Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Boy Advice - (WFMW Backwards Edition)

If you've read this blog for long, you may know about our boy. Our gritty, grumpy and garrulous five year old boy.

He has a lot of gusto.

I know they all do, those testosterone-filled-little-works-of-God.



but I have had moms of boys say to me,
whew... that one... he's got more testosterone than usual!

And I think he does.

Poor guy, he's got two big sisters and 3 precious princess cousins and his way of saying hello is to push them over and then tackle them. With 5 little females, that gets him into trouble.

I'll tell you what he really needs is a brother. But that would require somewhat of a reversal if you know what I mean.

His teacher sent me an email today. It wasn't great news. He is loud. (I know.) He can't keep his hands to himself (Yep. That's true too.) And he likes to stick his tongue out a lot. (We keep working on that!)

I love him madly. With every fiber of my being, I want him to grow into a strong man who loves the Lord. I get down and pray over him (when he's asleep mind you; otherwise, I might get head-butted.) We do firmly believe that God will guide him and bless him and help him to see that other people have something called feelings.

But between now and then, what I need from you Works For Me Wednesday readers (and anyone else!) is some Boy Advice. Just some little nuggets of practical encouragement for us and our Rough and Tough Boy. How do we make it through the Rough and Tough days? Books you've read? Scriptures you've prayed? Mantras you've followed? Humor you've relied on? Reward systems you've utilized? Approaches you've tried? Ways to get through to his thick noggin???


Thanks for your input. In about 15 years, Luke should thank you too.

19 Wonderful Responses:

SAH in Suburbia said...

I can so relate. My 5 year old is full of life and energy and a bit of trouble.

I run him ragged....and pray that those around him recognize that these qualities will serve him well as he grows older....

Extreme sports?...ha ha.....

Boys are so different from girls. A lot of teaching environments are designed for girls and not for boys who like to move ALL THE TIME.

I really liked the book "Boy Smarts" - amazing author that addresses many of the concerns that you have.

http://www.mentoringboys.com/boy_smarts.html

I wish I had something more concrete...except you're not alone and neither is your boy!

Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead said...

I discovered a great book titled "Have a New Kid by Friday" that has finally started settling down our crazy wild 4 year old. I'm trying to tackle one issue at a time (hitting first, then talking back, then body slamming the tv...) but this book has transformed my parenting style. It's by Kevin Leman, I think. He's a great Christian author. Check it out!

Katie @ 3 Blondes and a Redhead said...

Oh, and when you're done with that, "Bringing Up Boys" by James Dobson will help for the future years...it walks us (as moms) through letting boys be boys. To a degree...without being disrespectful and out of control.

JAN said...

I'm not sure if you're saying you have a "strong-willed" boy, or just a "normal" boy. Believe me, there is a difference! We have 4 sons, 22, 20, 16, and 6. Our 16 year old has been strong-willed since conception. I think most of the grey hairs on my head have his name on them. :-)
Anyway-I've written a series of posts on life with a strong-willed boy-they're under that title on my side-bar. (Way too much info. to write here.) If you think that's what you're dealing with you might want to read those posts. The Lord has been faithful to help us along the way and we're learning how to channel that "will" toward Him.
I have prayed the following scriptures for each of our sons as well, (more than once!):
Col. 1:9-12
Eph.1:16-23
Phil.1:9-11
Col.2:6-8
Jesus bless you as you raise your little guy.

HopewellMomSchool said...

Get as much physical exercise into his day as humanly possible. Start him on a running program. Kids sports at his age don't offer enough [even football]. Climbing, running, jumping, swings, punching bag, trampoline--he needs HOURS of this type play. Schools simply do not deal with boys like him very well [I speak from experience!!!! They want well mannered little girls these days.] My other suggestion [which may seem to contradict all this!! Only, it doesn't] is then a simple Yoga routine to help him learn to calm down too. For most energetic boys school is another word for Prison. Give him the exercise at home--he won't get it any where else! Good luck.
Only parenting book that ever helped is "Parenting with Love and Logic."

Sue said...

Just wanted to offer some encouragement and let you know that you are not alone! My older son has given me (and his teachers!) a run for my money since preschool! SOOOOO many of my friends with boys have had similar experiences.

I agree with the prior posts about keeping him active and recognizing that the current school environment is designed for girls. I wish I had more concrete advice, but I really don't. I've read a lot of books but I can't say that I've taken much away from any of them.

My son has just started first grade and things have improved dramatically since I got that first call from his preschool teacher. I attribute it to his maturing- and LOTS of prayer! I will say a prayer for you and your little man.

Totallyscrappy said...

You have to Wear. Him. Out. There isn't enough exercise that he can get!
I also find that if I give immediate physical consequences for disruptions (rather than a time out, for instance) that things are better. For example, when I caught my boys hitting each other (that little pushy-shovey thing they do) they had to give me 10 jumping jacks. Talking back? Disrespect? 5 jumping jacks and take out the trash.
My boys seem better behaved when I don't try to "talk them through" anything and just demand more physical performance. Let's face it, he knows tackling the neighbor kid is wrong. We don't need to talk about it or think about it... we need to work it off!
Good luck!!

Milehimama said...

My boys aren't grown, but I have 4 age 1 -10.

Wear them out.
Let them get dirty.
Let them explore.
Tackling and randomly dropping to the floor to wrestle - even if it's a teddy bear - is perfectly normal.

I second the "Bringing Up Boys" by Dobson. Give him PURPOSEFUL activities to do - build something, dig something.

And read lots of knights in armor/virtuous MANLY heroes stories! Then remind him often how knights treat princesses.

Mrs. Sprinkles said...

The Strong Willed Child by Dobson helped me.

I've also had several talks with Brad telling me that if he was tempted to do something he shouldn't, he should pray and ask Jesus for help controlling himself (I got that idea from Instructing a Child's Heart by Tripp).

okierivermama said...

First off...i am Steff and i not only have two of these you describe, but one on the way. my older two are ages 4 and 5 and are in pre k and kind respectively.

PLEASE feel 100% free to email me anytime...i am going thru the same things with my kind...
we transferred them to a larger school this year because i had serious issues with how lax the rules and education were at his old school.
i have been called to school 5 times in 2 1/2 weeks with 4 of them being my 5 year old issues.

he talks a lot, and loudly, and he got a couple of lousy traits from his parents that make this fact even worse....
his mama is insecure and wants to know everyone likes her and his daddy wants to make everyone laugh...however bad either of those traits are by themself, a 5 y/o who thinks he is Bob Hope on crack is less than funny to a Kindergarten teacher.

it doesnt help that EVERY thing that is forbidden on the playground is something i consider a "boy" activity...playing chase, playing football/soccer etc, wrestling or rassling around as the teacher put it...anything involving actually running and playing and being boys is forbidden????

we did sign him up for soccer and i am hoping that helps us a little bit.
oh and we have taken up biting this year???hello...never an issue till we start kindergarten? i too am at a loss but sometimes it does help to have someone else who is going thru it too...
STeff

Audra Krell said...

I have three boys and agree with all these tips, mostly about keeping them busy. I double sports with music, the chance to use both parts of the brain, really is a nice outlet for the "whole" boy. I start them on music when they are 4.5 or 5 and never make them choose one or the other. They do their sports,come home and do homework and practice music. (of course they don't practice every day and most days it's like pulling teeth. I really believe that helping boys to be well rounded really gives them option on their needs to always be in motion and for a lot of them, the need to be constantly entertained. With music, they become the entertainer.

ASHLEY said...

OH WOW! i love reading all these comments. i have read lots of, "bringing up boys" and am starting a book study friday (here in town) on lisa whelchel's "creative correction". i have read "shepherding a child's heart" by ted tripp and if you haven't read it, it is WONDERFUL! dan and i are doing the book study on wednesday nights at aumc starting next week (free childcare, choir and kids church and DINNER! (not free though)) if you want to join us. i used to be a big believer on "parenting with love and logic" but after reading "shepherding a child's heart" (which is a christian book) i realized there are a few things in "pwl&l" that didn't make sense to me. anyway, since my sterling's only three i can already see things like everyone's describing. boys are SOOOOOOOO different! i can't see my son sitting quietly during seatwork time at anna's school for 30 minutes. that will be a test!

i hope you'll let us know what you decide, find out, etc. with the little man. i believe God will honor your parenting and prayers as you seek His will over your son's life...FOR SURE!

blessings!

Aunt LoLo said...

Oh, good GRIEF. I'm shaking in my boots! I'm expecting my first boy in a few months. (I have a nearly-two, very active, little girl already.)

momof4kr said...

Hey Miss Annie!

Ditto on "Shepherding a Child's Heart"...best parenting book I've ever read!

Ditto on all the PRAYING. My oldest son Will was truly the epitome of "Will Power". Every single day of his life from around 18 mos to 6 yrs was a struggle for me. If Will had a "good" day, we all did.

Today, we have seen God's amazing work in his life! It took much prayer, much discipline and much consistency in our parenting.

I am now back on the saddle with the O-Man. This time around I have much more encouragement as look at how his older brother turned out.

You are an AMAZING MOMMA...and God chose you and Tom to be the perfect parents for Luke! I can't wait to see all the awesome things God does with him in the years to come!!

Love ya!
Katie

steffj89 said...

Annie,
i saw on your profile you are in OK what part? we live NE of Tahlequah near the AR state line...at least we have plenty of land for them to run and be boys on...when its not snakey...lol
steff

Wanda said...

My oldest is a boy....he's 18 now. We have always called him sweetboy (cuz he is so sweet!).
We've always let him be a boy....and insisted that he practice self-control. It's never appropriate to head-butt anyone, ever!
My husband has always wrestled and played rough with him. This really meets a certain need in boys. He also spends a lot of guy time with him. They hunt, play ball, throw frisbee, ride bikes, paintball gun war, video games...everything testosterone-ish!
My husband has filled his guy tank....but also used much of that time to train him to be gentle and loving. One of the best things we ever taught him......has been....
THE VALUE OF OTHERS!
People are very special and important to God..so they should be to us as well. He's like a magnet....people are drawn to him and he makes them feel awesome!

It makes me very proud of the young man he has become.

Hang in there, sister. Remember, you are raising someone's husband and someone's father. Talk to him about that....and pray with him about his behavior when it's not pleasing to God.
God is always there to help you.

Tracey said...

Anne-

I've watched lil' Luke lots over the years...and compared to MY kids that I have in school (in ANY grade) his behaviors, albeit kinda rough with our lil' Lauren and Maggie, are NOTHING!

The silver lining in this cloud that his teacher is not seeing is this: Luke KNOWS how to behave and he cares about others feelings. He is raised to care about others and to respect teachers and other people's feelings. He is a really well mannered kid!

I know it is hard to see the silver lining sometimes, I try to find it as often as possible in order to maintain some semblence of sanity!!!

I love your kids very much, and in all honesty, I wouldn't change them for the world!!!

Love you all!

Traci said...

That's what I LOVE about Lukey- he's such a BOY. And now that I have a little BOY of my own I can appreciate it even more. I hope to learn from you as I raise my little man. You are such a good mother and I TRULY mean that. Your kiddos are so blessed to have a mother who loves the Lord and seeks His presence in her life.

Rena Gunther said...

It's been hectic and I've missed WFMW....probably would've stumbled upon your blog sooner if I'd been on schedule.

But, for what's it worth.... I have three daughters. No bundle of testosterone.

What I can help you with...that reversal. That is, if it's for you. NOt that you're REALLY looking for one...but my third daughter is a tubal-reversal child. Her 2nd birthday is tomorrow. So, if you WERE really considering a reversal.....check me out at my blog or email me.

It worked for me! ;)

Rena Gunther