

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story involving the Code of Boys. 

Journaling Prompt: What secrets did you keep from your parents when you were a teen?

Art Prompt: The Code of Boys

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience a story with a moral about something you kept secret from your parents as a teen.

Photo Credit: Eugene H. White on Flickr

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