Do you have boys?
I have 3 of them!
I love being the mom of 3 boys. Sometimes it can seem like an overwhelming challenge especially as they reach their tween years, I share a little about this tween journey here, but nonetheless, it’s definitely an adventure. Here’s a picture of my precious little men from a couple of years ago. I just love how my little guy is looking at his older brothers as he figures out how to pose.
I grew up with brothers so I went into this parenting boys thing with an attitude of “I’ve got this down.” Oh, was I so wrong. The more I dive into the world of boys, I realize there is so much I don’t know and much less understand, as a female. And then there are the things I just don’t want to understand.
But nonetheless, as mothers it’s our hope to raise boys who not only stand up for what is right but also do what is right. Raise boys who aren’t afraid to show their emotions or to apologize when they are wrong. Boys who respect women and have healthy relationships with others. Boys who honor God and serve others.
Though we may never fully understand our boys, and it will never be our goal to try to tame them, we can do a better job by coming alongside of them and helping them on their treacherous journey to becoming men.”
Here I am playing basketball with one of my boys. It’s his love language–play (a sport) with me. So, I do.
Yes, I’m wearing sandals and my purse around me while playing basketball with my son. YES, I did make it in from the 3 point line, lots of times!
So I’ve started a series on my blog: “All Things Boys the Art of Mothering Little Men!” and I’ve created a Facebook Group for us so that we can sojourn this beautiful and challenging journey of raising our boys. The more we understand them the better we can care for them. You can join the Facebook Group by asking to join here. Feel free to go on their introduce yourself and let us know how many boys you have. Also, let me know what kind of topics you want me to discuss in my series!
We will kickoff our series next week going through the book Wild Things by Stephen James and David S. Thomas. My hope was to have already gotten it started but March is a crazy month for our family.
8 Things Mom of Boys Need to Know
1. They are tenderhearted even though they want to appear tough. My boys have the most loving and tender hearts, that instantly melt mine. Even my rough and tough little guy is always finding ways to sneak me a hug, a flower, a kiss and yes even bugs. They aren’t nearly as complex as us females but they are ever so tender and easily hurt. I share here on how they cuddle.
2. Shopping and more shopping. Oh my word, I can’t stress this enough, because you would think you wouldn’t have to with boys, but it’s a different kind of shopping. It’s more like emergency shopping, they have a school function and you ask them for the 4th time to go upstairs and put on some good pants but ALL of their pants have some kind of hole in them. So with boys you’re doing basics shopping all the time because they can’t manage to keep one pair of good pants, shoes or socks. Between 3 boys we go through at least 35 pairs of pants a year. Simply because they play hard and we are an outdoorsy family, so between riding bikes, hiking or just leisurely walking in the neighborhood some how they manage to rip holes into those jeans and ruin those shoes. Plus I think pants and shoes are not made as durable these days. Oh and those shirts have permanent stains on them ALL the time. Just this morning I asked my son to put on a clean shirt 4 times because every shirt had permanent stains on them even though it was washed and clean.
3. There’s always a villain to be captured and someone to be saved. Even though I grew up with brothers this was something I didn’t realize until I had my own boys–there are super heroes ALWAYS in their imaginative world. I asked my son one day what is the most important thing you can do as an adult he replied with, “Help someone who is hurting or needs help! Take care of my wife and kids.”
4. Our boys want, seek and need our approval. I realize that both moms and dads play an important role in raising our boys to be healthy young men but I had no idea how much our boys long to please us–moms. Just like I wanted to please both my parents but for whatever reason pleasing my father was of utter importance. In the same way, I see it with boys. Dr. Lehman puts it like this:
You see, our son is hiding a secret from you. He’ll never reveal it straight out, so I’ll say it plainly. Your boy wants to please you. And that driving need will stay with him for a lifetime.
5. You may need tweezers and gloves to go through the pockets of their pants. I have found everything from chicken bones, dirty napkins, bugs, rocks, grass… in my boys pant pockets. So, consider yourself warned when something is moving when you reach in.
6. Vroom! Bang! Crash! Boys may not squeal and let me tell you I’m very thankful for this. Especially after a playdate with my son and 3 other girls, but they do make noise and lots of it! My son spends his play time making car, plane, train, crash, bang, vroom… noises, for hours. I don’t know what it is about crashing things but they love doing this over and over again.
7. Our boys can’t focus on more than one thing. A females brain for the most part is able to jump from one hemisphere of the brain to the next, on the other hand the male brain stays focused on one side at a time. So when we go to them and ask them to clean up their room, then we go off on how the last few times they hid things under the bed, stuffed clean clothes in the laundry basket, how this only proves what you told them last week and how upset this made you because now you can’t trust them… Yup, you lost them! This pivotal piece of information totally change how I ask my kids to do chores, or other tasks especially one child who has a hard time focusing just in general.
8. They eat a lot. For the most part boys eat a lot especially compared to girls. I’m constantly amazed how my oldest son can eat double of what I just had and still want dessert. So don’t be surprised if your family becomes a 2 chicken family by the time they’re tweens. That’s what we call a family who eats 2 whole chickens at one meal. I knew boys ate a lot because I grew up with brothers but I didn’t realize that it would start so early. They are constantly asking for snacks to the point that I had to get firm and make a snack time. Now they know that they have two snacks throughout the day. That’s it! Maybe that will change as they get older but for now my 12, 9 and 5 year old can expect two healthy snacks throughout the day.
Okay, so there’s actually more!
9. Another thing is boys like adventure, they seek out adventure even if they are a bit timid, they still look for it. One of my boys doesn’t really like climbing trees or jumping off things but he still seeks out adventure in his own way. Like starting a fire in our lawn using a magnifying glass (shown above). One day, I walked out to see what they were doing and guess what I found? A group of 6 boys huddled over my oldest as they expectantly watch for a blazing fire to take over the lawn. Seriously, no joke. But in their defense they did have a small bottle of water to tame the blazing fire.
10. Boys love to line things up. I thought this was worth mentioning especially if you’re a first time mom of a boy. Every little boy I have ever been around loves to line up things, their cars, trucks, toys, blocks… I mention this because the first time I noticed this pattern in my first born I was worried. I had in the past worked with special need kids and this is something they LOVED doing so I wondered if I had to get my boy checked. Thankfully, one day I ended up going to playgroup filled with boys and quickly I realized it was normal.
No matter what age they are they will experience rough and tumble. As moms we must realize our boys live in a tough world and it’s even harder on them if they are smaller, not as strong or more docile. We need to ask God for wisdom and discernment to know when to jump in and help them and when to let them tough it out. There have been various situations when I’ve had to step away and let my husband call the shots even if I totally disagree. The momma bear in me says, “NO way!” and the papa bear in my husband says, “He’s got it, let him do it.” Most of the time I realize it’s my over protective mama self speaking so I reluctantly tell my husband, “You do what’s best but in my opinion this is too much. If you think he’s got this then do what you need to do.”, because I know it’s what’s best for my son.