Monday, March 5, 2012

Does Not Play Well With Others, A Mom's Plight (COMMENTARY)

Link:Your Kid Isn't Perfect,Get Used To it

This morning I found a facebook post my sister wrote and it got me thinking... the post was this:

"Stop screaming. Do not throw a fit on the floor. Do not pull the cat's tail. Go play in the other room. Play kindly with your brother. Don't mess with the baby swing. Do not grab toys away from other kids. Stop fussing. No, you may not _________. Put _________ if you're not using it. Go fuss on your bed. Leave Daddy's computer alone. GAH!!"

Shes has 3 boys under the age of five and a brand new baby girl.. and its all very humorous to me to read this, as I have had the joy of having my own three boys It got me thinking about having boys and boys in general--and what that means.
See, what I have found is that BOYS require a lot of direction and redirection. Its an endless amount of energy for the mother that is required to survive one day of this. I had mine all so close together that I don't know about the challenges of ONE boy-- but I do know about the mob-mentality of three. Often, I have felt grossly outnumbered and unprepared for the daily battle. And a battle it is... a battle of wills and sometimes, it has felt like a battle to the death. (I am recalling one particular night with my middle son who threw the most epic tantrum I have ever witnessed and I was sure that one of us wasn't going to live to see another day)
Then, my mind got to thinking about MEN.. guys in general. Men in the world- and on the whole-- including, in the biblical sense of the word history... Men thrive in organized and well planned out environments. I dare say, the best men are the best because they have a wife who gives them just that at home! Men do great in military environments, workplaces that give them a mission and they can carry out a task... and in SPORTS. Even great leaders-- lead a mission nomatter how big or small....
Going back to little men-- kids, you tend to get a glimpse of how very true this is for them-- even at a knee-high age. They require direction, and help with leading. Often, I feel like my kids lead like a page out of "Lord of the Flies" and I am overwhelmed with the situation--because it requires ME to fix all of the mess. Boys don't generally know how to play well with others. Boys and men are the less-relational sex and emotions and talking about feelings isnt a huge part of their communication. You know what is? Physical aggression.
No joking, I break up on average probably 5-10 full out brother-bashing, slamming each other onto the ground, full-out FIGHTS in a day. I learned a long time ago, not to get involved if there is no crying-- because they ENJOY IT...or, should I say, they enjoy it until they don't. They have gotten stronger and more creative with their moves on each other-- which obviously, makes injuries more frequent.. and my job a lot more imperitive.
I need a whistle. a real ref's whistle.
I haven taken my kids to the park, and LUCKILY, they tend to make fast friends with groups of children where there are girls. This is a fine social interaction scenario, and I love it when that happens. They do well in groups where there is at least one (bossy) girl. HOWEVER-- my kids do NOT do well in groups of all males. TO THIS DAY-- my kids are still fighting amongst themselves for Alpha male status.
Alpha Male fights... the most fascinating of all phenomenons to me... Happen ALL THE TIME. I can see them now everywhere I go-- out for drinks with my husband and at parties... even if its not an ACTUAL FIGHT-- the conversations 1-upping each other make me laugh. Its like animal planet.
Boys in packs have to have a leader. Often, in school and in neighborhoods, the leader is a grossly irresponsible one who became leader simply by being a really good bully. other boys follow in line behind a bully, as to not be bullied themselves. (my own children are no exception-- and its another challenge to me to deal with as this happens without my supervision)
I am a person who always found it easier to be friends with males rather than females, and have always had a lot of friends of the opposite sex... however, I find raising boys to be the hardest challenge of my life. I have to fight to keep focused on what the goal is in every situation, to not get caught up in the testosterone-rages that find their way into all sorts of scenarios, and to keep my eye on the ball.
I like to use the term TEAM here in my house a lot. We are a team. a family unit, who all work together to accomplish goals-- even if it is just to get through a single day without killing each other. There is no "I" in team, but what I have found is that because boys lack in the verbal communication department, its very difficult to get them out of the narcessistic-the-sun-revolves-around-me mentality. Girls tend to think of others and how each action they do effects others-- boys don't really. Sometimes, but in a completely different way. They are motivated by things girls are not as well... my kids, are motivated by food in ways that I just cant wrap my head around for example. Meals are how they judge me as a mother... a lot more than I ever anticipated. hahahaha!!!
Boys are warriors in training. Boys are not striving to be like their mother. Boys are striving to be fierce, independent, strong, and fighters for what they feel is right. Boys do not want to hear how "it's not a good idea" no matter if it will end in broken bones-- because boys are hard wired to accomplish their goal, even if it in in the face of death.
Amazing creatuires boys are... amazing. My harrowing job as mother to my small army (who eat like a large one) is requiring a tremendous ammount of courage on my end. I now know that running with scissors is not the most scary thing in the world-- there are a lot worse injuries to be had with a tonka truck and a staircase, or a friends bicycle and a driveway for example. They are messy and noisy, and smell bad most of the time. They have sticky hands, and make holes in their pants, shoes and underwear faster than i can get out the patch and thread... and at the end of the day? I realized that I am their leader. For now, for this precious time, I am their leader. my job is to redirect. To focus them, TO GIVE THEM GOALS and to help them achieve them. To show them what is right so they can fight for it. To be an example of what a woman is-- and to teach them to never settle for anything less than a real woman. Sure, I fail-- I fail often... But keeping focused, learning to say sorry to my children, asking them for forgiveness and pushing onward is my job.
to all the moms of little boys... I salute you!!! Stay the course! LEAD!

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