Monday, April 14, 2014

Something I Learned While Raising My Son

I have never imagined being a parent could be quite crazy until I have a son. It was a real test to my sanity and of course to my highly strung nature. Read more of the growing pains I've been through during Little Man's younger years, here and here.

What can I say, parenting boys vs parenting girls is so different, seriously, I need to keep calm and just be a mom!

It's no secret that most boys are active, energetic, loud and are prone to roughhouse. Let's face it, handling boys can be quite a huge handful compared to girls (generally speaking). Here are some of the very interesting things I've discovered about having a son as I brought up my little man the past 8 years!

I read with great amusement a quote and I can certainly relate to it -
Forget that old poem about snips and snails and puppy dog tails, says Sharon O'Donnell, a mom of three boys and the author of House of Testosterone. "Somehow it's been changed to boys being made of 'fights, farts, and video games,' 
Sorry I digress... so back to my discovery...

He does not stop moving!
From the moment he wakes up in the morning till he pass out at bedtime he works on only one word Go Go Go and on only 2 speeds - fast & faster! But I've learned to catch up! (*panting*)

Clothes shopping is easy & cheap
How complicated can boys' attire get? Shirts, T-shirts, pants, bermudas, jeans, shorts... and almost anything goes with everything. So I literally kept it super K.I.S.S. (keep it simple silly)!

Stains and Tears are all over his clothes!
Ripping through the knees on khakis, jeans and even pajamas! Grass stains, mud stains, pasta stains, paint stains and unidentifiable stains... Thank goodness clothes shopping for Little Man was easy & cheap!

Roughhousing is innate!
Boys are naturally physical. Jumping off furniture, climbing up 'walls', the rolling on each other, you name it... Play fighting and roughhousing is hard-wired into many boys. It's how they connect *gulp* and often leaving me nervous. But the experts say it's healthy, that's how they foster positive relationships, boost the body's feel-good chemicals and promote intelligence *raise eyebrows* and somehow after watching how my Little Man plays with his friends or even observing other boys playing together... I just had to agree with the experts!

He's one goofy boy!
Boy humour can be extra goofy and I don't get it sometimes. He tells me that my dinner tastes like poop. He calls anything and everything poopy even sing about poop *arggh* sometimes I laugh but most times I scold and because I did what I did, the poop talk was given more value. I have since decided to not give anymore attention to such talks!

Guns and swords are part of his DNA
As much as I tried to disallow toy weapons, it just make it much more exciting to the boy! He's able to pretend using a weapon out of anything he could lay his hands on. So I've since given up trying. What I've learned was, what we see as violence, the boy sees as a dream of saving the world. Pretend play involving fantasy aggression - whether it's cops and robbers or zombie apocalypse - can be a useful way for boys to understand right and wrong.

Making a trip to the A&E is expected
Boys will be boys! 8 out of 10 boys (base on my own observations) have been rushed to the A&E due to accidents they met when playing, running or during physical activities. It's no difference with Little Man! At age two he sustained a 6-7 stitches long cut on his left eye-lid.

The recent incident which almost led us sending him to the A&E was when he swallowed more than 8 cherry seeds and turning to me with his purple lips due to cyanide poisoning!!!

I try hard to stay calm and collected on the outside even when I was freaking out inside.

Listening skills doesn't come naturallyWhile girls' hearing is more sensitive, boys tend to be more tactile, less verbal and more impulsive. It takes at least 1 minute of repeatedly calling out my son's name to get his attention. This is not a disorder, it's just the way this boy is wired. So instead of yelling my instructions from afar, I am making the effort to get his attention by walking to him to get my instructions delivered by being physically in front of him.

3-2-1 and he forgets
He forgets his homework, water bottle, wallet, consent forms... and on and on! He forgets, I nag, yell, complain, threaten and punish! There's a saying, "A child who forgets has a parent who always remembers!", so it's really not his fault that he's forgetful then.

I am now going to apply these rules - stop remembering for him, I won't say "I told you so!", and will not tell him what will happen... just let the consequences do the talking for me!

When in doubt, hug!He has a harder time verbalizing his problems and most times he will burst out into tears after seemingly trivial events. The hubby has developed a strategy to help our son and that is to offer a solution that is physical and not verbal, in this case, a hug. It's since been a default cure-all, and it's so far worked wonders. A minute later he is all patched up and ready to rumble again.

It's not easy being a parent these days but I've learned to take it to my stride and have decided not to be complacent where parenting is concern. It doesn't mean that once the children outgrow the infant/toddler/preschooler age it's time for me to take a backseat in the upbringing of the children. The children never stop growing and at every stage of their growth there are different needs that I have to prepare myself for.

But I guess, the most important thing for me to do, is to enjoy the process of growing up with my children no matter how challenging or crazy life might be as a parent.

For more stories and sharing on my motherhood journey, click on the badge below 


z said...

though my girl is only 1 year old, i can already see she's so different from her two older brothers! Agree with what you shared here.. but very scared about the 8/10 A&E visit! >.<

Mamabliss said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog Z. Don't worry about the 8/10 A&E visit, your boys might fall in the 2/10 category :) hehe...