This week in our sort-of-kind-of book club we are in Chapter 2 and we are discussing boys whom the authors call “The Lover” which are boys in between the ages of 5-8. Join our FB group All Things Boys: The Art of Mothering our Little Men.
Here are some of the characteristics the authors share to describe our boys ages 5-8 that they call “Lover”. Obviously, some of these may not apply to your son and some may apply to your daughter and that’s okay. You can read all of chapter 2 to get all of the great tips and points shared in the book Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas.
- Much more talkative than before.
- They start exploring their creative side and enjoy more than coloring.
- They are tenderhearted and extremely kind.
- They’ll experience their first spiritual awakening. My son definitely started asking me more questions about God as of late.
- They are concrete thinkers and see life through this lens.
- 5-6 year olds have the ability to be extremely and and have a tenderness about them.
- They begin to develop a strong sense of right and wrong. So you might start hearing a lot of “That’s not fair.”
- Also with their heightened emotional awareness they become more aware of the darkness, noises at night and monsters under their bed.
- Also, at this point our boys begin to turn their attention and focus it on dad. If you’re single ask an uncle, g-pa or other male figure you trust to spend some time with your son. They don’t necessarily even crave organized events they just want to be around the males in their life more.
- At this age they also begin craving more one on one time with parents and wanting to please them and other authority figures in their life.
- They become very competitive at this stage.
So we’ll focus on this last point. We can use their competitiveness to our advantage and have them beat their time from the night before for getting in the bath or doing a chore…
Learning to deal with loss and disappointment is hard for all of us but if we start encouraging our boys to do this at young age they will be better off as adults. Below I share tips on ways to help our boys channel their frustration and funnel that energy towards something positive. Also, know that the younger our boys are the more likely it will be harder for them to control their frustrations with losing. Don’t let this scare you and keep you from playing games together. Instead see this as a built in teaching moments for them.
Teaching Our Boys to Be Good Losers and Winners
As you will see a lot of these points can apply to both girls and boys but since I’m a mother of 3 boys I share from my perspective as a mother of boys. Also, note that boys of any age can learn about being good losers it’s not just for our boys in the “lover” stage.
Practice losing. Your home environment should be the place where your children feel the safest to lose. If they don’t I highly encourage you to take a moment and see where you may be sending messages to your child that it’s not okay to lose either with your comments or body language. At home you can practice losing by doing some role play or by just playing a simple game with your kids and walk through the process of losing.
Practice positive responses to losing. Giving your kids the tools to share their frustration of losing in a healthy way is so important. So instead of saying, “Stop pouting because you lost. ” You can say, “I know it’s hard to lose so why don’t we practice sharing that in a healthy way. You can say, I really wanted to win but I didn’t, maybe next time I’ll win.”
Model healthy behavior. It’s hard for kids of all ages to lose, including adults. Even if we don’t say anything our demeanor and gestures sometimes speak louder than words. So next time you’re playing a game at home with the kids or you’re out with your buddies make sure your not modeling being a sore loser to your son. I give my kids high fives when I win and lose. I’ll say something like, “Good playing!”
Celebrate well. Explain to your kids that it’s okay to celebrate your victory but rubbing it in is not okay. Encourage them to tell the opposing team or person that they played well.
Be joyful for others victories. This is hard to do even as adults but it’s important that our kids start practicing this from a young age.
Tantrums don’t make us better. I’ve seen adults have tantrums either because they lost or their child lost at a game and it’s sad. Share with your child that having a tantrum won’t make you win next time so instead of using all of your energy on that why don’t you practice and figure out strategies so you can do better next time.
Don’t compare your kids. Don’t compare their abilities or make comments to them about what your other child or friend can do.
Someone has to come in 2nd place. Unfortunately, that’s hard to accept but it’s the facts of life. We can’t always be in first place.
You’ll be good at some things. Explain to them that they will be good at some things but they won’t be the best at everything.
Don’t be a sore loser. If you lost doesn’t give the right to kick, hurt or yell at someone. Sometimes kids take their toy away because they lost. Explain to our kids and give them examples of what sore losers do.
Losing is inevitable whether it’s something small or big so lets give our boys the skills to do it well even if it’s hard.