Thursday, February 28, 2013

Creative Parenting

Once upon a time, I had the bright idea that raising boys would be easier than raising girls.  After all, I said to myself, boys don't have all that extra drama about what they wear and who is their friend and all that.  I won't have to worry about buying the correct hair bows or getting the special sparkly tights. 

I don't know what I was thinking.  Boys aren't more difficult, but they have their own set of trauma-inducing chapters in their lives. I am starting to get a little paranoid about these lessons that I am supposed to impart to my child.  I have realized that I have no idea how to teach many of the finer points of being a boy.  When I was growing up and my brother said or did something completely idiotic, my dad usually just slapped him upside the head.  I'm not sure what sort of lesson a slap upside the head is supposed to impart, nor am I sure that any specific lesson was learned in that instance.  So how do we do this?  How do you raise a boy who doesn't shy away from challenges, but one who isn't a bully?  How do you raise a son who stands up for themselves without knocking anyone else over?  How do you raise a boy who treats others with respect?

How do you teach a five year old boy to be a gentleman?

Yesterday, I was getting my son ready for bed.  He was putting on his Very Special Skylanders jammies(I don't know why they're so special, that is just what he calls them), and I was walking around the room, picking up socks, shirts, and pants, so they could be washed and taken to Goodwill. I occasionally had to bend over to get my fingers on some items.  It was as I was bending over that my son laughed at me.

"Mama, you've got a big butt!"  Zane giggled.  I was horrified.  Where did he get that?  Did he hear that from one of his friends?  Should I make a big deal about it?

Where he got the sentence doesn't really matter, I decided. I do have what is colloquially known as "Junk in the trunk"; I generally like my extra cushioning.  However, I thought that Zane should understand that what he said wasn't a nice thing to say to other people.

"Son, when you say that someone has a big butt, it's mean and you hurt their feelings," I began.

But Zane had moved on to a new topic: the extremely voracious Army Ant. My words were not getting through. I needed to make an impact, because I needed Zane to know beyond a shadow that it was not okay to tell someone they have a big butt. Even if it is true. So I had to get a little creative.

"Zane," I made my eyes as wide as I could. "When you tell someone who is not your mama they have a big butt, do you know what happens?"

"No, Mama. What happens?"

"They will SIT on you!" I lowered my voice, trying to make it as scary as I could. "And sometimes...they pass gas!"

"EEEWWWWWW!" Zane looked horrified, but thoughtful. I considered my job complete, at least until the teen years.

Later, as I was relating this tale to Larry, I noticed that he was just staring at me.

"Stop looking at me like that." I said.  "You have no idea how hard it is to come up with this stuff."




Mama’s Losin’ It


Prompt:  Incorporate the phrase "stop looking at me like that" into your post.

10 comments:

  1. This so made me laugh, my 4 year old grandson, moves on very quickly if he thinks a lecture is on its way. This explanation might not be effective once 'bathroom' humor becomes de rigueur for bigger boys. I can see why your hubby gave you a look.

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  2. Too funny. :)

    I had to explain why it was not okay to hit anyone, but if you did it was WAY worse to hit a girl than another boy. I finally came up with "Because girls become Moms and how are they supposed to know how to raise their babies if they had been hit by a lot of boys growing up?"

    It really isn't easy coming up with this stuff...

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    1. No, being creative on the fly is hard!

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  3. oh I have to agree, I was so happy to be pregnant (at all) with boys, plus there was no one to compete with or share shoes with, but I find myself in the same dilemma you are in....
    I want them to be sensitive and strong, kind and COOL, I want the best of both worlds with them and I want to raise the kind of boys I'd want to date, marry and be proud of.

    it's hard when they want to talk about farts...right?

    I really loved this piece.

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    1. Farts, poop, boogers...it never ends!

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  4. Haha, that's a very creative explanation!! But maybe he's still young enough that he didn't think what he said was actually insulting???

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    1. There is not a mean bone in that boy's body.He just calls it like he sees it!

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  5. You sure are fast on your feet! careful with that in about 10 years though...it may not have that threatening warning!

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    1. I am already fearful of that likelihood!

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