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.


  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.

  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...

  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.

  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???

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

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


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