Boy oh boy
In my last blog I shared some of the reasons why boys can be a handful. Being naturally more active and having a more difficult time communicating are 2 of the reasons boys have and can be— challenges. But, they can learn simple methods that will calm them and help them express just what they want without losing their maleness.
I did not mean to imply that boys should not play and roughhouse with their Dads or be stifled. They need that contact but not solely as their means of interacting with peers and adults, or they will always think it is correct to be rough, and not develop other aspects to their personality.
Physically boys are programmed to be more forceful, daring and impulsive than most girls. The dynamic may change as children mature, but from the beginning, boys are wired differently and it shows. They will take the first step as an adventure whereas a little girl may actually think and be a bit more cautious. As a result, the boys tend to get more bumps and bruises.
Boys will dive headfirst into any action they can, with no thought to danger or pain. Just watch a toddler boy, he will make anything seem like a jungle gym and climb and dive. Boys love climbing, running, jumping or anything that keep them constantly in motion. He will run out of control into things and if they present a barrier, he will simply pick it up and throw it or climb right over it. They plow through their toddler years, literally.
Boy’s fine motor skills may not be as defined as a girl’s so they prefer larger objects. They are explorers and none too cautious about what they are exploring. The ideal play area is outdoors with lots of room to run and climb. They do not seem to need to be as social as a girl; they can go off on their own adventures and be perfectly happy—just as long as they get to burn up as much energy as possible in what they are playing.
Celebrate his “boyness” by allowing him the space and time to let it all out. Do not try to rewire his circuits, you could short them out. After running games or letting them chase or climb, I may engage my little boy charges in household duties, such as sweeping or anything that requires lots of energy with a healthy dose of praise.
Moms and dads need to get down on their son’s level and just play in the dirt or climb that jungle gym. Watch his face light up when you play “chase” with him and can keep him engaged and actually keep up with him.
Boys also love to think they are besting you (must be a competitive gene). Even toddlers like to think they “gotcha” so let them. Whether you are playing tag or hide and seek, they like to know they are capable of catching you or tagging. This is not a lesson in toughness; they already have that hard-wired in them. This is fair competition and the satisfaction of knowing they can keep up with their role models.
Now that we know how to let our little boys be boys—we need to concentrate on helping them grow into healthy– there is it s again that word—well-rounded men. Be sure to tune in to my next blog for more on that lesson.
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