It became apparent to me that raising children may not be as easy as it may seem to observe from a distance. Just recently I was thinking that I am really missing having children from my life, had some thoughts about it and decided to asked my best friend what is her experience raising her two sons.
She looked at me with sad eyes at first and then took a deep breath. It’s no secret that most boys are active, loud, rambunctious, and are prone to rough house. “I was not interested in having kids to be honest, like most mothers, this was the last thing on my mind. It was about building my business and enjoying my marriage. The marriage was not going so well and so I decided to wait before I even think of bringing children into the world.
Before I could say puff, there they were, two sons and a failed relationship.
I had no choice than to accept the challenge of raising my two boys, so I started reading and hearing all the horror stories that mothers would experience raising boys. It’s no joke, raising boys will knock the daylight out of you whether you are prepared or not, and especially if you are a single parent”.
Before losing your temper, we have the tips to keep you sane while parenting boys:
It can be disturbing when a child is drawn to toy weapons or violent video games, but what parents see as violence (a child pretending to kill a bad guy), the child sees as a dream of saving the world. Pretend play involving fantasy aggression — whether it’s cops and robbers or zombie apocalypse — can be a useful way for boys to understand right and wrong. Plus, these games can often promote friendships and self-confidence. Gloria DeGaetano, founder of the Parent Coaching Institute, remembers that she vowed never to buy her sons toy guns, but “of course, sticks only lasted so long as magic wands; soon they became rifles and swords. When my friend found a stale peanut butter sandwich in the shape of a gun stuffed under the couch pillow, she waved the white flag.” She purchased age-appropriate toys and came to understand that imaginative play is fine as long as a child isn’t interested in hurting anyone.
Encourage emotional expression
As boys develop an active role in accepting their sensitive side, it may become easier for them to talk about their feelings. Explaining an emotion can help dispel aggravation and reduce the likelihood of an emotional outburst. Family men in a young boy’s life can help him understand feelings by modelling positive ways to express their own emotions. It may take a while for boys to develop the skill of talking about their thoughts and feelings, so be patient and encouraging. If it is clear, though, that something is wrong but your son doesn’t want to talk, avoid pushing him to do so and take a break from asking him questions. Instead, simply give him a hug and let him know you?ll be around when he’s ready to talk.
Model Good behaviour
Even when you’re stressed about feisty behaviour, it’s important to keep calm. “One thing parents should avoid is responding to aggressive play with punitive, aggressive behaviour of their own. Although a spanking or severe scolding may stop the behaviour for the moment, children who are punished severely are actually more likely to behave aggressively in the long run,” Edwards says. Instead, model polite behaviour and be sure to praise kids when they are well-mannered. Be interested in their interests, like bugs or robots, and ask questions about them. Then, praise your kids if they store up knowledge about different insects or if they take good care of prized toys.
Look beyond the noise
The ring around the tub may be darker than it’s ever been, but sometimes the best way to achieve peace of mind is to let things go. Remember that dirt washes off but memories of fun play can last for years. As a mother of two boys, Fran Mair used to scrub her baseboard with a toothbrush, but she eventually learned to take house cleaning less seriously. “Somewhere along the way, I realized I could torture myself and my boys by trying to keep everything perfect, or I could relax and let us all enjoy life a little more.” So allow boys to play in the mud, sectioning off an area of the yard if needed. As long as the play is safe and the kids are healthy, a hose can solve most mud problems.
As for noise, designate an area in your home. Say to them you can play here and there, but there are areas they should not go and play, like in your bedroom, there must be a place that they should respect as being off limit or utilize a bedroom farther away from communal rooms. But if you still can’t handle a high decibel level in your home, take your kids to a nearby playground or park where they can let loose, scream, yell, and release their energy. After a stint of running and boisterous behaviour, everyone can reconvene in the household kitchen for a mellow, well-deserved snack.
I can hear her now, that was a good read, but sometimes after doing all that you still get up frustrated and wish you could just flush them down the tube, then a smile would come over her face when she talks about her little one, how loving he is, the hugs and kisses she would get from him and that would make her day.
It is certainly a challenge raising boys, however, remember that they grow fast, so take the time to enjoy them.