Tag Archives: boys

The World According to Little Kids

The World According to Little Kids

Walls look so much better when they are decorated with artwork. Markers and crayons work best.

The living room is so much better for running around and making noise than your own room. A couch makes a great trampoline.

Things that belong to parents are made to taken apart and explored.

Just feel the music and dance. Don’t worry about how you look.

I won’t play with that kid just because you’re  friends with his parents.

Stop asking “Why did you do that?” I don’t have an answer.

Some of us like to play quietly and some of us like to run wild, don’t judge.

Weekends are made for waking up at 6am.

It’s fun to flush stuff.

Parents are confusing. They tell you not to speak to strangers, then when you meet a stranger, they tell you to say hello.

Saying, “You look like Squidward from SpongeBob Squarepants is really a compliment.

No matter how many times I watch the same TV show, listen to the same song, read the same book or watch the same movie, I can never really get tired of it.

You can never have too many Thomas the Tank Engine trains, Hotwheels cars or Lego pieces.

I don’t like to hug or kiss certain family members. Ask me to do it again and I’ll embarrass you.

You are responsible for  the whereabouts of all my toys.

Even though I  have my own bed, I just have to sleep in my parents’ bed.

If parents laugh when I say bad words, I’ll just keep saying them.

I am never tired. Never.

I may hear you say, “Who wants ice cream?”, but I can’t hear when you say, “It’s bedtime.”

I may not know time, but I know when all my favorite tv shows are on and that it’s too soon to leave when I’m having fun.

Clothing should  always be optional.

Never tell me anything you don’t want me to repeat in public.

Farts are funny.

The dirtier, the noisier, the faster, stickier the better.

I am deceptively simple.

Why do I need to know how to tie my laces, when there are velcro straps on my shoes?

Scarves, gloves, hats, and sometimes jackets will get lost at school.

Five minutes is a long time to wait.

Sand and mud are fun.

When I’m on the move, don’t get in my way.

Don’t try to figure me out.

Why should bread have crust?

There’s alot of things to do in the bathroom.

Keys, credit cards, and cell phones like to play hide and seek.

A french fry is a vegetable.

One day I will climb that wall.

I am invincible.

 

The Contradictory Life of Boys

CryingBoy

It’s not easy being a boy. Every day, you’re given conflicting messages and now matter what you do, society continues to be wary and suspicious of you. Let’s take a peek into the day in the life of boys:

A boy starts his day running around, full of energy, seeking adventure

Someone stops him and says: “Stop running around so much. Go sit down.”

The boy sits down thinking of all the stuff he’s going to do when

Someone comes by and says to him: “Why are you sitting there? You’re a boy; go out and play.”

The boy takes off running excited about what the day will bring

He trips and hurts himself and starts crying.

Someone says to him: “Stop crying!” “Take it like a man!”

The boy doesn’t understand anything about being a man but understands that crying is bad.

So he doesn’t cry when his brother hits him or his favorite toy breaks.

Instead he gets angry and punches a wall.

Someone says to him: “You can’t get angry. Learn how to control your anger.”

But no one shows him how to control his anger. So he decides to sing a song.

One of his friends tells him: “Your singing sucks.”

Since he can’t cry or get angry, he tells someone about how he feels.

Someone says to him: “Quit acting like a girl.”

The boy realizes that talking about his feelings is wrong.

So he stops talking about his feelings. He stops crying. He stops getting angry.

He doesn’t know what to do about how he feels.

He just knows that he has to maintain a strong image even when he’s scared.

He pretends that what people say doesn’t hurt him so no one will think he’s vulnerable.

He learns that as a boy he has to earn his “manhood” and prove himself every day.

 

Image Courtesy of Flickr

Can We Stop Boys From Violent Play?

 

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Flickr

 

Give a boy a carrot and he'll find a way to stick you up with it. This article from Live Science.com Battling the Boys: Educators Grapple with Violent Play confronts a controversial issue amongst educators and parents. Does allowing boys to engage in violent play create more harm? I don't think it has to do with boys being exposed to violent images. Even though we did not buy our son any violent toys and he was not exposed to violent images, I could remember him holding his Teletubby as hostage.

I believe that boys by nature enjoy engaging in role playing games that may be construed as violent.  Even if you give a boy toddler a rubber duck or teddy bear, chances are you will see him playing rough with the toy.

As moms of boys, we start to get nervous when we see our sons engaging in any kind of play we deem to be violent. We run to intervene when roughhousing appears to get out of hand. Yes, we need to be cautious and pay attention, but we shouldn't assume that all boys play violent games or that playing violent games will make a boy violent later on in life.

If we start to discourage boys from playing games that make us uncomfortable, we start to stifle their imagination. I do agree with the author that some female teachers and mothers who did not grow up playing with boys may fear that violent play may lead to violent behavior later in life. We have to accept that all boys  are not the same. Some are more aggressive  than others. We can help direct their behavior in a more positive direction, but we can't force them to change.

Do you believe that allowing boys to engage in so called violent play leads to them being desensitized to violence as adults?

Does Your Son Have Body Image Issues?

 

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There is very little information about how body image issues affect boys. The truth is boys are as inundated with images that contribute to obsession with their bodies as girls. According to a 2007 Harvard, “25% of anorexic and bulimic adults and 40% of binge eaters are men”.

Many boys do not speak up about their problem out of fear of being teased or stigmatized. We need to support our boys and help them to not only feel comfortable about their bodies but also to feel comfortable enough to come forward and speak up about their challenges with their body image. This resource from Common Sense Media helps parents and educators to guide boys to developing a healthier outlook. Check out The Pressure for Boys video.

What are your thoughts on boys and body image issues?

 




25 Things a Boy Should Learn From His Father

FatherSon

The father/son relationship is the least nurtured in the family. Fathers play an important role in their son's  lives and as moms of boys we need to support and encourage these relationships.

  1. How to have self-control
  2. How to value his money
  3. How to manage his time
  4. How to practice safe sex
  5. How to give back to society
  6. How to tie a tie
  7. How to be self-disciplined
  8. How to lose graciously
  9. How to buy a suit
  10. How to change a tire
  11. How to buy a gift for the women in his life
  12. How to choose the right woman
  13. How to do laundry properly
  14. How to engage in a meaningful relationship
  15. How to tip at a restaurant
  16. How to properly shake a hand
  17. How to be accountable for his actions 
  18. How to get out of an unhealthy relationship responsibly
  19. How to travel internationally
  20. How to dress for a job interview
  21. How to negotiate
  22. How to speak up and stand up for justice
  23. How to take care of his family
  24. How to rely on his faith
  25. How to put the seat down

What do you think should be added to the list?

Image: Flickr

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10 Things to Stop Doing to Your Son

1. Stop telling him how to think and feel-I've been guilty of this numerous times. My son calls me out on it and I realize that I am not helping him to become a critical thinker.

2. Stop blaming-If you want him to be accountable, you need to learn how to be accountable too!

3. Stop trying to change him-This is who your son is and if you don't like it, it's your problem, not his.

4. Stop saving him-You are not a rescue vehicle. Teach him how to take care of himself.

5. Stop enforcing gender stereotypes-He does not need to be your idea of a "boy". The world is hard enough without you imposing your views on him.

6. Stop overreacting to the little things– Respond rather react to some of the things he does that irritate you. Save the "big talk" for really important issues. Let the insignificant things go.

7. Stop worrying so much about him-Easier said than done. I worry about my sons everyday. However, I know that worrying doesn't change anything or make it better. The "what ifs" in life are uncontrollable.

8. Stop comparing him to others– Whether it's a sibling or a neighbor's son, don't compare him. It's not going to get him to behave or act the way you want him to. Accept it!

9. Stop pressuring him to perform up to your standards– Give your son a break. Do not set him up for failure by setting unrealistic goals. He may never live up to your expectations.

10. Stop being hard on yourself-He's learning life skills from you. If he sees you having a hard time bouncing back, he will not learn critical skills to deal with failure and rejection. Give yourself a break and go easy.

Do You Know What Your Son is Doing Online?

Let's say you happen to stumble upon your son's computer browsing history (wink, wink) and you see he has visited a questionable site. Your first reaction might be to wring his neck or launch in to a fire and brimstone sermon. Before you start conjuring up images of your son as the next Hugh Hefner or Larry Flynt, relax. Grandma and his Sunday school teacher won't find ot about his recent site visits unless you tell them.

Chances are he visited the site or sites because he was curious. He also may have heard other boys at school talking about these sites. Keep in mind that your home is one of many learning grounds for your son's informal education. Kids are more clever and savvier than ever. Yes, they can break through your parental controls. So how do you deal with this? Here are some do's and don'ts that will save your sanity and avoid unnecessary physical pain for your son.

Don't

  • Don't let him off the hook with a "boys will be boys" pat in the back-Talking to you dad.
  • Don't make him feel guilty or shame. It's humiliating enough you found it.
  • Don't be self righteous. You've got some skeletons in your closet too!
  • Don't become the porn police, patrolling his computer and room frequently
  • Don't keep bringing it up. If you have to keep talking about an issue, your communication style is not effective.

Do

  • Do ask him why he wanted to visit the sites
  • Do talk about internet safety. If he's visiting these sites, he may also be  chatting online
  • Do check his computer periodically
  • Do limit his time on the computer- Use a timer.
  • Do listen without judgment
  • Do set guidelines for computer use at home 
  • If you have more than one son, do ask them all together. Someone will confess and break under pressure.
  • Do get to know his friends and their parents. Some parents are more lenient than others. Get to know with whom and where your son is hanging out.

Your son is not a pervert, just a teen with raging hormones. He will most likely not try to visit these sites again to avoid another embarrassing confrontation.

Are Gentlemen An Endangered Species?

The other day I rode the elevator with a man who darted off as soon as the doors opened. "Nice manners", I thought. From the time my oldest son was a toddler, we have been teaching him about manners, sometimes to a fault. He holds the door for people, who often do not respond graciously.  More than once, I have reprimanded an adult who did not feel it was necessary to thank my son. I don't know if it's just a NYC thing, but I've noticed that manners are becoming a thing of the past.

Is it not cool to be a gentleman? How much effort does it require to speak and act respectfully towards others? How much effort does it require to offer a pregnant or elderly woman a seat, open a door or pull out a chair at a restaurant?

Learning manners are part of informal education. It's taught in the home.  Unfortunately, popular culture doesn't reward good manners or respect so some boys  don't feel the need to behave like a gentleman.  It's no easy task to teach boys manners, especially as when they become teenagers and are more concerned with the approval of their friends. However, as adults we need to keep reinforcing manners and modeling appropriate behavior for boys. 

For men who need a refresher on the etiquette of a gentleman, may I suggest reading this article on Ask Men.com or joining the Facebook Group, The Gentlemen Movement.

 

Why Boys Need to Live By The Four Agreements

 

Besides the bible, the two other books that had greatly influenced me are The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I refer to these books whenever I need a reminder of how my words, thoughts and behavior affect me and those around me.

I believe The Four Agreements are simple tools for living. These agreements are simple but yet so difficult for some of us to live by. I have posted these agreements on my wall as a reminder of the way I think, communicate and interact with others. I will spend the next four blog posts going through each agreement and how it relates to how boys can help with their social and emotional development. If we want boys to be better communicators and more empathetic, these four agreements are a great start.

The Four Agreements are:

1) Be Impeccable with Your Word

2) Don't Take Anything Personally

3) Don't Make Assumptions

4) Always Do Your Best

Are Boys Being Denied Their Birthright?

Years ago, a friend of mine mentioned that she believed the reason that some men were angry, aimless and unhappy in life was because they had been denied their birthright.

Her statement stayed with me all these years and as we are raising our boys, I often think about the bible story of Esau and Jacob and how Esau not seeing the value in his birthright sold it to his brother for a meal. Although today, it is not the same law when I think about birthrights in the sense that some boys do not know their legacy.

In our society, there are boys and young men who are so lost that they do not know where they came from, what they need to do and where they are going.  This problem exist regardless of race, class or economic status.  We can attempt to blame disengaged, busy, or uninvolved fathers or narcissistic, overbearing mothers. Regardless of the reason, we are now faced with the dilemma that many young men are not transitioning into adulthood. The fact is that this affects everyone. Parents of girls do not want their daughters to marry men who are emotionally immature, insecure and lacking direction and purpose.

More people are beginning to take notice and now we are faced with a problem of boys who are not self aware and can not even define manhood.

We need to pay close attention to the emotional needs of boys and understand that they need the help to become men of virtue, respect, integrity and love.