7 Tips For Raising A Son

In Motherhood, Parenting by Jen29 Comments

As a mother to three girls and 1 boy, I quite often get the comment that there has to be a lot of girl power running rampant in my house. I am not a fan of the word girl power, but it’s not for the reasons you think.

I far prefer the concept of equal power.

I am working hard to raise children who learn to emphasize strengths and not ones who focus on differences. Their sex, race and so on should not be what identifies them. I want my girls to be strong, powerful, kind and empathetic. I want the same for my little boy and yes I would like them regardless of their sex to be treated equally and be given equal opportunities. Is this radical thinking? I think not.

I have talked a lot about my girls, but there is a very special boy that lives in this house full of girls.  He is smart, witty, funny as all heck and loves talking about trains, planes and all things Lego and Star Wars.

When I gave birth to this beautiful little bundle of boy I was over the moon, but being a girl myself was worried that I would not be able to raise him with all the tools he would need to navigate as a boy through this world.

I began quizzing friends with boys, reading up and putting my own spin on things. Here are some of the tips I have used to help navigate the world of boys.

 

7 Tips For Raising A Boy

1. Let him show his emotions- I really, really dislike the comment take it like a man and stop crying. Really? Have you ever just busted out in tears and couldn’t stop the floodgates, but once you were done the world just felt better? Yeah, telling our boys to bottle it up is a bad idea on so many levels. Especially when they see girls being told to cry and let it all out.

2. Give him plenty of physical affection and activity- My son and I wrestle, fist bump, hug and cuddle. I have been known to appear on a rainy afternoon with a Nerf gun in my hands and have chased him mercilessly through the house. The girls always get in on this game as well. Nothing like an epic Nerf gun battle to show you care.

3. Foster his interests- I have spent hours building trains and Lego, racing cars and discussing what type of space ship I would rather have in a battle. If he liked it I would hit the library and find books about the subject that we could read together or find community events that would spark his interest. This doesn’t mean you need to buy them everything they want, just find ways to reinforce that their interests are worthwhile.

My son is also a gifted pianist and music has been a large part of his life. Don’t be afraid to foster interests even if some may think they are not masculine enough. With you as a cheerleader who cares what other people think.

4. Teach him some social skills- Since my boy lives with so many girls he understands them pretty well and being cute as well as funny, he is always circled by girls at school. Boys should understand basic manners as well as table manners. I once dated a boy who was going to Harvard with great honors and some pretty big accolades behind his name for a very young age, but after the first dinner date with him it became very apparent that there would not be a second date. His table manners were terrible! How could this incredibly smart guy not have been taught to chew with his mouth closed or even use a napkin? I knew after that date how important it would be for me when and if I ended up having a son to teach him manners.

5. Teach respect-  Boys who grow up receiving and giving respect will grow up to be respectful men who are equipped with the ability take direction and criticism in an appropriate manner. I once saw a young boy who was around 8 or 9 years old give his mother the finger and call her a “biotch” at a fast food restaurant because she wouldn’t get him an ice cream. Tell me how it will get any better for this young man as he grows up and the first time a manager or boss critiques him?

6. Give him responsibility- Boys need to contribute to the household management and understand how to work as well as set and complete goals. A little work never hurt. I recently tasked my son with being the bathroom cleaner for the bathroom he shares with one of his sisters. It makes me smile every time I walk by and hear him ask his sister if she flushed and tell her to make sure she doesn’t squirt water from the sink everywhere. Having him do this chore teaches him the value of work and most importantly to value the work his Father and I do around the house.

7. Lastly, never underestimate the influence of a committed Father in a son’s life- Boys will model what they see and a Father can be one of the best examples a boy can have for a role model. My husband was raised primarily by his single mother, but she made sure that in his life there were always strong and good masculine role models for him to see and interact with.

I want to stress though that there is no one formula that will work for every child. You know your child better than anyone so never be afraid to trust your gut when formulating a plan to raise your son.

Stay Happy! Stay Informed!

Love,

Jen

 If you liked this post here are some others you might like:

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Comments

    1. Author

      You are the expert on boys, seriously and I love reading your posts about how you mother them. Their hearts are so important! Thanks for your sweet comment.
      Jen recently posted…7 Tips For Raising A SonMy Profile

  1. This is a great list to raise a wonderful man. I wish all parents would implement these tips. Pinning this!

  2. I am always a little weary when it comes to child rearing tips but each one of these on your list is beautiful and perfect! I’m so so so happy you wrote them because all 7 fill my heart with joy and makes me feel great about other parents out there, particularly you, who are raising boys (a boy in your case) to be great men and most importantly- great people! You rock Jen!!!!!!!! This is the first time I’ve seen a list and wanted the author to add more because it’s so enjoyable. <3!
    Rebecca recently posted…Invconvienence v. Opportunity: Learning It’s All Good From Da BabyMy Profile

    1. Author

      I have to tell you that your compliments really mean a lot. You are good, kind and wise and don’t dish out the fake. Thank you. I really am happy that we are friends. I just wish we could get our littles together to play.
      Jen recently posted…7 Tips For Raising A SonMy Profile

  3. I really like the first one. Well, all of them, but the first one especially. My husband is a man’s man, and probably like a lot of dads he can’t really handle it when the boys are being just irrationally emotional. But boys have emotions, too! It’s okay for them to be upset just because they’re upset. They’ll have plenty of time to bottle those emotions up when they’re grown. And then, like my husband, their bottled up emotions will come out during a sentimental toilet paper commercial. And their wives will laugh at them. But for now, I say let them be little, and let them cry! (and also it’s good that my husband will never read this hehehe) I’ll be pinning this! I would share on facebook, too, but facebook is not our friend. So that would do no good. Hopefully Pinterest will get you some love :)
    Leilani recently posted…Mom versus The JackMy Profile

    1. Author

      My hubs is the same way and shuts right on down when tears are involved, unless of course we are watching a great sporting remix video set to inspiring music. Then he will wipe a tear or two away. What gives on that??
      Jen recently posted…I Got To Say It Was A Good DayMy Profile

  4. I love all of these tips for raising a son. Right now my son is outnumbered by his sisters and it is definitely different raising them (each of them, not just the boys and the girls). I love the idea to give them responsibility around the house. I am definitely going to try this in hopes it will help my son pay attention to the messes he makes (because they are going to happen, having a little help cleaning them up would be nice)! I am guilty, I need to give more cuddles and let him cry it out more.
    Emily recently posted…He Shows His Love in Little Boy WaysMy Profile

  5. Fantastic post!! I especially love the firm focus on the very present father. Seeing the relationship my boys have with their father, it warms my heart and makes me so proud to see the respect and admiration they have. It’s a powerful relationship and while they adore their mommy, knowing they have a male role model to look up to is such a blessing.
    Katy Blevins recently posted…How to Store and Prepare Your Used Items for ResaleMy Profile

  6. I am falling more and more in love with your blog. What a beautiful post. I am the mom of two girls but being in childcare exposed me to the beauty of boys being parented much in the ways you’ve described here. Such wonderful tips Jen!

    Thank you so much for sharing (and for linking up to the SHINE Blog Hop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom recently posted…The Big ChangeMy Profile

  7. That is a GREAT list!

    And I love, love, love the picture of your hubby and son, wow, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree indeed!

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  9. Though I’m a girl and had mostly female friends growing up, the thought of actually raising girls scared me. :) So far we have only had boys in the house and I’m okay with that. While I don’t always get the need to wrestle … okay I never understand it, I do try to remember they need it. Since I don’t necessarily do that, I find other ways – getting sprayed with the water hose unexpectedly is something they have come to expect. We spend lots of time outside. And yes, they have household “routines” (chores) to do each day. I’m determined not to have boys who become husbands who can’t do anything to help their wives out or single men who don’t need their mother to come do things for them. My hope is that they can cook (well), keep a house clean or understand what it takes, and understand how to wisely spend their money while using a budget. I’ve also told them that they will get the privilege of changing the oil in my car when they are older – they are very excited about this future responsibility.

    In addition to adult male role models, I’m finding the need for some older boys to model for my eldest son. I’m not thrilled with all his choices of friends at school and the behaviors they produce from him. He is such a follower, and SO social, that I realized he needs boys who are just a bit older (4-5 years) to show him how to behave socially. He is tall for his age, so what may not be an issue with a smaller kid his age becomes very obvious when he does it. Sometimes seeing it, in addition to hearing it from your parents, and positive peer pressure can be a good thing. I have also found that giving him someone younger to help with (toddlers, etc.) also produces the good behaviors we are looking for. He can have such a gentle heart, we just need to find ways for him to practice using it.

    It sounds like you have a good balance going for your son. Your daughters will also benefit from it, by learning what a young man should be like. One day, they will compare who they are dating to their brother.
    Rosie, The Groundskeeper recently posted…Keeping It Simple – Menu Plan Monday, June 16, 2014My Profile

    1. Author

      Hah, girls can be a little daunting, but having 3 in the house has kind of knocked that out of me. Your parenting plan sounds so much like mine I too don’t want ,”husbands who can’t do anything to help their wives out or single men who don’t need their mother to come do things for them”

      Love your ideas for working with your boys. I really hope my girls date someone like their brother, he is such a sweet guy!
      Jen recently posted…Time For A Giveaway Palooza!My Profile

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