I took questions a couple weeks ago regarding this topic and I wanted to finally address those. I find it to be such an honor to raise boys; I am no expert but I do have great relationships with mine!
First off, when you get a hug from your boys, NEVER LET GO FIRST! As they get older, the hugs will be few and far between. I want them to feel safe with me.
Second, I want my kids to know “I love you the way you are” I want them to know they have value no matter what!
Third, get those boys outside. Boys tend to have a lot of pent up energy and I have found that letting them go outside and have that change in atmosphere helps them so much and I see a new side to them, this is the reason we go camping so often. Boys have this rugged sense of adventure and they just want to get out and get dirty and it is fun to see them out there being brave and strong!
Fourth, get them moving, boys benefit from big muscle movement. So even when it is winter and too cold to go out I let them scooter around inside or in the garage just to get some movement in! They are very physical so I let them wrestle each other which they love!
Fifth, don’t ask too many questions. As females we like to connect and converse, but boys and men don’t like that as much. So when they do talk, I listen and I act enthusiastic and interested no matter the topic. When we do talk, I let them lead the conversation and I try to only ask a few questions.
Sixth, silence is okay! Boys are comfortable in silence, just let it be. Sometimes on car rides the boys don’t say anything and I don’t want to hound them with questions so we just sit together in the quiet.
Seventh, let them be scared. When my boys come to me sacred, I validate and comfort them. I don’t tell them “you’re tough and brave you’ll be fine.”
Eighth, it is okay for boys to have feelings, boys are often told to stuff down their feelings and not to cry. It is healthy to let them attach words to their emotions and be able to identify what they are feeling. For generations men have suppressed feelings so I think it is important to let them open up.
Ninth, let them find their thrills (within reason of course), boys like thrill-seeking adventure and a sense of rebellion. Instead of getting mad at them, sometimes its good to turn your head to things as long as there is no serious damage that can be done. As long as its not illegal and no one is getting hurt, let them go have fun!
The tenth and final thing, EMBRACE THE MESS! Boys are a disaster, food everywhere, mud everywhere, trucks and cars all over the house etc. In my experience MESS = CREATIVITY & IMAGINATION! I leave paper and crayons out and just let them color and have fun and create. If I leave the mess out, they play! (I know it can be hard to leave the mess out mamas, but trust me it works!)
Let’s be grateful for the incredible responsibility of raising boys into good men! There are so many terrible and disgusting men out there doing horrible things; we have to change that! I am determined to raise HONEST, RESPONSIBLE, and RESPECTFUL men. As women and moms it can be hard to connect with our boys, but it is worth it, even if it means doing those things that don’t come naturally to us. THE WORLD NEEDS GOOD MEN!
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