Raising Boys

Hello Beautiful Momma,

Today I’m talking about all things BOYS!

If you’re raising girls, this will apply too.

Now, I am no expert at all (my boys are still young) nor do I claim to be.

But I know a God who is.

You see, there is this little boy who calls me mom. He was placed into my arms almost 8 years ago.

And soon after…God placed one more boy into my arms. He will be turning 5 this summer.

DSC_1280

The morning after his arrival, I remember wrapping my firstborn into a blanket and walking around the delivery room with him in my arms. His gentle little movements felt just like they did when I was carrying him for 9 months under my heart.

I was overwhelmed at the miracle of life.

Completely overcome with humility.

Thankfulness bursting out of my heart.

All discomfort forgotten because there was this incredible little human that I knew was mine for a time.

Thank you Jesus.

Thank you Jesus.

I am unworthy. Thank you God.

That day, I vowed to do everything I could with my husband to raise up all of our children in the best way we possibly could.

DSC_1301
Samuel (7) & Joshua (4)

But as time went on, I realized it wasn’t an easy task.

Boys can be rambunctious and they love to test limits.

Naturally, they want to dominate.

Constantly needing to move around.

It’s a whirlwind.

But God is faithful. If we come to him and ask for wisdom, He gives it to us. Oftentimes in the most unlikely moments.

And where do we go to find it?

On our knees.

I’m telling you. There’s no shortcut.

I try not to rely on parenting books.

I see how uniquely God made each one of my boys and I desire the Lord to give me a personal vision on how to raise them.

and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind… {Eph.4.23}

God, please personally speak into my heart.

Guide me as a mother. Show me the way I should go.

I recognize the need of nuance in my approach to each one.

DSC_1313
Don’t let their smiles fool ya 🙂

So, here’s what I think is most important to keep in mind if you are a momma of boys..

001. Give them space to be rowdy. It’s completely normal for boys (and girls) to have a lot of energy. Take them to the playground. Find a patch of grass in your neighborhood and let them kick a soccer ball. Go on walks outside. Explore new territory. If weather doesn’t permit, get creative. Is there an indoor playground in your area? Find out their slow times. If you’re home, have a wrestling match on the carpet. Play thumb war.  Boys love to compete.
002. Prepare them. Boys love to know what to expect. If you’re going to the store, or church, or anywhere else you need them to be quiet…be positive and make your expectations clear beforehand. Explain. Walk them through the scenario.
003. Give them jobs. Boys love to be in control of their environment. Let them feel like they have some level of responsibility. My preschooler behaves well at the store when he gets to carry something for me. He loves to carry his own Bible to church. It makes boys feel grown-up  and channels all that healthy energy into something good. It’s normal for boys to be fidgety. Let them bring something to fiddle with, a small toy of choice. A look-and-see-book. It’s not reasonable to expect a small child to sit like a robot.
004. Validate them. Sometimes boys can get aggressive and angry because they feel like nobody hears them out. Acknowledge their feelings. This is something I first learned about in a psychology class. The power of validation. In essence, that’s what professional counseling is. “You feel angry right now. You are upset.” Statements like that can be so empowering to a small child. Sometimes when my son comes to me in frustration over something that happened between his brother, I simply validate his feelings and redirect him to go work it out. “You are very upset. It hurts your feelings when ____.”  I’m telling you. It works on adults. It works on boys too.

And just for fun I asked my 7-year-old son for advice on raising boys. Here’s what he said:
005. “Don’t panic if they’re acting bad. You just need to talk a little bit and work stuff out.” So. good. Out of the mouth of babes. I can’t say enough how many times I’ve had the same conversations with my boys before bed about earlier adventures. “Remember today when __?”It’s not a guilt trip. It’s a teachable moment. If they’re old enough to, ask them to answer prompts like, “What will you do differently next time? Or, “Why do you think that’s not okay? Keep having those chats. You may not see results right away, but believe me one day you will. It works.

006. They’re not always intentionally defying you.  Such truth. Oftentimes our own insecurities get muddled in our parenting. The reason boys run around and act goofy, is because it feels good. They’re not purposefully trying to make our lives difficult. Also, because boys are so energetic they often burn up their calories quicker than we think. Don’t despair. Sometimes all they need is a good meal and a nap.

007. Set boundaries. I love using the analogy of bridges for this. If you’re driving on a bridge without any boundaries of sort on the side, you won’t feel safe. What if your car veers off? There is nothing there to stop you. No. We need boundaries. We need those powerful cement wall. Same goes for children. Neglecting to set limits is actually going to make your child feel more vulnerable – increasing attitude and misbehavior. We believe in setting firm boundaries for our boys. Yes. That means at times even using a paddle on their behinds when it’s appropriate. (Never do this in anger or the heat of the moment).

008. Boys go through stages. Maybe you’re the mom who is dealing with a very powerful child. He doesn’t obey. He pushes limits without end. Momma, it will not always be this way. Be consistent. Give them grace and be firm. Eventually they learn to use their words instead of throwing tantrums. And those embarrassing outbursts? They will end. Stay calm and carry on. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

 

 

DSC_1163
Now…I’m only 19 months into it, but I’m starting to suspect all of the above applies to raising girls as well, if not more 🙂

DSC_1276

DSC_1260
The usual. Toddler on the run. The boys and I running after her.
DSC_1250
Exploring the outdoors.  Of course, they never stay on the path. That’s how they find all the neat things!
DSC_1302
Gotta love boys. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

 

 

 

 

More Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *