People always say to me “Oh, you are so great with your boy – don’t you ever get mad or frustrated!?” A big fat “HA” is usually my gut reaction. Of course I get mad and frustrated… and overwhelmed and clueless and lost and any number of other adjectives. However, I have learned that raising a boy, you just have to pick and choose your battles – and you also need to have a few tricks up your sleeve.
10 Tips For Parenting Boys
Now when I say tricks what I actually mean is smart ideas and self imposed parenting rules to follow. Call it a road map to make life easier and more simple. Granted I don’t have a lot of rules. We are a freedom filled house full of running, jumping, laughing, eating, dancing, loud music (usually from dad), and fun but I do have my guidelines – for myself! Here are a few of my basics. Feel free to add your own and I guarantee these will give you a little more sanity and sleep. And remember, almost all of the time, your new motto is going to be… “Let it go!”
1 – Your house will never be as neat or as stylish as you want it to be.
Just get used to it! It will not look like an ad from Restoration Hardware (no matter how hard I want it to). I am a neat/organization freak who loves great furnishings so if I can adapt so can you!
2 – Homework time stinks.
No two ways about it. Just like your kid, you need to buck up and get through it. Don’t worry about having all the answers, you can learn them together. It is amazing how good I am again at state abbreviations and capitals.
3 – The new shirt/pants/hat/coat is going to get dirty.
New clothing won’t stay new long. Period. No matter how many times you ask him to hang it up or use a napkin the coat will end up on the playground grass and the shirt will end up covered in ketchup.
4 – Toys will be everywhere.
Toys everywhere. See number one. Sure you can designate a place for storage – just don’t expect them to be kept there. My son has a mini recliner in the living room and it has storage compartments on the sides. He now say that he wants to keep all his stuff around the chair so it is handy when he needs it. Who am I to argue with that logic? I am creating a mini Archie Bunker! Just give him a TV tray , the remote, a book to read, his iPad full of Youtube, and some apple juice and the kid will never get up again.
5 – Have unlimited snacks.
Have an unlimited supply of Goldfish crackers (preferably different colors and flavors). There is no problem that can’t be solved with Goldfish crackers.
And 5 More Tips For Raising A Boy
6 – Be ok with the fact that he can eat the same food for lunch everyday… of every week… for a month straight! I swear I try to vary his school lunch, I truly do, but turkey slices, yogurt, crackers, and a cheese stick are winning everyday. Look at it this way, shopping is much more simple. And btw, a cheese quesadilla and scrambled eggs have been the choice for dinner for the last month!
7 – Flat paint should never be used anywhere in your house. Semi-gloss will quickly become your best friend.
8 – Invest in great noise canceling headphones… for him! It is amazing how peaceful everything is when I can’t hear the guys from Good Mythical Morning or the latest hot tip for building a Minecraft super cave city.
9 – Accept the fact that there are simply some craft projects that will never get done. And there are some others that will not be good! It’s OK. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart or an HGTV star to be a great parent.
10 – There will be spillage and breakage and messes. My mom used to put plastic covers on the sofas (yep, you remember those days) but it didn’t matter because when you spilled the drink it just ran off of the plastic and onto the floor where it made the mess on the shag carpet! Crayons will break, food will spill, mud will splatter, toilets will be missed. And guess what… it will all be just fine.
Just keep muttering your new mantra… Let it go, Let it go, Let it go! What do think people should keep in mind when raising a boy? Any tips of your own you want to share about parenting boys or questions?
Rob Youngblood is a Dad, Keynote Speaker, Communication Expert, Performance Coach, Emmy winning TV Host, Writer, and Storyteller. Learn more about him at www.youngbloodonthecoast.com. You can also follow him on Twitter.