As I navigate the sometimes choppy waters of raising boys, I’m often left wondering if I’m a balanced disciplinarian. There’s a fine line between boys just being boys and blatantly disrespectful behavior. I don’t want to live my life as Captain of the ‘No-Fun-Ever’ Police, but I also don’t want my boys to run wild. I never know if I’m getting it right.
Here’s a list of common behaviors that fall into a gray area and how I view them.
1. Wrestling constantly with your brother usually in a light-hearted manner. ACCEPTABLE
2. Yanking your brother’s glasses off his face while wrestling and tossing them across the room. UNACCEPTABLE
3. Passing gas on command and cracking up endlessly. Depends on the context and thankfully, it’s rare, so I usually let this one slide. Do I understand the hilarity of it? Never.
4. Thinking you are AWESOME at everything. ACCEPTABLE
5. Smacking your booty every time you complete a math problem on the computer. To clarify, only T.Puzzle does this. I think it’s crazy and I do my best to ignore it. At least he’s doing something academic, right?
6. Arguing when told to do something. Unequivocally UNACCEPTABLE. This issue alone is the main reason my boys have come to know time-out and consequences intimately.
7. Crying or having a terrible attitude when you lose. UNACCEPTABLE
8. The weird inability to pay attention to what I tell them to do. As soon as a direction has left my mouth, I usually am asked 27 detailed, repetitive questions about what I just said. As long as they comply with a good attitude, I chalk it up to that male quality that renders them deaf to the sound of female voices.
9. Being averse to hugs and kisses from their Mom. UNACCEPTABLE They have to suck it up. Just like I know they won’t change some aspects of who they are, neither will I. Full Speed is politely resigned to my affections. T.Puzzle is a little more squirmily defiant. Either way, it’s happening.
10. Giving corrective feedback. Well, if I married Mad Dog, the king of subtle, corrective feedback (an influencing genius if you will), then, can I really be shocked his boys share this trait? I usually let it slide but if they catch me on a bad day, all bets are off. For some reason, I’m much less open to Mad Dog’s feedback than the boys’. Go figure.
I hope one day that my boys will be parents. Ideally, they will have only girls and will be as confused as I am.