Holy Testosterone, Batman!

It appears it has finally happened. My sweet, adorable little snuggler has, in recent weeks, transformed into a full-fledged, loud, rambunctious, rough-and-tumble Big Boy.

Or, as my brother-in-law so eloquently put it, BoyWonder is ALL DUDE.

Maybe it was the potty training that did it. Or maybe the weaning. Or maybe his burgeoning awareness of the difference between boys and girls. Whatever the trigger, there’s been a distinct shift in our boy’s “boyness” as of late.

Bye-bye, Baby Boy. Big Boy’s moving in.

He’s always had some typically boy tendencies, of course, such as his early and continual obsession with balls. (No, not those balls – the ones you play with. Umm . . . I mean the ones that bounce. Yeah. No. The ones you roll around? Oh, brother. Hmmm . . . The kind you shoot into a basket! There we go. Sheesh. See? This is one of those things about having a boy. I never would have had to clarify this with our girls.)

So yeah, the ball thing. And his super snuggliness with yours truly, which I wouldn’t have pegged as a boy thing, but practically every mom I know (and I know a lot) says that their boys were a special kind of snuggly. Anecdotal, but seemingly true nonetheless.

So he’s always been a boy. But up until very recently, he was missing that raw, fierce boy energy that I often associate with little boys. The I’m-going-to-keep-kicking-my-sister’s-chair-because-it-makes-her-squeal energy. The primal “Grrr, Rarrrr, me make fire!” undercurrent that flows beneath even the most civilized of males.

It’s arrived. It’s here. And it’s a force to be reckoned with.

Part of my initial fear in having a boy was not knowing what to do with that energy. I don’t have that fear anymore, but the question still lingers. What do I do with this? How do we harness this force and teach him to use it for good? Is it just a matter of building up the spiritual qualities that can temper and counter whatever the animal instincts are that lead males to aggression and dominance? Or is it more about channeling that energy into constructive rather than destructive avenues? Or is it all about example? Or all about great heroes?

Or am I just driving myself nutty overanalyzing this stuff?

People think raising girls is complicated. And it can be, emotionally speaking. But I feel like bringing up a boy is just as complex, in ways we don’t hear about as often. Thanks to the feminist movement, we’re very aware of how women and girls have been treated unfairly throughout history. Because of that, we expect much from our girls, and when given the opportunity, girls generally rise to that challenge.

But the expectations for boys are different. That whole “boys will be boys” thing excuses a myriad of ridiculous behaviors that have simply been accepted as male nature. I don’t buy it – not completely, anyway. Without guidance and education and a different expectation, yes, I think boys will be boys. There are parts of male nature which, left unchecked, will often lead to violence, war, oppression, domination. But we aren’t living in caves anymore, and I truly believe that in our advanced society those same qualities can be channeled, perhaps sometimes with herculean efforts, into passions that can benefit humanity.

As a mother, though, I’m not quite sure how that plays out in daily life.

So it was rather fortuitous that as I was perusing the library today I came across a book called “The Purpose of Boys: Helping Our Sons Find Meaning, Significance, and Direction in Their Lives” by Michael Gurian. I have no idea if it’s any good, but the few pages I skimmed seemed quite helpful and it has a 5-star rating on Amazon. I’ll let you know what I think once I get into it.

How about it, Moms-of-Boys? Any sage advice from you long-timers? Or have you newbies had some of these same thoughts or others to share?

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

Comments 3

  1. I have been thinking about this sooooooooo much lately and seem to be facing the topic non stop – it’s meeting me everywhere I go! Just started reading Raising Boys http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Boys-Different-Become-Well-Balanced/dp/158761328X and was surprised how many books there are on this topic. I’m sure all have pros and cons but yeah, it’s a huge issue and very complex even though boys are supposedly more “simple” than girls (unfortunately I wouldnt know as I only have two boys). I think in today’s society it’s acceptable for women to feel confused about their role (take all the writing on the Supermom for example) but for men it’s supposedly more straight forward. But with changes for women, come changes for men… and I dont think society at large has really faced or figured out what this means yet. Myself included 😉

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