Sunday, March 17, 2013

Raising Up Boys!










Top Ten Things I've Learned from raising boys!!

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)






It was during my first pregnancy, that I began to form some of my parenting 'philosophies'....I was a first year student at the University of Brock, studying Child and Youth Studies on a partial scholarship...basically I was in my so-called 'prime', ready to absorb ALL the information the profs had to throw at me. 

The norm of this 'culture' was that boys & girls, were IN fact, the same....all you had to do was provide the 'right' opportunities, and you would avoid cultivating a strong masculine (or feminine) personality...it was all: in the toys, the language you used to engage with the child, and of course the way you 'perceived' your child... that would make or break a healthy self-image.


So...prior to my first delivery, I gathered up all of my best stereotypical 'girl' AND 'boy' toys..in anticipation of the arrival of my first son. He was going to play with Barbies, dolls, trucks, and whatever else suited his fancy. I was going to guard my language. I was going to watch my parenting....not willing to fall prey to simplistic notions of gender, that 'old-fashioned' parents held onto.


I am 100% sure that God was laughing at my silly nonsensical behavior after my son's arrival! On a scale of 1 to 10 of possible male dominated personalities, I believe this particular son was ....like an 11!







As a toddler my son enjoyed activities like:

-throwing my cherished stuffed animals on the floor and stomping on them
-beating up all the my dolls and making them play fight
-turning all of his hot dogs, and other appropriate food items, into guns!
-running, jumping, and wrestling with other kids (much to my chagrin!) 

My theory quickly got 're-worked'...


...since that time I've been blessed with two more boys....and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt...boys are NOT the same to parent as girls. 

Our daughter readily agrees when she comes to us in tears (often!) saying, "my brothers are trying to play with me, and they hurt me!" Of course, upon closer inspection, it is always with the best intentions. "But Mom, she WANTED to play/wrestle/fight with us!"



Here, with tongue in cheek, is my top ten list of what I've learned raising boys!


  • Boys are messy! My boys run by the philosophy, the messier the better!



  • Boys like to be the hero...all the time...they will even contend with one another for this title...





  • Whether you choose to let them play with guns, or not really doesn't matter... but they WILL make guns out of other objects! I have witnessed this time and time again (sometimes embarrassingly) ...in public, in church, at the dinner table....
  • They have limitless energy from early morn til late at night...really, not sure why, but they do!

  • They are great climbers, from the time they can crawl. Climbing up the side of a hill while on a hike (and not concerned if they scare Mom!), is considered 'adventurous'.



  • They enjoy finding insects of all types (also, dead animals are fascinating discussion and great objects to poke sticks at)...none of this grosses them out! Don't be alarmed if you find dead or alive worms/spiders/ANY bug littered throughout your home...




  • Whether you allow it or not, they like to wrestle! I had to change my policy from a 'no-wrestling' one, to a more moderate "only with Daddy".






  • Boys like to emulate their fathers, or other male figures in their lives. There came a point when Mom's snuggles may no longer be preferred...ouch!



  • Until puberty...girls are 'yucky', and they'd much rather pull their hair! Even their sister's...yep.


  • Boys are different for a purpose. This is normal, and actually a good thing. I believe God created each gender unique to bring something beneficial to 'the table'.

Yes, I realize that not ALL boys fit every description, and same with girls, (I see the variation within my own three) however, I contend that the scale of difference is a wide chasm apart :)



***For a more in-depth discussion I recommend reading:




***If you have a boy(s)  please feel free to comment sharing your own interesting observation.***

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80 comments:

  1. I am the mum of 3 boys and agree whole heartily with this post, I did a similar guest post on Kinderchat here is the link http://www.kinderchat123.net/2013/01/boys-will-be-boys.html
    Also come visit us at our blog http://littleboybluetoddleschool.blogspot.co.uk/ it would be great to share some boy ideas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just went to both sites and am one of your newest followers! Thanks so much for visiting.

      Delete
  2. I was studying Psychology when I became pregnant with my first son. I too gave him dolls, pink stuff etc so not to do all the treat him in a certain way. But yes boys are different indeed. Great post. Thank you for linking up with Motivational Monday.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. At least I know I'm not alone :)
      I guess some of us just need to learn through experience...

      Thanks for hosting the link-up! It's a great one.

      Delete
  3. Hi there,
    I am a mom of 1 boy, 2 girls; a grandma of 3 boys and 2 girls. Yes - what you have said is very true. I love them all equally. But they are different for sure.
    Blessings,
    Janis
    Found you at Lovin' the Weekend Blog Hops.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Janis :)

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  4. I clicked to vote. :)

    I am a mom of three boys and a girl, and I have to agree w/everything you said. Glad you recommended James Dobson, I'm a huge fan of his writing. :)

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    1. Thanks for the vote!

      Dr. James Dobson is an amazing writer, isn't he? Not a book I've read I haven't taken so much away from.

      Delete
  5. Having two girls, this is so foreign to me! However, my daughter and her husband are expecting their first. I will keep your top ten in mind if they have a boy!
    Thanks for sharing at NOBH!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I know...any of my friends with only lil girls in their home have a hard time relating :)
      Oh, but the joys of raising boys!!

      Delete
  6. Rach, I just adored this post :) thank you so much for linking. I had quite a giggle at the list, having a boy :) Have a blessed day. Tara.

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    1. Haha! Yes, I think anyone with young boys in their life can relate.

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  7. I am a mom of a girl and a boy. With my girl I didn't push dolls or specific female toys and she naturally went to dress up and dolls and she is not even 2. My little guy is 2months and am anxious to see the difference between them. I just finished Dobsons book

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    1. I hear you. Our daughter makes everything her little 'baby' (even our dog!). There's definitely something 'in' them.
      What a great book, isn't it?

      Delete
  8. I'm mum to two boys and a girl and I would agree there are differences. Even though there are also differences between my boys, there are real differences between them and my daughter. Boys are hard work, but I love having boys.

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    1. I totally agree with you! Boys are quite active, but so much fun :)

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  9. I have 4 boys and 1 girl. My dd6 is #4 in line. While my boys fall into 2 camps, athletic and non-athletic, they all share the qualities you mention.

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    1. Boys can certainly have different personalities (I had two brothers that were so different growing up, and still are) but I will never forget growing up with the balls being flung at my head, the 'grossness' of some of their habits, and running out of the room when the wrestling started.
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing :)

      Delete
  10. What a great post! Boys are so much fun. I have a just turned 5 year old and I'm always amazed, though I shouldn't be, at how manly he is and how much he wants to do rough, tumble, man things. But he's also my sweetheart who desperately wants to please and be cuddled.

    God is so good!!!
    Take JOY!
    Sarah

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    1. Thanks Sarah! They certainly are. Although sometimes I find I just don't 'get' them...working on that :)

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  11. As a mom to 4 boys and 4 girls, this is so true! I'm so glad to have read it today. Thanks for linking up at From House to Home!
    --Gena at ichoosejoy.org

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    1. Thanks again for hosting! A great link-up :)

      Delete
  12. I have three sons and when I talk to my girlfriends about their daughters I can tell there are a lot of differences. I remember being amazed at what masculine characteristics came natural as well, Rach. I'm not sure that all of my boys showed the same masculine traits, but they were definitely a lot of similarities. Great thoughts and thanks for the thought-provoking post and getting the discussion going!

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    1. It is most definitely a thought-provoking discussion, isn't it? I'm sure not everyone would agree, or that all boys have the exact same traits...however, it seems like most males are very similar.
      Thanks so much for sharing, and again for stopping by! Always a pleasure :)

      Delete
  13. Ah, this was such a good post, I will be checking in on you often, I have a little guy and I have to say I had to laugh at the Mark Twain quote, and I keep meaning to read that book, thanks for recommending it. I found you on The Wellspring: Playdates. Here is what God put on my heart to share this week, if you are interested :) http://seasontheday.blogspot.com/2013/03/uniting-believers.html

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    1. Thanks Amber so much for stopping by! I really hope you get the chance to pick up that book and finish it...it's such a goodie for raising boys :)
      I'm on to check out your blog!!

      Delete
    2. From one blogger to another (and mom to another) thanks for stopping by my blog and encouraging me!

      Delete
  14. Stopping by from the Mommy Moments Blog hop :)

    My son (first and only child) is 5 months old on Thursday and I can already tell he will be a BOY of all boys :) Thank you for this post and preparing me for these things!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Amanda!

      I assure you that if you see it already, even better thing are yet to come ;)
      But seriously, boys are oh so fun. Enjoy every moment with him :)

      Delete
  15. I can't even tell you how much I loved this post because it's so true! My boys would make guns out of their fingers, flush things down the toilet (socks, toys, whatever....), chase the dog and drive her nuts, pour milk all over the dog, dump out the glitter all over the floor, dump the flour out all over the carpet.....and yes, I actually watched them from time to time, lol! The minute you turned your back they were ON it.

    I also outlawed the whole wrestling thing after my friend's sock kicked my son's tooth out.

    Thanks so much for linking up to "Making Your Home Sing Monday" today! :)

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    1. I had to chuckle while reading through your stories...classic boy thing: wrestling, but adding the kicked tooth out?! I can only imagine!
      Thanks so much for sharing & stopping by :)

      Delete
  16. This is great, and I know exactly who I want to share it with...
    :)

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  17. I love these pictures. When my boys were small, I bought them a kitchenette with the same motives you describe: they will be sensitive and nonstereotypical, etc., etc. They would climb on top of the fridge and jump off with gusto. Then, they would take all the plastic food I bought, load it into their tonka dump trucks, and dump it all over the house. It frustrated me to no end. So...this makes me smile. My boys are 14 and 16 now and are pretty sensitive guys :)

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    1. I had to laugh reading your story...at least you can smile about it now!
      Thanks for stopping by :)

      Delete
  18. I have 3 girls. And now a boy :) They. Are. Different. By far! :)

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    1. Once you parent both it is much easier to see, isn't it?
      Thanks for stopping by :)

      Delete
  19. I have 2 girls and just the other day, after dealing with girl DRAMA, I briefly wished for boys. :)

    So glad you linked up with SDG today. You might want to check out Laura @ Outnumbered Mom. She has a great book out about raising boys. She's #4 on the link up.

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    1. Yep, with only one daughter we've had a bit of drama here...

      Will definitely check out Laura. Thanks for the suggestion :)

      Delete
  20. Amen, sister! As a mama of two rambunctious little guys, I totally agree with this list! When I was pregnant with baby boy #1, I had a mom of 3 boys tell me, "Don't get all worried when they do strange things. They're not weird...they're just boys!!" And I have found that to be SO true! :) I found you at Titus 2 Tuesday-- thanks for sharing!!

    ~Abby =)

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    1. So true! Strange things would be right on...

      Thanks for stopping by :)

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  21. Thank you for sharing your beautiful post about raising boys at "Tell Me a Story." Boys are certainly different than girls and this is good !!

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    1. I agree! God created us different for a reason, to be complements to one another :)

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  22. Hi Rachel! Thanks for linking up at Grace Everyday: Motivation Monday! I absolutely loved this post! Boys are so not like girls, I have yet to read the book Raising Boys, but I just loved all the truths you shared and I had to chuckle at the insects one. My son loves bugs and worms, my daughter runs from them! So funny how God created us all so different! Thanks for sharing! - Amber @graceeveryday.org

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    1. Ha ha!! My daughter has just adapted by becoming just as interested in the bugs now...I guess if you can't beat em, join em ;)
      Thanks for stopping by Amber!!

      Delete
  23. Yes, they will make guns out of ANYTHING! I have four boys and even wrote a book about it, Rachel.

    Do I have one to add? Yes. With boys, there's always competition -- and that never ends, no matter how old they are! My oldest is married and the youngest is a college boy, and I still hear myself saying, "It's not a competition, guys..." But it is. (Thankfully, a healthy and good-natured one at this point.) Great to "meet" you!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I heard about your book from another blogger...what is the title? Is it an E book? I'd love to check it out & even recommend it to others :)
      Thanks for sharing & stopping by!

      Delete
  24. I've got 5 of them and you're so right! I remember looking down my nose at my SIL who let her son play with guns. I now have about 100 toy guns in my house. LOL Thanks for a great laugh!!

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    1. Wow...five of them! Must be lots of fun around there ;)
      I hear you about the guns; lots in our home as well!!

      Delete
  25. We have a girl who is 3 and a boy who is almost 2, and I can't agree more with you that boys and girls are innately different! We've never pushed "boy" stuff on our son, but from a small baby he was making his spoon have broom-broom noises, and he's just always loud, tough (he cries when he gets hurt, runs over for a kiss, and then he's done with being hurt), messy, rough. It's so fun seeing the differences that God gave my kids- that no one taught them!
    Jamie
    coffeewithus3.blogspot.com

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    1. Mine were like that too...never had to 'teach' them all the rough and tumble.
      Even today my kids decided to play an animal game on their break. I can hear in the background my daughter pretending to be a sweet baby animal...then I hear her brothers screaming they want to 'eat her up'!! It just amazes me the differences.

      Delete
  26. Soooo true - after three girls, three grandsons were a total difference and a total joy as well. Now I'm up to 11+ grandkids - 50/50 - and they all continue to be a blessing and soooo different yet so sweet. Thanks for the fun smiles.

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    1. What a blessing! 11+ grandkids, that's so awesome!!
      Glad I could bring you a smile :)

      Delete
  27. Raising three boys and raised with four. You are right on with your assessment, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Interestingly, my only daughter loves to wrestle with her brothers, and she refuses dolls. Still there is a gentler side to her.
    Keep sharing it, Rach. We need to counter this silly notion that boys and girls are alike.

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    1. It's also interesting to me to hear from all the mothers with similar stories as mine....I don't think that's a coincidence :)

      Thanks again Julie for stopping by!

      Delete
  28. We had our girl first and then our boy. From day 1 we'd say he was so very different than her. As he continued to grow (and continues to) we know for certain there is a different between boys and girls! This was a great post. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Thanks Ruthie so much for stopping by!

      PS It's interesting when you have both and can see it play out in your own family :)

      Delete
  29. We have 2 boys & 2 girls. Our boys are chalk & cheese. 1 is considered your typical 100% boy while the other is very boyish who LOVES babies, playing with dolls & sisters & cooking. Very different to girls but precious in their uniqueness :)

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    1. Yes, I agree. Boys can definitely still be a wide spectrum of personalities...while retaining their unique masculinity :)
      Thanks so much for stopping by!!

      Delete
  30. Boys are so different. I had to change our wrestling rule to only with daddy, too! Thank you for the wonderful post!

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    1. Ha ha! So it's not just in our home then?
      Thanks so much for stopping by :)

      Delete
  31. EEK! I LOVED that Harmon Killebrew quote. And the rest of the post for that matter! Boys are an absolute blast!

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    1. Agree totally!! Thanks for coming by Sarah :)

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  32. Oh boy are boys different. I have three of them too and while the first one is totally climbing impaired, your list would most certainly describe them.

    I wouldn't trade it for the world.

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    1. I hear yah! I feel the same way as well. They definitely spice up our home lives ;)
      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Delete
  33. When I came across this Blog post I had to laugh! Only a Mom of a son will understand and nod with a slight smile with a look on their face as to say, " you will never win, so you just gotta hang on and go along for the ride".
    I really enjoyed reading this and thinking about how I felt when I was pregnant with my own son. He was my 2nd child and my 1st was a daughter. My children are very different. I do feel I have raised them and treated them the same, but gender really does effect certain character traits I think. I love my Boy though and have enjoyed every hair pulling, exhausted, huggable moment so far :)

    ~Keri
    http://homeschoolmom82.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing Keri! It's interesting to see all the differences play out, isn't it?
      Thanks so much for stopping by :)

      Delete
  34. Awesome post. It's difficult for me to compare girls to boys but thanks for making me smile. It makes me relive some of my childhood memories.

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    1. Haha! Me too...with two rambunctious brothers, I have quite a few stories I could share about them as well ;)
      Thanks so much for stopping by.

      Delete
  35. YES! My son will even turn a piece of paper into a gun! LOL! New follower here, would love it if you checked out and followed my blog too! :)

    Celena
    http://mystayathomemamalife.blogspot.com/

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    1. On to check it out!!

      Thanks so much for stopping by :)

      Delete
  36. As dad to three girls, I'm often asked, "don't you wish you'd had a boy?" My girls played with toy cars when they were little - they'd crash them like boys, but also pair up the little cars (babies) with the big cars (mommies).

    Today? They paint their nails, but will get into a knock-down-drag-out wrestling match over which color they want to use.

    So, I kind of have the best (?) of both worlds!

    Loved reading this post to get some perspective from the other side. I'm here thanks to our common friend, Tracie, and her recycling project.

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    1. It certainly sounds like a lot of fun in your household!

      You know, I have to add that our one and only daughter so far, has picked up on many of the male behaviours being raised with alongside her three brothers. She likes to rough it. She isn't scared of bugs. She plays in the dirt...yet, she still is way more sensitive and cuddly and will sit still three times better!

      I enjoy all of my children though, and I can see you do too :)

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Rach

      Delete
  37. I grew up with boy cousins, and they were exactly like this!! But I will say that my daughter has got a gifting in that whole limitless energy thing - she never stops going.

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    1. Sounds like you had a taste of what I'm talking about growing up! I had two brothers, but since I was a bit older I didn't interact with them as much as my friends.
      Yes, my daughter is quite energetic too :) Just not at the same level & intensity as my sons. Thanks so much for stopping by Tracie!!

      Delete
  38. It's so funny about the guns! We were very strict about the kids playing with guns, and sure enough, they made them out of anything they could find around the house. Go figure?

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    1. Anything will do, won't it?? I've heard that from numerous moms :)

      Thanks so much for stopping by Adrienne!!

      Delete
  39. What a great read. I totally asked a million pals for book recommendations when I found out we were having a boy, since I feel like I'm clueless about raising a son. Mine's still tiny, but it's great to see what your boys are into and to get a Dr. Dobson book recommendation. Thank you so much for linking up at the Mommy Brain Mixer this week. You seriously have no idea how much I needed to read this!

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  40. Not sure if my 1st comment went through, so sorry if this is a duplicate. Thank you so much for sharing what your boys are into. When I found out I was pregnant with a son, I raced to my friends for book recommendations about raising sons, something about which I still feel clueless. Can't wait to request this book and to keep up with your site. Thanks so much for posting at the Mommy Brain Mixer this week Rach. It's great to have you in our community.

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  41. I'm dreading the day my little boy wants to hang out with daddy and not me... until then he'll be Mommy's Little Prince!

    ReplyDelete

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