RAISING BOYS: 5 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Christelle Baldovinos | Marriage and Family
Pop cans shaken and sprayed on our walls, Happy Birthday being “burped” and not sung, a sword fight and a pillow fight quickly followed by nine – 8 year old boys screaming as one had blood dripping down his face from a cut on his head. This was the scene at our son Elijah’s 8th birthday party.
Our daughter Isabella’s 6th birthday was one week later. I still remember the drastic contrast. Ten little girls in dresses, quietly playing dolls, painting their nails and brushing each others hair.
In case you haven’t noticed boys are very different than girls. In raising our 4 boys we have come to realize that keeping them alive during their adolescent years may be our greatest accomplishment.
Although the disposition of boys varies they tend to be more aggressive and risky than girls. This is exactly the way God made boys. They are designed to lead, protect and risk life and limb for others.
Here are FIVE things TO KNOW in raising boys:
#1: Be VERY specific in your instructions. When they say they didn’t hear you, they probably didn’t. We have learned that when instructing our sons in any task we must clearly lay out all the expectations and have them repeat it back to us. It also helps to even put one hand on their shoulder as you speak to them; it keeps them focused on your instructions.
#2: They Love their moms. Boys are full of cuddles, and affection for their moms. Moms have a great opportunity to help shape their boys. Men need respect more than love. Give your boys respect and as they grow teach them what it means to love and protect a woman. Give them affirmation about their character qualities. Show them how to treat a woman. Let them protect you, open the door for you and order their own food.
#3: They are boys, they act like boys and it is GOOD. Our culture is trying to “feminize” our boys and moms especially must recognize this. Boys will inevitably make guns out of bananas, where capes, jump off of things and flex their muscles. We can’t overlook naughty behavior, but we can acknowledge their assertiveness as a God-given part of their nature. Our society is desperate for “real men” who love Jesus and will lead many to follow Him. And our little boys are these real men in training. Shape them do not change them.
#4: Boys learn by example. To become a man, boys need to watch a man. Sociologist Peter Karl believes “that because boys spend up to 80 percent of their time with women, they don’t know how to act as men when they grow up. When that happens, the relationship between the sexes is directly affected. Men become helpless and more and more like big kids”. If there is not a dad available, find a coach, uncle or friend to mentor your son. The behavior your son sees in another man will be directly emulated so help channel that influence.
#5: Have regular age-appropriate talks about sexuality. Talking to your children about sexuality should not be a “one-time” conversation, but a regular dialogue. Kids are exposed to sexual things at far earlier ages and their first knowledge of sexuality needs to be pure and bible-based. We highly recommend the book series called “Learning about sex for the Christian family” here’s the link: