Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Call to Raise a 100% Boy

If you’re a mom to a spunky, energetic boy, this post may be a blessing to you. I hesitated to write it, aiming to respect my son’s privacy. But then I decided I could share my heart (something I enjoy doing with others!) while respecting him at the same time. I hope someone out there finds encouragement from this!


Maybe it’s the fact that I’m still a relatively new mom. Maybe it has something to do with never largely being around any boys outside of my husband and my dad. Maybe it has a whole lot to do with the fact that I prayed for a boy who would be 100% boy…and got my prayer granted.

Whatever the reason, God is teaching me so much about being a mom to a boy. Now, I’m sure Hannah will have her challenging moments as she gets older. I hear drama is all the rage in toddler girls. But at least I’ve had some experience with that, being a girl myself. But boys….oh boy. That’s new territory for me.

You know something about boys who are 100% boy?They’re energetic. They’re LOUD. They’re rambunctious. They’re fun. They thrive on the outdoors, learning new things through physical activities. They get bored easily. They find it nearly impossible to sit still more than 10 minutes. They have no desire to color a picture or do craft that isn’t semi-messy. They want to be moving, jumping, yelling, wrestling. Does that make you tired just reading it?! Some days I’m exhausted by 10am.

My challenge has not been to love my son. No, not at all. I love this rambunctious, joyful being with every breath I have in me. But the challenge is how this 100% female mama is to embrace this God-given 100% boyish spirit and not conform him to ways of the world that just aren’t him. I want to shape his will while keeping His spirit in tact. Some of you may read that statement and say, “Huh?” Others of you will know exactly what I may be talking about.

He LOVES being around other people-adults and kids. But he has a problem sitting down and paying attention in a small classroom for 2 hours at his mother’s day out program. The other children seem to enjoy coloring worksheets and using a glue stick, but Drew...well, Drew would much rather be outside running and climbing a tree. Or jumping off a high swinging swing. Or picking up leaves. Or having a sword fight with a stick. You get my drift? I expect him to be able to sit for 10-15 minutes in a classroom setting, but after that, he needs physical activity!

This problem has caused me some turmoil in the past few weeks, but God revealed something to me that should have been very for me to see. God gave me THIS child for a reason (and I’m so thankful). Because I have the abilities that this child requires to be shaped into the MAN God wants him to be, the intelligent God I serve put him into my womb and my arms. God has called me to sacrifice self and embrace raising this beautiful boy. Some days I wonder if I’m doing the job faithfully that God has placed before me. I wonder if I really do have what it takes. But on those weary days I can feel God’s hand of support. He puts people or words into my life that reaffirm what I know and lift me up to start a new day with a new idea on how to challenge, teach, and entertain him.

Drew is a spunky, strong-headed, fun loving toddler who might not think the way most other kids think. And God has revealed to me that these very qualities which sometimes make him a handful of a toddler are going to make him an amazing man one day. And he’s also revealed to me that these changes will not take place overnight. The teaching that he requires will take 1) time 2) patience. But with time and patience will come a man who will love the Lord and serve him with these incredible attributes with which God gifted him.

He will be hard-working and not lazy. He will be persistent. He will love being around others. He will be quick to forgive. He will be loving. He will think outside the box. He will be sensitive to others’ emotions. He will help manage his home. He will know all sorts of incredible things about the outdoors to teach his children. He’ll be a handyman.

God is going to use these traits that make him challenging at the present times to be such a blessing in his future.

I love being the mom of a little boy. Even one who is 100% boy. Especially one who is 100% boy. And God is teaching me right alongside Drew. He’s teaching me to lean on him, to be gracious, to see things in a different light, to be patient, to study His word, to seek His counsel at every turn, and to put aside my cares about what others may say and put my eyes on Him only-to only seek his approval. Because His is the ONLY one that matters.


Anonymous said...

I have read your blog for awhile now but never commented before. I have a little boy a few months older than drew who is his twin behavior wise. He will my sit and focus, just 100 percent boy. He wants to be running jumping screaming yelling and hurting himself lol. The other issue I have is he does not listen whatsoever. I was wondering if you have this issue also? If so do you have any discipline methods that are working for you? I am running out of ideas and looking for any guidance. BTW, I think you are doing an awesome job raising drew :)

Audra Laney said...

Hey Anon. I'm glad you spoke out. I was hoping SOMEONE out there would understand where I'm coming from. Glad to know I'm not alone! ;)

Drew seems to go through spells (that may last hours or a day or a week) where he tends to listen and obey more and not be quite as rowdy. And I might think, "Wow...he's finally gotten it this time." Then other times I think, "Did we not already cross this bridge and master this lesson?! Why are we going backwards to this problem?!" Then God gently reminds me that consistency is key. (Just as God has to rehash my same problem areas with me over and over!) So, yes, we have times where he seems to not mind at all. And he wants to test me at every turn, sometimes becoming defiantly disobedient.

I had to laugh when I read your question about what discipline methods are working for us. Some days I think nothing works! LOL. We do spank for defiant disobedience. If I say "Do NOT throw that banana peel. Put it in the garbage instead," and the throws that banana peel, he does get a spanking. Then there are other times where the offense may be one that we just use time out for. He hates having to sit still in a chair while everyone else is having fun. I know a lot of people knock time-out, but if it works for your kid, USE IT. We used the corner for a while because he had no distractions there. That became more of a pain than anything and we moved it to the chair. His least favorite is time out in his room, on his bed. We use that as well. But we always, always talk to him about his discipline. I try to explain to him why he's getting punished first and then directly after punishment is over. Our discipline is rooted in Jesus' desire for us to be obedient, so we try to dull it down to a 3 year old level as much as possible. (God says you have to mind mommy and daddy. It makes God sad when you don't mind, etc.) And I know he gets it because I hear him lecturing his stuffed animals (or his baby sister!) sometimes with the same verbage.

Some days I'm waving the white flag. But one of my biggest sources of encouragement is 1) The Mission of Motherhood and 2) Dr Dobson's Bringing Up Boys. Both of those have been so inspiring. Also, find other moms of 100% boys. If you try to relate to a mother with all calm, sweet girls, it really doesn't make you feel much better!

Also, visit this website: They always have an encouraging word on weary days!

I hope this helps. Please feel free to respond if I didn't make something clearer than mud. I certainly don't have all the answers, but I'm praying God imparts a small amount of wisdom to me on disciplining this rambunctious boy! ;)

Jackie said...

I don't have any boys (yet!) just a little girl. I can see myself in your shoes, as I only had a sister growing up. This is wonderful....very touching words. Hang in there!

Audra Laney said...

Thanks, Jackie. I always appreciate your kind words. :)

Anonymous said...

Hello! Sorry it took me so long to write back. I appreciate all your thoughts on the situation. I am convinced that we WILL get through this. I dont know how long it will take, or if I will have any sanity at that point, but I know one day he will get it. We also spank, but I am coming to terms with it doesnt do anything. We tried time out along time ago, and I haven't tried since. I think I may retry. Again, thanks so much and good luck!

Anonymous said...

I also have a boy the same age!!! IT IS ROUGH! So happy to hear an honest blogger! Some days I feel like it is just our kid, or just our parenting??!!! But I do agree consistency is key!

Alyssa Hoshell said...

Love it..Thanks!

This Might Tickle Your Fancy

Blog Widget by LinkWithin