Please enjoy this guest post by Karen Lesh from M.O.B. Truths. She’s a fellow boy-mom with great tips on how to raise secure boys. Her method may just surprise you, in a good, warm and fuzzy kind of way.
Raising secure boys, *even* without sports!
“You must be sooo busy with all your boys’ sports!” It’s a comment I get often as a mom of three boys. But I have to admit, it annoys me! Fact: Not all boys are into sports. Fact: There are gazillions of other interests in the world that can help develop boys into smart, well-adjusted, strong, active, social, kind humans. Fact: My sons do a mix of these things, and I’m super-proud to support their interests, whatever they may be.
So many of my friends spend their weekends driving their kids – both boys and girls – from activity to activity to sports practice to game after game after game. Until recently, that wasn’t quite my life, and I was ok with it.
Don’t get me wrong – my weekends were busy. With three kids and a full time job and a household to manage, it’s impossible for them to not be! Our weekends were busy with seasonal activities – maybe a pumpkin patch or ice skating or the town pool – or sometimes we dabbled in sports like our town’s soccer league or YMCA Kids’ Sports (awesome programs!). But we were also busy at home, in our playroom, in our yard, out and about in the neighborhood doing scavenger hunts or other home-grown fun.
I believe that supporting my kids’ interests, whatever they may be, has helped them be themselves. I tried many times to encourage lots of “boyish” activity like sports, or camping, or fishing. But in the end a mix of activities is what seems to work best for my boys to find happiness. And in the end, that’s really my goal.
How do you let a boy be himself in the world today, even if he doesn’t want to play football or baseball? You just do.
Raising secure boys, one painted toe at a time!
Among my three boys, we’ve had plenty of experiences that are not typically viewed as “for boys.” One went through a princess phase, buying dress-up clothes and all. Even some close friends are horrified that I let him dress up like that and sing Frozen’s “Let it Go” at the top of his lungs. It didn’t faze me one bit. He was pretending. He was acting. He was happy. And moments later, he was dressed like Iron Man or the Incredible Hulk, again pretending, acting, and happy.
All three have asked to have their nails painted at one time or another — usually around age 3. I admit we typically stuck with toenails so they avoid ridicule at preschool or swim class … but I still indulged their curiosity. They chose black and blue and red. They were exploring. They were painting. They were messy. They were happy.
We’ve even had baby dolls in our house. Yes! Three of them! The boys used to love to bathe and diaper the babies, take them for walks in strollers, and feed them. They were mimicking my husband and me. They were learning tenderness, care-giving. They were pretending. They were happy. So watch out future wives – these boys of mine are going to be great daddies.
Did you know it’s possible to be athletic and active without playing team sports?!?! Some parents seem to have overlooked this, as they look at me and question how my kids aren’t on a team. They’ve done karate — learning skill, strength, focus, and respect. They’ve taken classes at an American Ninja Warrior gym/training center, run by the famous Drew Drechsel, teaching them strength, mobility, perseverance, camaraderie, and to believe in themselves. And just recently, one chose to take golf lessons, teaching him patience (well, maybe), focus, concentration, flexibility, and giving him a great activity to do one-on-one with Daddy.
One day, one of my boys came home and out of nowhere asked if he could play ice hockey. He has moved along quite nicely through the Learn-to-Skate program and is thoroughly enjoying Learn-to-Play-Hockey, run by a former NHL player. He is steady and strong on his skates, learning the moves, giving it his all every time he’s on the ice. Even if his toenails were painted blue at one time in his life. I can see the sparkle in his eye as he imagines himself on a breakaway, scoring the game-winning goal for his team. He’s learning. He’s pretending. He’s happy. And I’m helping to fuel his dreams.
So, yes, now my weekends are a bit more full of driving to sports practice, but not because I forced it. One son chose hockey, just like he chose a princess dress-up costume one day many years ago, and chose to bake pumpkin bread with Mommy another day. He writes stories. He makes his friends get-well cards.
One loves puzzles, drawing mazes, playing video games with friends, doing cool science stuff, playing sports in the yard with neighborhood kids, and doing special projects around the house.
One just wants to play. Anything, any time.
Whether sporty, typically boy-like, or not, I thrive on helping my children grow into the people they want to be by supporting their interests. I’m happy they are comfortable with “Mom, I want to try . . .” and can finish that statement however they want. I love that their wide span of interests lets them dabble in many things and find what they love. I think they’re turning out to be kind, well-rounded little men, and I couldn’t ask for anything more, just by letting them be themselves.
Hi, I’m Karen Lesh from M.O.B. Truths. I’m a wife, friend, sister, daughter, professional, a self-proclaimed girly-girl, and, in my most surprising role ever — I’m a Mother of Boys — THREE BOYS!!!
I started my blog because being a Mother of Boys (M.O.B.) is quite an adventure, and one I truly wasn’t expecting! I somehow always just pictured myself having daughters. But here I am, a full-fledged M.O.B., and LOVING IT. There’s a lot of unexpected, hilarious, heartwarming stuff that goes on as a M.O.B., and in parenting in general, and I’d love to connect with other parents to share stories, ideas, tips & tricks, and perspective.
I’m no expert, but I believe this joyful, challenging, hilarious, endearing and exhausting parenting adventure is worth sharing! Come visit at https://www.mobtruths.com