My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
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 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.***
Help keep me on the TOP TEN LIST. A simple click will do...with much thanks!