The conversation around gender has become heated over recent years. At first, we just had boys and girls, but now we’ve got up to a hundred different genders. We’ve all heard the expression that “boys will be boys” – but what exactly does that mean in a society that seems to have become obsessed with the latest social justice movements?
For many moms, it can be a confusing time. They’re being told all sorts of things by different people and psychologists. But the principles of raising boys to be great men haven’t changed over time. Instead, they’re being slowly improved, and moms learn more and more about what makes great parenting every year. Here are some principles to abide by if you’re raising a son.
Boys Need A Reason To Push Themselves
Many moms will know the frustration that comes with having a son who doesn’t want to push himself in school. Instead, he’s content with skipping homework and spending all evening on the games console.
This sort of behavior doesn’t mean he’s bad. In fact, this is precisely what humans are wired to do when faced with a task that seems pointless to their short and long – term goals. The problem is that people aren’t evolved to learn stuff that they perceive as pointless. Their brains are only able to process so much information, and so they conserve resources for the things that they think are important. Pythagoras’ theorem has no real-life bearing on an eleven-year-old boy’s life, and so he ignores it and instead focuses on the things that do matter, like how to be popular at school.
Science also makes it clear that people only learn when they have an internal motivation to do so. This is why people who embark on passion projects tend to become far more highly skilled in a discipline that people who simply show up to lessons, week after week, even though they find them irrelevant. The person who can see a point to what they’re doing will learn all that they need to learn independently. The boy who simply sits there, hoping that the math they are learning will make its way into their brain via a process of osmosis will learn less.
So what can moms do? As with so many things in life, it’s actually a much better policy to “let go.” By letting go, you open up the possibility that your boy will find their own reasons for doing things. Many moms worry that if their kids don’t learn to read at a third-grade level by the time that they are in third grade, then they will “fall behind.” But the evidence from psychologytoday.com suggests that this isn’t true. On the contrary, once a boy has decided that they want to read, they pick up the ability very rapidly – as long as they are doing so because of their own internal desires.
Mom’s, therefore, should try to create reasons for their sons to read. One great reason why many kids start reading is because they are fascinated to know what will happen to fictional characters in a book. Just giving your child a book and saying something like, “I saw this book about a mouse who was a warrior, and I thought that you might like to read it” can get them hooked. Often children can pick up how to read without any external instruction, making the links and working out the words for themselves based on what they’ve learned so far.
Another thing you can try is introducing them to new ideas and possibilities. Many great scientists, for instance, were inspired by the things that their parents introduced them to when they were little. It can be something as simple as a battery made from a lemon, or as magnificent as a telescope. Often, children will invest hundreds of hours exploring something which interests them.
Boys Need Physical Activity
Thanks to the education system, boys spend most of their time sitting on their backsides in class. And while this might be perceived as good for their intellectual development, it doesn’t set a good example when it comes to being physically active.
According to Sarah from FrugalFun4Boys.com, young boys have a need for hard physical activity – even physical labor, to let off steam. There are all sorts of things that boys can do to get fit. They can go down to the local church to rake leaves, they can do landscaping at friend’s house, and they can ride their bikes.
Another option is to get into sports. Sites like DontPayFull.com have coupons that help moms save money on sports equipment at outlets like Millet Sports. You don’t have to introduce them to team sports if you don’t want to. You can introduce them to adventuring sports, like hiking and climbing.
Boys Love Things That Explode
While it’s true that boys will sit down and play chess or curl up in a corner and learn a book, they also have a penchant for things that explode. The cool thing is that you can turn this apparently destructive impulse into something that is constructive, with the right environment.
One example is the chemical rocket. There are all sorts of videos online showing you how to make a chemical rocket from household ingredients and an old soda bottle. Chemical rockets are a great way to get kids interested in science and chemistry and perhaps even designing their own launch vehicles.
There are other ways to get boys interested in nature too. Drones are a great tool for this. Not only to they allow boys to create stunning images, but they also teach things like safe use and respect for privacy. Drones are an excellent way to establish empathy with other people, since they have to be used in a respectful manner. Drones can also be used to capture beautiful videos which can then be uploaded onto the computer and edited further. Video editing is a skill in itself and is time well spent compared to, say, playing video games.