No matter whether a mother raises a son or a daughter, the child is no doubt loved. Children bring meaning and focus to a woman like no other major life event can. Being responsible for a child is about the biggest responsibility a couple will ever have.
Parents will always question their parenting skills and whether or not they're somehow messing their kids up. And while some days will be harder than others, normally raising kids is pretty much listening to your inner instincts and acting on those instincts to keep your children safe, educated and loved.
Something that is often discussed is raising a boy versus raising a girl. They obviously both have the perks and disadvantages for different reasons. And of course the style of parenting is different for some things too. Most moms will agree that it takes more energy to raise a boy than a girl, but both boys and girls are harder to raise in different ways. Here are some reasons why raising a boy sucks and a few tips to help raise a well mannered son.
Why don't boys listen? Well really, they do... Kinda. They do tend to be more testy. However, from birth a boys' hearing is not as well as a girls. And the difference gets greater as they grow.
Boys are less likely to understand what they are doing is wrong by words such as ,"Don't do that." They may need to be picked up and put in a time out chair. Don't get me wrong, they do understand right from wrong and there is definitely no excuse for some things, but it is proven that they can't pick up tone/disapproval by voice as well as girls.
Boys definitely have the tendency to be dare devils. They're adrenaline junkies. Sometimes the things that parents consider "dangerous" are things make them feel unstoppable. Like Simba in The Lion King, "I laugh in the face of danger... hahaha!"
Doing things that could result in a knot on their head or a broken bone is all fun and games to them. They're gonna get hurt, you can't keep them in a bubble. I'm sure everyone knows they saying, "Boys will be boys."
In general boys are not the best at communicating. Boys don't hold eye contact for very long, therefore they don't notice nonverbal signals in expressions. They also have a hard time connecting feelings with words. Boys usually take a little longer to learn how to talk and their vocabulary is limited. But as they get older and progress, they pick things up pretty easily.
Although if your husband is any clue as to how your little boy will communicate with you as her gets older, you may want to help him develop keener communication skills. Yes, he can be taught, so help him develop the skills to actively listen and communicate his ideas and thoughts.
Really this could be an issue either way. They have too much or not enough. Having too much self-esteem can result in a cocky child. It's important to keep it under control or there could be some serious problems as they get older.
Too little self-esteem can result in self destructive choices as they get older. Punish and forgive when they do wrong. They need to know that they are loved and cared for and that they are amazing in everything they do, but they need to know that they can't "win" all the time.
Boys are more of a handful in the early ages. In most cases they are hands on learners. It's easier for them to learn when they can do it themselves, rather than listening to how something is done. It's hard for boys to stay focused on one thing for a long period of time, let alone sitting. They have so much energy to burn, after sitting for too long it will look like they have ants in their pants.
Some schools know this is a problem and have strategies in place to keep kids moving so they don't get bored and stay engaged in learning throughout the day. Before enrolling your son in a school you should ask about how the class operates and what they do on a daily basis. This will let you know if it's a good fit for your child.
It will start sooner than you think. You shouldn't worry in the early stages if he touches "his thing" all the time. It's normal. Once he realizes it's there, it will be hell trying to keep his hands from wandering down there. ALL THE TIME! However, as he gets older it's very important that he knows when it's inappropriate.
Usually around this time kids become more aware of differences between girls and boys and may even have some questions for you about your breasts, curves or any other thing that separates the men from women. This is also a great time to introduce the idea of privacy and keeping their privates, well, private.
On the wall. On the floor. On them. On you. Behind the toilet. All over the seat that he didn't put up first. It apparently takes a lot of practice, a long attention span, and a lot of focus to not spray the whole entire bathroom while urinating.
Some toddlers when they're trying to get the hang of potty training think they have to be completely naked when they go to the bathroom, which eats into their valuable potty time and also makes the need to go that much more urgent.
As they get older, it just gets bigger and so does their range of fire. Don't be alarmed if you go to the bathroom and sit on a pee sprinkled toilet seat. There are a number of cool potty training hacks you can use to help your son learn how to aim better and keep his urine inside the toilet bowl.
Lets face it, boys are dirt magnates. They have no shame in their game either. They don't care if it's dirt, mud, sand, or poop for that matter. Boys will play outside all day long. They don't care if they are drenched in sweat or if there isn't a clean spot to be found. The good news is, that for the most part they also like water and that can be a good way to get them clean enough to go in the house to get a bath.
However, as they get older, you'll have to teach them how to clean their foreskin and take charge of their oral health as well. Given the opportunity, boys will only do half the work they're supposed to do, which could cause them to be the stinky kid in the classroom.
Playing in a room where the floor can't be seen is all fun and games for boys. They don't care how messy, the messier the better. Everything can be used as an obstacle course. Apparently it's more fun when you can't hardly move. Just be sure to watch your feet, you may think you picked up the whole lot, but you're bound to step on a Lego or Hot Wheels.
Picking up toys is a good responsibly/chore to start at a young age. Helping your son to learn responsibility is good for you. It means you have a little helper who will tackle the small tasks around the house so you can do other chores that they can't quite do.
Besides, kids love to feel helpful around the 3-4 year old mark. Encourage that energy and you'll never have to argue over asking for help.
I mentioned safety earlier and this is a part of it. Boys like to wrestle, love it actually. This too could be the cause for a mess. Pillows flying across the room aimed at someone, random belly flops on the pillows that are now on the floor, couch cushions pulled out from jumping back and forth to avoid "lava." And the occasional black eye or bruised leg/arm from tackling/wrestling with a sibling or peer.
While it can be alarming to see your usually calm child take another child in a headlock, this is all part of learning and playing. Try not to run out and break up what you think is a fight. By rough housing with their friends, they're learning about boundaries and being assertive.
Listening is a slow skill to develop in boys. Give him small tasks to complete and directions to follow. Home life and school will run smoother when he has a sense of responsibility. Ask him to make sure he flushes the toilet, washes his hands and turns the light off. Ask him to grab cheese out of the fridge for the burgers your cooking and to place them on top when directed to or put food in the dog dish.
It will teach him responsibility and make him feel important. Being proud of his accomplishments will increase his self esteem and give him a sense of pride in his accomplishments no matter how small they might be.
Boys have a lot of energy period. And making them sit still for too long or not letting them let all that energy out will not help in any way. Let him go out and climb a tree or run around the yard. Set a play date if you need to so he has someone else that can keep up with him if you can't. Let him be a boy, but make it clear to him that there is a time for it and there's a time to chill out. Dinner and the classroom would be examples of chill time.
Learn to recognize when he needs to move and maybe get out and move with him. Extracurricular activities are a great way for your son to meet new people and burn some of that energy. Try a number of sports and see which ones he's interested in.
Try to catch your son doing good things and praise him for it. Especially the things you have asked of him and him doing them without being told. Putting his shoes by the door rather than leaving them wherever he takes them off or throwing his trash away instead of leaving it sit around. Boys get scolded and corrected way more then told they are doing good. Makes sure they know you are proud of them for the right things too.
Your praise goes a long way to building a great relationship with your son, but also in building his self esteem and self worth. So when you have the chance, take the time to tell your son that he's special and that you appreciate the little things he does or the little things about his personality.
It's a proven fact that boys get less physical attention than girls, but it's just as important. Don't worry about them being less masculine in the long run, because odds are that won't happen. They need to know that they are loved and cared about just as much. Seriously, take it while you can get it. It won't be long till they move on to other things and will be embarrassed by hugs and kisses from mommy and daddy.
So embrace you little boy and get all the love you can. These public displays of affection may not be so far and few between if you make them a routine thing. But do expect a sharp drop off in PDAs when they get near their double digits.