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Are you a “Boy Mom”? I hear that term a lot now… and as a mom of boys myself, I wanted to tell you just why I love being a boy mom.
Yes, I love being a mom to three boys and a girl. They’re all such wonderfully unique and interesting people. However, I very quickly learned that raising boys is a lot different than raising a girl. When my friend announced that she was having a boy after already having two girls, I smiled and chuckled, because there’s a lot I learned about being a boy mom… through experience.
Boys are Energetic. REALLY Energetic.
Remember being 21, able to stay up almost all day and night, and still keep going? Now, multiply that by about a billion and you have the energy of a toddler boy.
Boys have a tremendous amount of energy and if you don’t give them an outlet for it, they can easily become a whirlwind in your home. It’s not that they’re trying to be naughty or want to destroy your furniture, they just need to run and jump and expend that extra energy. I love this PBS article that talks about the difference between energy and aggression. So many times boys are seen as being aggressive when their constant movement is actually just part of their normal development.
The article goes on to say “A recent Harvard University study states that, “By school age, the average boy in a classroom is more active than the girls — even the most active girls don’t seem to express their energy in the unrestrained way characteristic of most boys.”
While these findings support a stereotype some in our society have worked to eradicate, ask a kindergarten teacher and you’ll likely hear that this description is true. “I’ve been teaching young boys for over 25 years and I don’t see that their activity levels have changed, but our expectations for how long they have to sit still have dramatically increased,” says teacher Jane Katch, author of Under Deadman’s Skin: Discovering the Meaning of Children’s Violent Play.
“And that’s a problem for a lot of boys. Some boys in my class need to move a lot. I call them ‘high energy boys.’ These boys simply can’t sit still as long as most of the girls. They don’t have the fine motor skills girls do, so many will make big constructions like block towers, while girls will work on smaller, more delicate pictures.”
Now, if your son is being aggressive – think hitting, kicking, punching, biting, etc. – don’t write that off as normal energy. Know the difference between aggression and energy, so that your son can grow to be the type of boy you want him to be. Don’t try to squash their energy though, just redirect it into something constructive and positive. Team sports, martial arts, and even an hour at the playground are all great outlets.
Yet, not ALL boys are so energetic. “Not all boys want to compete in sports, wrestle, and shoot guns. It’s important to remember that there are quiet boys and studious and bookish boys as well, and this is perfectly normal,” states Michael Thompson, co-author of Raising Cain.
Boys are Sweethearts.
So often we think of girls as being the cuddly, snuggly ones, but I am here to tell you that boys are too. Being a mom of boys means endless cuddles, hugs galore, and many kisses on the cheek. Nurture that gentle, kind side of them as much as you encourage them to be brave and strong. I’ve also learned that boys pick up on their dad’s cues too, so if your husband brings you flowers (Mickey picks up my favorite white flowers when he’s at the store, so I can have them on the kitchen table), don’t be surprised to find a dandelion bouquet coming your way from your adorable sons.
All Boys are Different.
As the mom of three boys, I want to shout from the rooftops that all boys are different. Yes, they almost always have a lot of energy and, yes, they are almost always sweethearts, but they are all different. Each of my sons has a personality that makes them uniquely them. Where one loves building, but not sports… another loves sports and isn’t so crazy about building. Their likes and dislikes make them each special, but all boy.
Being a mom to three sons is one of the best things to happen to me. It’s made me try new things and step out of my comfort zone as I work to relate to them and explore their interests. Above all though, being a mom of three amazing boys has taught me how important it is for us to model a strong, healthy relationship. They are taught to be kind to others and they will know how to treat their wives one day because we are already stressing how to treat their younger sister and their mom.
Raising them to have a spirit of respect and kindness will always be more important than any touchdown or award they receive. Enjoy being a mom of little boys, because it’s like nothing else you’ll ever experience!