I’m mom to three girls – and while there is occasional drama, we’ve managed to work through the growing up issues pretty smoothly (so far, anyway). My oldest was always quiet and thoughtful and she’s grown into a confident, caring young woman with definite opinions. My middle daughter was the busy bee – and she’s like a butterfly, putting her sweet, but definite imprint on the priorities in her life. My youngest is a mixture of all of us – she’s a little shy, but very loving and totally ornery. The parenting skills I developed while raising the girls include:
- the evil mommy look – and they respond:
I’m blessed with one son. He’s a free spirit, has never met a stranger and loves what he loves with passion. Little children adore him, he has the patience and kindness to get right down on their level for as long as they want. Big guys like him. He has a charisma that attracts the female crowd – I remember him at age 4 skating around the rink with 10 year old girls on each arm. The evil eye does not work with my son – nor apparently with the young women who call at all hours. (Where are their moms?)
Anyway, I’ve found I need some other parenting technique, as he will wink back, smile and proceed to do some daredevil stunt that makes my heart stop. My husband is little help – he shares some of the things he did with his 2 brothers. Bless his mom’s heart!
That said, “Boys will be boys” doesn’t always work at our house. Last week was one of those times when he made a particularly bad choice. Initially I was stunned, then I was mad and I’ll admit I did not know what to do. I found out quickly that yelling at him was having no effect. I then did what any responsible mother would do. I took him to get a tetanus shot. And I lectured him some more. And some more.
My sister-in-law had mentioned buying the book “Life Strategies for Teens” by Jay McGraw (son of How’s-That-Working-For-Ya? Dr. Phil). I got it out and assigned it as homework to my wayward little man-child. I’m reading a chapter at night, then he reads it the next day and we talk about it. The book is based on the 10 “Life Laws” that Dr. Phil has written about – but it is translated into a teen’s perspective. My son isn’t quite a teen, but we’re getting a head start.
We’ve finished the intro and Nicholas actually made a list in his journal of the life laws. He was particularly intrigued by the first one “Either You Get It – Or You Don’t”, and he thinks it specifically applies to me. It will be his reading assignment today and I’m anxious to hear his take on it afterward.
Anyway, here is my list of parenting techniques for boys:
- grounding (although restricting activity does have merit)
- redirection (worked until age 3)
- evil eye
- sitting on him
I’m totally open to suggestion.