I thought I would do a post about what I have learned about raising boys. I am sure you could do the same with girls. Just some thoughts today.
There is heaps of research out there proving the effects on girls who miss out on a father figure. Well I believe the same goes for boys and their mums. Did you watch ABC a few nights ago on Life's Hard Questions (or something like that) with gardening guru Peter Cundall saying when soldiers are dying on the battlefield they are heard calling out their mums name. Tear jerker plus.
Boys need to spend time with both parents alone. Fun times. Also I believe it is important they spend learning time with their dads and mums. Dads can tech them the boy stuff. I am amazed at what my boys can do now and how savvy they are with tools. Often if there is a little job - they will fix it. The oldest made a chair for the little man with no help and finding bits of wood around. He even learned what needed improving and redid it. I could not have been prouder.
I also think it is important that boys are given jobs around the house. They need to learn to be independent men. So mum don't do everything for them! So they don't turn out like their dad (sorry honey it is the truth!). We have a job list in the kitchen. They do not get paid for these jobs. This is part of being in a family. The jobs are simple like feed the cat, take out recycling so on and so forth. It is black and white with what they are expected to do and who does it. 99.9% families who do this do find it a task keeping the children to do their jobs. I believe the persistence is important. Any ideas on avoiding the "Do your jobs" routine would be handy. We have tried rewards etc etc.
From when they start toilet training teach them to put the lid down and wash their hands! The toilet routine. When they were old enough I also taught them how to clean the toilet. This way if they ever made a mess they were expected to clean it up.
My boys have messy rooms. I believe their rooms are their sanctuary. It is the only real space for them so I have learned to let go of the tidy room rant. I do once a fortnight ask them to clean it up enough so I can go in and vacuum the floor. The mess is a good mess in one boys room. He is usually creating something. At the moment he is doing a puzzle, setting up his car racing set and has his train set out. The older boys is another story... This is why we have the shut your door rule. So I don't have to see the mess! Now that rule has come handy with a toddler brother!
We also believe the boys should be given opportunities to earn money. They have self initiated mowing our neighbours lawns. They also get 'paid' by us for doing extra jobs. Like cleaning the car. This way when they ask for something we say "that is what pocket money is for". This got rid of the "can you get me this..." battle when we were out. No matter how many times you say no...
We also believe it is important that the boys know we are not perfect and we don't have the answers for everything. We are honest if we don't know and then assist them in finding out the answer. I am so grateful for dh. He is a wealth of knowledge and often the boys like to talk at the dinner table about things they are trying to work out (like currents, amps and stuff I don't remember from school) and he slots right in. I know I have my place in their learning.
Anyhow that is enough form me. I would like to hear what you have learned about raising boys.