My wife is currently pregnant with our fourth child and we recently found out it is going to be a boy. Given we already are blessed with an 8 year old, 5 year old, and 3 year old boy, I thought I’d share some of what I’ve learned about raising boys. Keep in mind this is simply my perspective from a father’s point of view. Here is what I have learned:
Once they become mobile boys rarely stop.
Boys mature later than girls, but then again we dads often mature later too.
It is not a good idea to own anything “nice” as it will likely be ruined within a short time period.
Boys like to be outdoors as climbing, building and exploring are natural characteristics of boys.
Before becoming verbal, biting, hitting and kicking can be a means of communicating.
Bathing and underwear are considered optional.
Wrestling is a sign of affection.
Bikes and scooters are meant to go off of curbs and down big hills whenever possible.
Every day is an enjoyable journey and adventure.
It is not easy raising children in today’s society. Popular media glorifies promiscuity, alcohol and drug use, violence and crude behavior. How are we as parents able to overcome these obstacles? I recently read a fantastic book called “Boys Should be Boys. 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons.” It is written by Dr. Meg Meeker who is an adolescent medicine doctor. The wisdom from this book has been very helpful for me as both a pediatrician and father. While the contents of this book are helpful for fathers, it may not apply to all families, particularly single parent or same sex parent families. I want to share with you some of that wisdom and I encourage fathers or mothers to consider reading it. Here are some excerpts:
“Every boy wants to be loved, accepted and valued. The quickest way to get there is by seeing mom or dad happy with him.”
“We often try to make our children happier by buying them things. The reality is kids don’t need more of anything except time from their parents. The true way to make a child happy is to spend meaningful time with them.”
“Boys need healthy encouragement from their fathers more than they need it from anyone else. In a boy’s eyes, his father’s words are sacred. They hold enormous power. His words can crush a boy or piece him back together after a fall.”
“Encouragement from a father can change a boy’s life. To a son, a dad’s words are the final truth. If they are positive, a boy feels that he cannot be beaten; if they are negative, however, a son feels that he could never win.”
“Young boys and men need less time face-to-screen with electronic life and more time face-to-face with people. Sons who have healthy relationships with parents fare much better in life.”
“Boys need and want boundaries. A boy without rules becomes a man without direction.”
“Fathers need to be careful that they do not project their own shortcomings on their sons. Our sons are not mini versions of ourselves.”