If you are raising a boy (or three), here are some tips that may be helpful for you.
- Get Down with your Imagination. Boys are so wonderfully creative and come up with the craziest stuff! Play scenarios, bad guy names (Shrunka and Randy who were at one point Jojo’s imaginary friends?!), plots, weapons (a red blanket is a weapon of tomato sauce apparently), and survival skills… all of these things starting at the age of 3?! I just run with it. Matt plays this game where he is ‘under attack by 50 bad guys’ and the three boys will be hiding in the other room until Dad yells for help, then they all come storming in, air nunchucks blasting. Sometimes we can overhear them coming up with their attack plan. It’s hilarious… watch a snippet here... and yes Jojo actually uses a stuffed squid for a weapon 🙂
- Get used to that smell. Remember that day when your sweet little boy was pushed out of you and hoisted into your arms. Remember when he smelled amazing? When his sweet little head smelled of baby and breast milk, not sweat and hints of wet dog? I would guess that they smell really good for like 2-3 years… then they start to stink…. So make bath time fun for them, so they’ll want to bathe and wash that “little boy smell” off them for a while. My youngest boy is 3 now and he sometimes smells good still. But for the most part, I just sniff my baby girl for my baby smell fix.
- Clean toilets daily. Urine. Is. Everywhere. Do boys not care where it goes?? Like aim for God’s sake! I am pretty sure at night when they are half awake, if they don’t pee in their beds (it’s happened on rare occasion out of pure laziness I would guess), they actually make it to the potty and simply pull down their underwear and let ‘er rip, like no aim-age what so ever. The evidence is that scent from our upstairs kids’ bathroom. Three boys worth of pee wafting across the upstairs illustrates their lack of aim (and pee wiping-up skills). Please someone tell me it’s not just our boys?!?
- Stalk their bathroom habits. After every time they go to the bathroom, you must ask them: Did you wipe, did you flush and did you wash your hands WITH SOAP AND WATER? I am pretty sure we have to be super specific here because otherwise they would do none of the above. So yuck.
- Since we’re on the topic of all things potty, get use to potty humor. If you want to make a car full of boys laugh, just say poop, farts, or diapers and they will crack up, or at least my boys will. Likewise, if you have a class clown like mine, they will tell ‘jokes’ that involve a potty word and not a whole lot of wit besides that. Example: “Why did the chicken cross the road, because he pooped his pants.” Seriously if you want to make your 2-7 year old boy laugh, tell him that ‘joke’.
- Carry a jar or cup or water bottle in your car at all times. In the last 6 months (having a 7 year old, 4 year old, and 3 year old…) I have had a pee emergence at least once a week. Seriously folks, one of my three boys all of the sudden hast to pee AND CANT WAIT. And usually I am getting on the highway or something. So I usually have an empty cup, water bottle, jar, or baby diaper for them to pee into while I am driving. I think they think it’s normal to pee in the car by now.
- Embrace Play fighting. I blame the ninja turtles. No matter what, if you have boys, I am willing to bet they want to ‘fight the bad guys!’ and kick each other, wrestle, punch, etc. In the Halbach House, we let them as long as they play nice and stop when someone tells them too. I think boys honestly learn though physical interaction like this.
- Pure their eyes. Boys are under attack in our culture in many ways. Because these sweet creatures are visually stimulated, what they watch can really affect them. Like watching even play violence (see number 6!). But there are also things that aren’t the purest like words they hear like disrespectful kids on TV shows, or dinosaurs ripping each other apart in Netflix dinosaur movies, or even weapons and killing creatures on Minecraft can expose our little sweeties to some impurity. Although I don’t expect to shield them completely from all of this, I hope to teach them to, “pure their eyes”. This is a new verb Mikey came up with after reading/listening to this book, The Squire and the Scroll. It made me cry the first time I read it (surprise surprise, I cry at everything!) because it was the perfect story to teach boys that there are a lot of things in this world that can trick you and hurt you, so you must learn to protect your heart and “pure your eyes, ears and heart”.
There are so many more I am sure… but this is it for now.
What are some tips for raising boys you have??