These are they.
from left to right
the 3yr old, the 5 1/2 yr old, the 9 1/2 yr old, and the 37 1/2 yr old
me and the dog, well, we're the only female types in the mix
Since I'm a list person, I love to make them~I love to check them off~, I'm going make a list of valuable information on the topic Raising Boys: What NOT To Do.
*Please note, I am not an expert boyologist. I do have a lifetime (a whopping whole 37 yrs and 3 months) of experience of living with all boys with the exception of my mom...and then later my dog.
Raising Boys: What NOT To Do
experienced daughter, sister, wife, and mother of boys of various ages
1. When boys are babies, they are cute and cuddly. Do NOT neglect to cuddle and love on them. When they grow up they will somehow remember that you showed affection to them and care for them. I think it will help them trust you. This trust is crucial.
2. Do NOT take for granted the fact that boys will eventually be less interested in cuddling.
3. Do NOT ever, for any reason, at any age/stage of their growth and development turn your back on a boy. The consequences could be staggeringly shocking and regrettable...at worst. At best...well that remains to be seen. Never, ever, ever, turn your back on a boy.
4. Do NOT ever, under any circumstances, forget that boys are wired to be men. Male, manly, masculine, men. Don't forget it.
5. Do NOT ever under any circumstances question their masculinity or speak words to them or about them that would cause them to question their masculinity. For instance if a little baby boy toots in a diaper change and then giggles in pride...laugh with him and praise him! This may be his first demonstration of his masculinity. Or if a young boy, yours or someone else's, comes up to you with a grimmace and snarl on his face, arms flexed, staggering towards you and then he GROWLS and charges...SHRIEK! For heavens sake, let him know how convincing he is, for he really does think he is the HULK. Then later when you are at a sporting event watching a particular young man or 2...cheer loudly at their heroics...don't make too big a scene...but DON'T seem disinterested either. Let them know you are pulling hard for them. Much later when they are a man, DON'T be little or begrudge his chivalry, attempts at romance, etc. DON'T think that their hobby is dumb or that they can't do anything right. DON'T look for chinks in their armor.
6. Do NOT neglect to learn to speak their language. If your boy speaks sports, learn to speak it too. If he speaks Star Wars...learn it. NASCAR...yep, learn it too. Get the drift? You want a boy that knows he can talk to you about anything??? Start talking and L I S T E N I N G with interest about what INTERESTS him as early as possible. This will require an extra effort for most. BUT the pay off is huge.
7. Do NOT allow them to turn into couch potatos. Turn 'em loose! Give them some room to roam. Give them some scrap wood, some tools, and just set it out there in front of them like bait...see if they take it and then watch what they come up with. Boys need to be outside.
8. Do NOT make them go shopping with you unless absolutely necessary. Then when only necessary and they must go...plan a treat or two along the way. Boys of all ages like to know something good is coming if
they can just hold....on.
9. Do NOT make them avoid all puddles of water or mud.
10. Do NOT look for more ways to say "No" than "Yes"...this exasperates them.
11. Do NOT turn your nose up at the bouquets of weeds they bring you.
12. Do NOT let them see you dishevled and undone...all the time, or too often. Let 'em see you in your work clothes...working, let them see you relaxin', let 'em see you get dressed up...let 'em see you get out and play. Be in front of them all that God made us womenfolk to be. Not a spent, given up on your appearance, remant of the girl/woman you USED to be. You, their Mama, are the first glimpse of womanhood they will get. From their perception of you, they will formulate most of their strongest opinions of girls/women.
13. Do NOT neglect to fill their minds with information. Boys need to know the nuts and bolts of stuff...all kinds of stuff. Get them books with bugs and snakes. Read to them stories about the heroes of the Bible. When they get into superheroes find a way to connect those superhero qualities to the one true God...in a realistic way. Know what I mean? They need to know that God is bigger and more powerful than any "pretend" hero! AND they need to know that that same God loves THEM! AND has larger than life plans for their life! THAT makes them a HERO! And they are. They are someone's hero.
14. Do NOT neglect discipline. That word comes from the word "Disciple"...which meanst to train. Sometimes that training involves punishment. But shouldn't exclude the training. Punishment without training is fruitless. It doesn't model God either. Training with correction not only yields a better behavior, but more importantly a heart change. Good behavior from a resentful heart...is more like a robot than a man. Good behavior from a heart after God...that's a real man...that's what you're doing. You are training up boys to be men.
15. Do NOT ever forget to let them know you love them, that you're proud of them, and that you like them. Even if it embarrasses them a little...when they get older they act weird. Just never stop letting them know you love them.
Well, I hope this helps. This list is not all inclusive or complete. Feel free to share with us in the comments below!
P.S. We also homeschool, this is our 3rd year and all 3 boys are included. I'm still working on the time management, but a daily routine and keeping the calendar current helps. And we love the bear books and Mortimer Mouse books by Karma Wilson, The Little Golden Book Firetruck book and Little Active Minds Firetruck Book, The Friendly Book, What Do People Do All Day, Curious George Books, Eric Carle books, No No Jack!, Mr. Dog and several other favorite Golden Books, books by Doreen Cronin like the Duck books etc, The David books.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
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This post is for Marriage Monday. The general topic is "Adding Kids In The Mix". You can see other contributors at the above link.