I will be very honest with you: I am a girly girl. I grew up an only child raised by a single mother and was a pink-wearing, Barbie doll-toting, Tinkerbell lip gloss-wearing little diva. Its just who I
When that first ultrasound (and the next, and the next!) came back with “It’s a boy!” typed across my grainy peanut I was a little nervous. What did I know about raising boys? Nothing. But over the course of the past five years and three little boys later I have a few grains of wisdom I wish I could share with my younger self:
Boys need dirt.
This is the first on the list because it seems to me to be one of the most fundamental facets of boy-ness and something that is just so foreign to my natural prissiness. I remember moving into on-base housing when my oldest son was just five months old and upon seeing a sandbox in the backyard I remarked to my husband “Why would I put my child in the dirt to play?”
Yeah, I’m that girl.
Fast forward five years and we are moving into our new home this week and priority numero uno is get those boys a giant sandbox built!! Give a boy a giant pile of dirt, I’ll show you a happy boy. I don’t understand it but I can respect it.
|Image via artfire.com|
Boys need to be active, loud, and outdoors
I was a bookworm. I read voraciously growing up and you could often find me curled up with a book in my room. I am an introvert by nature and can easily sit in silence for hours on end.
Enter into my life a husband and three little boys and silence and stillness are things of the past.
Boys need to run, jump, tumble, and yell. It’s what they do and if they don’t have the opportunity to do it in a constructive way they will do it in a destructive way.
The book Wild Things:The Art of Nurturing Boys is a must-read for all mothers and caregivers of boys and recommends outside time each day for boys, with at least once a week being in a new place away from the home. This satisfies their need to get energy out and explore. When I make the boys having loud outside time a priority in our days the rest of the day goes significantly better.
Boys can be incredibly tender
While my sons have never taken to a “lovey” or tended to stuffed animals and dolls the way I did as a child they are incredibly loving and have a tenderness that I never expected. I am surprised still daily by the calm gentle moments that come from out of nowhere when I’m given a flower from the yard, told I’m a beautiful princess, hear those magic words “I love you Mommy,” or even just cuddled on the couch. Having not grown up around boys I did not expect the free and generous expressions of love that I get from my boys (albeit in between bouts of dinosaur wrestling and jungle explorations!)
While this isn’t a comprehensive list, and may not apply to all little boys-these are the top things that I have learned and surprised me about raising my little boys. And as I’ve now accepted that Barbies aren’t in my future (until maybe granddaughters!) I have embraced the boy-dom that God has chosen to bless me with. So if you need to know all about diggers, trains, or dinosaurs-I’m you’re girl!
What have you learned about raising boys? For those that have children of both genders are there pronounced differences?