Being a mom of a boy is something special. It is different than having girls. I love my girls. But having a boy is just different. He responds differently than my girls. He plays different. Reacts differently. Loves differently. Thinks differently.
One time when my son was two years old and supposed to be taking a nap, he was being sneaky and took an entire box of Capri Sun’s into his bed. When I found him he had already consumed 4 or 5 of them.
When he was six he took a screwdriver and inserted it into the electrical outlet on our porch. I was not aware of what he had done until a few second’s later when I heard him yell and saw the charred white wall.
Another time he injected himself in the thumb with his own EpiPen and tried to hide the evidence. He probably would have gotten away with it, if I had not seen the bloody splatter marks all over the bathroom mirror and sink.
He is 100% boy. Mud, dirt, and grease are his trademarks. He cleans up well for church, but before we leave church he is dirty and sweaty.
He has his own tool box full of tools, it would rival the average man’s tool box. He knows how to use the tools, though not always in a way his dad and I would approve of.
A few words come to mind when I think of my son:
- Master Lego builder
- Creative genius
- Entrepreneurial spirit
- Mama’s boy
- Daddy’s right hand man
- Backwards shirt
- Inside out blue jeans
- Shoes on wrong feet
- Socks often worn for days
Last week when he was home from spring break he kept talking about bow and arrows. He does not have one. The kid got creative and made his own. He cut a tree branch and by using his knife he whittled it to sharp perfection. Then he created the bow out of a curved red pine branch. He used rubber bands tied together for the string. Guess what, it works perfectly. He played with it for days. It worked so well, he made one more to use.
A few days after he made the bow and arrow, I picked up some pallets for him to use. He eventually plans on using the wood to make some things, but for now he has created his own pallet fort outside. The fort has a top, bottom, and sides. With so many children we had to get more pallets so each one could have their own pallet fort.
Just last week my son (9) and I had a long discussion on his future. We talked about what his interests were and what he was good at and wanted to be better at. He is not a huge fan of school, but is a hands on learner.
College may not be for him, but it is certainly not too early to teach him to recognize what direction he may go. We talked about collegeschool. He likes the idea of attending a career tech school while in high school.
So what can you do as a mom to raising a boy, no matter what age?
- Let him be messy. Be creative. Give him materials to allow that to happen. It does not have to cost money. We used free pallets from a local business. Allow him to get creative and resourceful.
- Spend some time watching and observing him in his natural environment. What does he seem to gravitate towards? Books? Music? Tools? Outside? Armed with that knowledge allow him to cultivate and pursue his own interests. Let him make mistakes. He will learn from them. He will get stronger.
- Talk about career choices. Talk about college. Talk about the armed forces. Talk about trade schools. Go visit them. Let him visit different job sites to get an idea of what his aptitude may be.
- Talk about girls. Talk about how girls should be treated. Talk about marriage. Talk about his expectations some day as a father and husband. Teach him how to treat women with respect (open doors for them, boundaries, be respectful).
- Pray with him. Teach him to read the Bible. Model for him what is expected as a young Christian man.
- Show him affection. Just because he is a boy does not mean he cannot have hugs and kisses. Even though my son is ‘too cool’ to be seen with me, he still sits on my lap or snuggles up to me.
- Allow for ample opportunities for physical activity. Turn off the television and video games. Get outside and play. Ride bikes or go for a walk. Throw a baseball or football around.
- Allow for the goofiness. My son is silly. He does not do well with mushy displays of affection. When he is uncomfortable he gets goofy and starts acting silly. I realize he is uncomfortable and needs a way to decompress. On the other hand, there are times he is just goofy.
- Give him responsibilities. My son does minor household repairs, yard work, and can haul wood. He also does dishes and laundry. “Ingraining responsibility in children is not a trick, but is simply teaching them life skills,” says , Psy.D., author of “The 9 Key Techniques for Raising Respectful Children Who Make Responsible Choices.” “Kids who do not have responsibilities feel entitled and think the world will always do for them.”
- Try to look beyond the dirt and noise. There will be a lot of it. Enough said…
Above all, enjoy your son. Tell him you love him. Show him you love him. Remember they are only little once.
I need to go clean up the tsunami that hit the master bath a few minutes ago. Army men, hot wheels cars, and barbies without heads are sure to greet me where my son took his bath a short while ago…..