We’ve all heard it before, ‘boys will be boys’. Maybe you have even said it. But what does that mean? Why do people seem to think it is okay to excuse bad behaviour in little boys? If your precious little girl began hitting another child, you would be horrified. Why do some people not even bat an eyelid when their son starts beating other children?
Last weekend, we were at Richmond Park. Dubz wanted to play next to a little tree, but another little boy (around the age of four or five) who shouted at him and chased him out with an umbrella. The boy’s parents, lying down on a nearby bench, did not say a word. Dubz still wanted to play at the tree but I had to drag him away as I did not want him to get hurt. Dubz is quite gentle and loves playing near other children, so he did not understand any danger and did not want to leave. Then the little boy’s younger brother started chasing Dubz with an umbrella. Dubz ran back to our group, frightened. But the parents did not say a word, and let the boy chase my son.
I then did what I would not normally do. I raised at my voice at the little boy and asked him to stop chasing my son. This is when the boy’s mother got involved. She came over to inform me that her son just wanted to play with my son. He was just being a two-year old little boy. I somehow managed not to tell her off. I understand that Dubz is tall for his age, and the mum might have figured he was much older than her son. I understand that we should let our children play with constant parental control. But how is it acceptable to let a child chase another child aggressively using the excuse that they are a boy? If her daughter had been chasing my son (she had three other children), then would she have put a stop to this onslaught?
I have seen several instances of little girls playing too rough, and their mothers are always so apologetic. And when little boys act too aggressively, I have noticed that their parents only apologise half the time. As if there is a badge of honour when your little boy is ‘tough’. Some parents even laugh when their little boy hits another child. But would they laugh if it was their little princess bashing another child’s face in?
I feel that children should be taught that it is not okay to be violent towards one another. Yes, my children have fights with each other. But that is the violence that only siblings can commit while still loving each other. I am talking about hitting and kicking other children. Pushing them down. Spitting and biting. And yes, children, especially toddlers do those things. But aren’t we, as parents, suppose to inform them that this is not appropriate behaviour? Aren’t we suppose to guide our children until they know how to behave like decent human beings? A simple, ‘please stop’ or ‘that is not nice’. And you ask your child to apologise, or else you apologise whilst feeling embarrassed. Because even though children can’t always control their aggression, it does not mean that we should laugh it off.
Dubz turned two in May. We have had months of terrible tantrums, and all the shouting and crying that comes with this stage. But there has been a great shift in the past two months. Yes, he still has some tantrums, but they do not rule our lives. Dubz is finally able to express himself in words, though sometimes he is difficult to understand. But he can eventually make himself understood.
So I thought I would share some of his recent silliness.
Last week I asked my Husband to do a wee in front of our son, so that Dubz could see how things are supposed to ‘work’ when it comes time to potty train. Rather than just watching his Daddy, Dubz tried to touch the wee and was shouting ‘apple juice, apple juice!’ If only we had apple juice on tap. Haha
Dubz loves growly animals, aliens and monsters. But his favourite things are dinosaurs. But he cannot pronounce it properly, so he calls them ‘dino-roars’. It is absolutely adorable.
Dubz got a trilby in July. He wears it constantly, from the moment he gets up in the morning and only takes it off for naptime and for bedtime. Last week he threw it out of a window at pre-school. We were unable to find the hat. Dubz was very cranky about this for a day, but has since tried to find a replacement hat (basically he has been stealing my hats and wearing bowls on his head). He looks ridiculously funny.
Terribly cute, no? I am linking up to Wot So Funee. Pop on over to Stressy Mummy for more silliness.
You are probably expecting that I will tell you about a mum who was acting like a know-it-all, or maybe I’m writing about an overall loathing of parents who act like they are walking parenting books. But alas my friends, this post is about me. I am the know-it-all. *looks down in shame* I used to dole out advice about sleeping and eating and discipline as if I was the reincarnated Dr Spock.
When I had my daughter, just over six years ago, I found the first three months to be quite stressful. But then at 11 weeks old, Moozles began sleeping through the night (in her cot in her own room). It was amazing. And when I began weaning her at 5 1/2 months, she took to eating without any problems. She ate just about everything, practically every meat and every vegetable. She began talking at 20 months, and by the age of two she knew all the colours and could count to 10. She skipped the Terrible Twos entirely. There were no tantrums. We used to take her to very nice restaurants where she would eat from the adult menu, sit nicely, do some colouring and not make a mess. She was such a ‘good’ child. And I surmised that I was obviously a good parent.
Boy, was I wrong. What I was, was lucky. Two years ago we had our darling son, Dubz. And now the truth has finally sunk in. Dubz did not sleep through the night til he was 10 months old. Although he ate everything at first, he is quite picky, even sometimes turning his nose up at pizza. Pizza! Some days he will eat broccoli, some days he won’t. Most of his food ends up on the floor. He began his foray in the Terrible Twos at 22 months old. He will shout and shriek and hit. We have occasionally gone out for meals at Pizza Express and Wagamama but have spent the entire time counting down until we can leave.
But Dubz is not bad. And I am not a bad parent. Every child is different. This is the biggest lesson I have learned since having two children. There is no good or bad. Some children are more spirited. Then again, Moozles has more than made up for her lack of Terribles Twos by having an extreme case of the Ferocious Fives.
So the next time you feel like giving someone parenting advice, ask yourself if the advice is needed. You do not have a perfect child. There is no perfect child. Some children sleep better than others. Some eat everything, and some only eat bread or sausages. Sometimes we genuinely need advice. But sometimes we all appreciate some understanding when we are complaining about our children. Advice is not always wanted.