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.
My daughter is six years old, and my son is two. I wish that I could say that I treated them equally. But recently, I have realised that I don’t. As I consider myself to be a strong woman, I want my daughter to grow up to be a strong woman too. I am determined that she grow up to be independent and resolute. And my son? Well, I want him to be a respectful man, a kind and happy person. Do you see the disparity?
Dubz is sweet and happy (who knows if he is clever, after all he is only two). He has all the potential of becoming prime minister or a rock star. Moozles is sweet and clever. So I do not want her working in a lowly post in an office, passed over for promotion because she is too bashful. So I am a bit tougher on her. But I don’t think this is right.
As a woman, you grow up with so much criticism. From yourself, and others. The way you look, dress, act. It is not fair to have to deal with that from your mother. I want my daughter to have a great life. I want her to be happy. But I also want her to be successful. I know how tough it is for women in the workplace. We have to deal with bosses who stare at our chests and colleagues who comment on our looks. And when we have children, the masses voice their loud comments on pregnancy sickness, maternity leave and any reduction of hours. And to top that off, we are paid 35% less than our male counterparts. Ouch.
There is some sense in wanting to prepare my girl for this world. But while I prepare her, I should not be critical of her. Moozles needs to know that her mother is in her corner, in this big bad world. That I am fair and kind, in a world that can be biased and cruel. She should not grow up seeing me encourage her brother’s cheekiness while expecting her to be serious and studious. Mother-Daughter relationships are complicated enough. I don’t want Moozles feeling like an outsider as she watches Dubz and I clown around. After all, there is room for all three of us to be silly.
Have any of you ladies ever dated a Mummy’s boy (that’s Mama’s boy for my American peeps)? Maybe you even married one? Well, I dated one for almost a year and it was one of the worst relationships I have ever been in. Part of it was that he was an arse, but another part was that he was a mummy’s boy. He was 25 and still living with his mother. Nowadays, due to the high cost of housing, this is more common. But it wasn’t so cool back then. I can’t express how I loathed my morning walks of shame.
And now I have a son of my own. A sweet, affectionate, clingy mummy’s boy. I know I must do whatever I can to help him grow up into his own man. I will be doing him a disservice if he cannot love another woman as much as he loves me. Obviously if he is gay, then this is a moot point as I will remain his number one gal. *smiles longingly* So I thought I would write a guide to not raising a mummy’s boy. I have no expertise, just a lot of natural know-it-all ways.
How Not To Raise a Momma’s Boy (or The Dos and Don’ts of Raising a Good Boyfriend)
1. Don’t continually tell your son that no woman will ever love him as much as you do.
2. Don’t keep wiping your son’s ass/nose even though he is 10 years old.
3. Do teach your son how to cook and how to wash his own clothes. There is nothing like the gift of self-dependency. On a related not, teach him how to make a killer cocktail.
4. Don’t iron your son’s underpants. This is something no boy/man should ever get accustomed to.
5. Do not let your son think it is okay to wear white socks with dress shoes. This will never be in fashion. Never, I say.
6. Do teach your son the importance of foot rubs. If your son insists on watching sports, teach him that each match/game watched equates to one foot rub to be given. Obviously your son will need to practice on you so that he perfects his foot massage techniques. You are welcome future girlfriends/boyfriends!
7. Do let your son know that it is okay to cry or show emotion in front of others. It’s a new age people. Men no longer have to be strong and silent. BUT, it is not okay to cry if you see a spider.
8. Do teach your son to compliment others. Whether you are being wooed or have been together 20 years, a lady likes to hear that she looks pretty. Do teach your son how to compliment. Acceptable: ‘that’s a nice dress, you look beautiful’. Not Acceptable: ‘you’re pretty, for a bigger girl’.
9. Do teach your son that only babies should act like babies. Babytalk is not cool. Unless you are a baby. Hearing a teenage boy talk to his mother in babytalk (or vice versa) makes me physically ill.
10. Do teach your son that there is no one like his mother. No point looking for perfection. 😉 But if he looks real hard, he may find someone pretty darn nice.