Keeping it Light with Boys
As the mom of three boys, one practice I tried to keep in mind when they were young, was to keep it light and have fun.
I think all children love to have fun and let loose with their parents but as a mom of boys there is this balance of trying to raise respectful boys but not shame them for their love of potty humor and all bodily functions, silliness, and competition. Here are a few “Keepin’ It Light” practices that we instituted in our family that stood the test of time and my kids treasured.
I used to get very frustrated with the LOVE of burping and frequent burps at the table with the laughing and competing it would usually begin. When my kids were 7, 5 and 2 I had the idea of a Burp Fest. I bought soda, which we did not regularly drink in our home, I sat my boys down with their sodas, and told them it was a “Burp Fest”. We embraced all the burping and belching, and even started competitions with saying the alphabet and generally acted gross. I then told the kids once a week we could have a Burp Fest ONLY IF they had good manners at the table the rest of the week. They had to remember to say excuse me when they passed gas or belched and practice general politeness at the table & out and about. When they forgot their manners; they lost Burp Fest. It only took a couple of times before manners improved and the kids looked forward to the next Fest.
My boys, like many, are pretty hard core competitive and did not like to lose when we played games. One day while one boy was loudly celebrating that he won and was the “Grand Champion”, I having lost decided to celebrate that I was the “Grand Loser”. The kids picked up on it and every game we had a winner and a “Grand Loser” who would then put fingers up as an L on their forehead and strut around silly. For some reason, the boys loved it, and over time it was pretty fun for them to be the “GL”. For my crew, “GL” took the sting out of losing.
I was raised with one sister and being the mom of boys I have to say I was shocked by the potty humor and love of all things associated with poop. My go to rule when the boys resorted to potty humor was to invite them to go into the bathroom. While in the bathroom with the door shut they could say their fun words, jokes, or sing the “diarrhea song” to their hearts content. For a few days they really enjoyed going into the bathroom and loudly proclaiming their potty talk while hearing their brothers giggle outside. They were only able to be in the bathroom themselves to discourage complete mayhem. Pretty soon the novelty wore off and when the potty talk started, I would calmly invite them to go to the bathroom; they would usually just stop.
So, obviously your kiddos will have their own habits that drive you crazy but I have found it really helps the relationship when you can relax, take a deep breath and figure out a time and place to embrace their boyhood, be silly, and still teach some manners along the way!
Have your own great ideas & traditions, post them on in the comments section or on Raising Boys World Facebook Page!