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Raising Little Boys

Children Parenting

Raising Little Boys

It didn’t take me long to see my little boy acted differently than his five big sisters.

It was the end of a long afternoon. The thought of fixing dinner felt like an astronomical feat. If only I could just close my eyes… in an instant the thought was smashed by what sounded like the Tin-man falling down a flight of stairs. Two things I knew immediately: Danny, my two-year-old, was cleaning out the bottom cabinets and neither one of us was taking a nap anytime soon. Resisting the temptation to rethink my life-choices, I headed for the kitchen. After having five girls in a row, raising two little boys was wearing me down.

As I walked in, I caught him pulling all of my pots and pans out and onto the floor. Apparently, he needed a clean den to crawl into. As I swept him out of the kitchen, he ran into the bathroom.

Before I could get one mess cleaned up, I heard another one in the making. The boy had pushed a chair from the dining room, to the bathroom, up to the sink and managed to turn on the water–in record time. Positive his spiritual gifts included diversionary tactics, I muttered a prayer that was half complaint, and half pleading for mercy, “I am too old and too tired for this level of energy Lord.”

Then, deep in my spirit, I felt these words. “Remember, you prayed he would be a strong man of God. You wanted a boy who would grow up willing to stand up for his faith, and his family. So what did you expect? He is strong. He is determined. Right now, you’re all he has to conquer.”

Raising Little Boys vs Raising Little Girls

In spite of what the world around us would have us believe about our son’s behavior, the differences between the sexes are very real. The sex we are born as affects us at a cellular level, it influences how we act and think.

Scientists have identified this truth throughout God’s creation. This is especially true among mammals, including humans. Males of every species display different behaviors than females.

Across the centuries and cultures, it’s been well documented that male behavior is more active, combative, and protective. Throughout history the boys and men who excelled in these traits became our leaders, provided food, and defended their families and communities. They guaranteed the survival of their families.

Today brave men are still needed to lead others into battle, rush into burning buildings, storm into schools when evil takes aim at innocence. We still need men to step out into a harsh world and provide and protect their families and communities.

The characteristics that are predominantly male or masculine are deeply entrenched in generations of DNA. It is just that they are no longer valued. What’s worse, they are deeply misunderstood.

Made Especially for Boys

Did you know that mothers of sons produce milk that is different than if they had daughters? One study of twins discovered how God designed our bodies to uniquely tailor our babies’ milk to their needs according to their sex.

Breastmilk for boys is higher in fat and protein, therefore it is higher in calories and energy.

How amazing is that? Raising little boys, even from birth, whether we realize it or not, they have different needs than little girls.

What if we, as moms, embraced our boys for their unique abilities? And instead of trying to squelch their energy, we started raising our boys to be adventurous, bold, and brave? Perhaps, just perhaps, they would find it less cool to be effeminate. It’s time to stop nurturing weakness, and instead, show our boys how to overcome adversity.

How would the culture change if we allowed boys to be boys, respected masculinity once again, and expected them to become the men God created them to be? If we expected, and valued, hard work and achievement?

When King David was just a boy he was given the responsibility of a shepherd. He actually fought off lions and bears. To all those around him, he wasn’t much more than a scrawny kid. To his brother Eliab, he was a big mouthed kid who didn’t know his place.

When David stepped up and said he would take on Goliath, it just made his brother angry. By his reaction, I’m guessing it wasn’t the first time David showed up larger than life with more boldness than thoughtfulness.

Boys Who Exasperate Their Mothers When They’re Little

Does that sound familiar? How many times have you, out of protection, squelched your boy’s ambition to do something “big.” I know I have. We want to keep them safe, clean, and polite. None of which, takes bravery, or risks.

Keep your expectations high. It’s not wrong to bridle and direct his energy and strength. In fact, that is our job. However, it’s important to understand what they need to grow into manhood. They need to push their limits and test themselves. While in the process they will test us and our resolve to keep them safe.

I’ve often wondered how exasperated mothers of great men must have been while they were still little boys. No doubt, they were always testing boundaries and their parent’s resolve.

If you are holding a budding man in captivity, understand, that today he wants nothing more than to test your grit.

Tomorrow he will need that same strength to follow his heart wherever God leads him.


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