I just returned from an awesome conference JV DealMaker in Atlanta (more about this in another post) and I took my children with me. They didn’t go to the conference, instead they stayed at a friend’s. My friend, De, has 1 child, a 14yb, so the thought of leaving my 13yboy, 8yboy, 5yboy and 4ygirl with them for 3 days while I enjoyed myself at conference was a bit scary.
I wasn’t afraid of leaving them, I was afraid to leave 4 highly active, robust children in the calm, quiet serene environment of a mom, dad & son. You know how people who don’t have children (or they only have 1 child) can be; patient but only up to a certain point.
Energetic but only for so long.
Enthused by all of the chatter but for a short period of time.
No judgement. They just haven’t been pushed beyond that 1 child. They can’t take much.
Well, De, who has been a very good friend for over 14 years, who knows me and the children intimately, who has come to my home to stay for several days after my babies were born, was still very impressed by my children!
Many people ask:
“How do you get them like that?”
“You don’t get back talk when you ask them to do something, why?”
“They take care of each other and obey each other!”
I’m always amazed that people are amazed. I stay home with my children so that I can put into them the love, attention and discipline that they need so that they can grow into decent men.
We use to hear about “pretty women and hard working men; now we see pretty men and hard working women”. I don’t want that in my family. I raise my sons as if they were going to be married tomorrow, because one day they will be and I don’t want their wives calling me up crying about how tired she is and how he won’t help out around the house.
If you’ve been blessed with a son raise him to be the type of man that you will want to marry. That means you have to think in advanced about how your child rearing will influence him as a man. For instance I want my soon-to-be-grown men to:
1. have deep relationships with other men-Very few men know how to have a discussion or relationship with other men. To help my boys get comfortable with solid friendships, as opposed to the superficial, talk about sports, my boys and their friends aren’t allow to sit around and watch movies or play video games when friends come over. Any kid that comes here knows that they are going to have fun; because they will use their imagination, play, create, and TALK!! This applies to the 6 year old friends and the 16 year old friends.
2. love learning-so we have 14 bookcases, 4 computers (2 are off limits) and 1 working tv. The computers do not have games loaded on them, the tv isn’t connected to an Xbox or Wii and we don’t have cable. This means that their learning time isn’t divided with mindless games (unless they go to a friend’s house). We take a trip to the library once a week where they usually check out 50-70 books. (I’m not even going to discuss the late fees that I pay every month. LOL!)
3. respect authority but not be intimidate by it-to many children are molested by a “trusting” adult because they are afraid of the “adult”. They do whatever a person of authority tells them to do. The Twin Towers had been hit and were burning, yet despite the people’s common sense and natural instinct to walk down many flights of stairs when the person of authority told them to “go back up, we have everything under control” they did, to their peril! At an early age I encourage my children to “go over to the librarian and ask her”Or when they ask me a question in a store I say “let’s find the manager and you can ask him”. These people of authority are just that-PEOPLE. I want my boys to learn how to” read” people and realize that they are only humans.
4. know how to clean- OMGoodness! How many women are mad at their husbands who feel like the cooking and cleaning is the woman’s job. Yes, we are in a new day and new age but some ideas die hard! My boy’s are taught that EVERYONE is responsible for running the house. At age 8 my son’s wash clothes. At age 4 they fold clothes and sweep the floors. By age 7 they know how to cook breakfast and make their own sandwiches for lunch.
Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not perfect and I still have to oversee them for a few years. Just as I was typing this my 8yr son came in and asked me to help him put the fitted sheet on the bed “because it doesn’t work right when I do it.” His 13yo brother was asleep so I called in the 5yr son and stood there instructing the two boys (AGAIN) on how to put on a fitted sheet. They worked together and still I had to readjust it. But that’s okay because by the time they are 9 or 10 it will be perfect and I won’t ever have to hear a wife say, “he doesn’t even know how to change the sheets!”
5. love each other more than anyone else-I have a close relationship with my sisters and brother. And as we get older we are all very glad to still have each other. I want my sons to feel that way too, all of their lives. Homeschooling makes this very easy to foster. They are together ALL OF THE TIME. The 13yr old plays with his siblings as if he was the same age or is the overseer of “their little childish games” when he needs to be.
They share the same friends. Even when my 17yr’s (who is off in college, God bless his soul) friends would come over, the 8, 5 & 4 yr old all felt comfortable talking to them and playing with them. The teen-age friends would take their cue from my son, who thought nothing of his siblings playing and talking with his friends because that’s what they have all done all of their lives. No friend is above the siblings, no matter how old. I pray this closeness stays with them for the rest of their lives.
6. be boys-Our society is totally feminizing the men. The school system has cut out recess. They aren’t allowed to play rough. They have to sit still with their hands folded and listen. HOGWASH!
I LOOOOVE boys and their never-ending energy! They should not be made to act like girls. Again homeschooling has allowed us to foster this in our boys. If they have a learning block or bad attitude they go outside and jog around the house. While reciting the multiplication table they do jumping jacks. They are allowed to hop, jump, bang, skip, beat, bump, run, climb, throw anything anywhere…as long as it’s not breakable or towards another person. They are boys and they do things differently from their momma. Even though I don’t understand it IT’S OKAY!
My philosophy for raising boys is simple: trained them like they are grown, married men because one day they probably will be. Here are some of my favorite books about raising boys.
What are your thoughts on raising boys?