Category Archives: Raising boys

Me first!

First born child.

Incredibly stubborn.

Strong willed.

Wants his way.

Demands to be first.

Pouting

Pouting (Photo credit: dadblunders)

Do you have a child like this? Do you know a child like this? Were you this child?

I am a pretty calm person. I don’t get irritated easily. I have no problem letting others go first. While I am incredibly determined, I do not have the “me first” nature. I’m sure I did at some point, but I can’t remember it.

When I became a Mom for the first time, it took me a while to realize that these were qualities that my first-born has.  Looking back, I see this from very early on. He was not a good sleeper. He did not like sleeping anywhere but his swing. It took trying different things, and talking to other Moms until I realized that it didn’t matter where he slept, as long as he slept!

I have struggled over the years to find a balance with this. It can be difficult. I want him to be determined. I want him to believe strongly in himself and not let others push him around. I want him to realize that he is uniquely made. I want him to know that he can do anything he sets his mind on. I want him to be a leader. But, with all of these things, I want him to understand that he needs to learn to put others first and not be selfish. I find this to be a constant learning battle as a parent.

We’ve been working with him for a long time on this. He’s gotten much better. But, lately, the me first attitude has been out in full force. We take family bike rides together, and he always wants to be first. He has a very hard time letting his younger brother lead. Don’t most big brothers?

A few weeks ago, he had an incident of needing to be first, and ended up tumbling with his brother on their bikes. He was scraped up. And I was irritated! Of course, I checked to make sure he was okay. But this flew out of my mouth. “This is exactly why we tell you that you don’t have to be first! People can get hurt. What were you thinking??”

It wasn’t one of my finest Mommy moments, as I didn’t show much grace. I was so frustrated that he could not understand what we’ve been trying to teach him. It just wasn’t sinking in.

Then it hit me. Aren’t we all like that sometimes?

Until we actually experience the mistake and the hurt associated with hit, we usually can’t learn the lesson. And as parents, I think it can be one of the hardest things we will have to do. Sometimes, we have to let our children fall and suffer the consequences in order to understand these important life lessons.

How do you handle the hard lessons with your children?

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Filed under Emotions, Life lessons, Motherhood, Raising boys

Kindergarten

Last week, my youngest son started all day kindergarten. I think about how crazy it is that these five and a half years have gone so quickly. I remember the day he was born. I was so sick from the anesthesia, and couldn’t hold him for 24 hours. It seemed like an eternity! Now, here he is starting in full day kindergarten.

My two boys are very different. As in night and day different. My oldest is a rule follower, first born-cautious, somewhat shy, and very responsible. My youngest is a loving, carefree explorer, who is full of life and constantly inquisitive about the world. He is intense, and on the move, non-stop. He has been since he came into this world.

He’s been in daycare and preschool, and is always described by his teachers as loving and ALL BOY. He has a hard time sitting still, and is very social. So, I have been expecting that his school experience was going to be somewhat different than my oldest son’s, who has only had one principal involved issue in four years in school, and very few minor incidents requiring a call home from the teacher.

Yes, I have already received two calls from the teacher. They happened in the first three full days of school. However, I am thankful that the teacher and I are working together to make sure that he has a great year, learns to adjust to school, but also keeps his wonderful spirit and not be stifled. I’m sure I’ll have many more posts to share throughout this kindergarten year!!

I am reading a cool book titled Wild Things, the art of nurturing boys. It is great at helping you understand the different ways that boys develop and what makes them unique. It also gives you practical advice on how to interact with them, and help nurture them into amazing young men. I have leard some great ideas for redirecting the energy of my youngest son. Also, the cover just captures the essence of so many boys I know!

As a Mom, one of the things I am working hard on is helping my boys understand their strengths from an early age. I want them to learn the importance of hard work, following the rules, and doing well in school. However, I am learning from this book, as well as talking to many other parents, that we also need to focus on helping them understand their unique gifts and empower them. They each have different ones, and sometimes I think those often get lost or hidden during these crucial elementary years. We are working to make sure that doesn’t happen.

How have you helped empower your children to embrace their unique gifts and personalities? I would love to hear from you!

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Filed under Family, Raising boys

I am not ready for this

Tonight, my two sons and I went on a bike ride to a park in the next subdivision. They are 8 and 5. While we were cutting through another park, I was following behind the boys. There were two little girls playing in the park, and I suddenly heard an excited voice say (insert 8 year old girl squeal here) “That was Jonah!!!”, then “I can’t believe I just saw Jonah!!!”, and “I am SOOOOOOOOOO excited!”

I laughed at first. Then, I wanted to slam on my brakes and turn around. What??? Surely those cute little girls weren’t talking about being excited to see my son, right? These are the moments when I realize that in my mind sometimes, he is still 2 or 3. Nevermind that he is riding long distances on his bike, and that we were going to the park so he and his bother could show me how great they are on the bike ramp at the skate park. He’s my little boy! Girls surely can’t be interested in him yet, right?

The rest of the ride had my mind spinning. He’s going into third grade. I remember being excited to see cute boys when I was that age. I also remember boys having no clue why girls got so excited and silly when they were around. That is Jonah. He is going to be much like his Dad in that area. He will be oblivious to the fact that girls are very interested in him, because he will be too busy doing boy stuff and thinking about how to fix something or create something new.

When Rick and I started dating, I could never understand why his Mom was so protective of her boys. What harm could I do? And now, here we are. Full circle. Not only do I understand her hesitation of not wanting her sons to get hurt, I feel like I am going to be even more protective as a Mom! Especially when it comes to Kaden. But, he’s another story for another day….

It also doesn’t help that they are both really cute boys. I know, I know, I may be just a little biased!

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Filed under Raising boys