Here are five basics for raising your boys to be healthy, successful, well-adjusted men (just like you, right?):
- Give them space and let them play. Boys are more boisterous and active than girls -- but don’t mistake boisterousness with aggression. Provide them with the space to be active and give them ways to channel their energy in productive ways.
- Teach him verbal skills. Boys are likely to solve social problems physically, and many need to work harder on their verbal skills. Dad, demonstrate how to resolve issues verbally for your son. Not so good at verbalizing? Enlist mom's help to teach this essential skill!
- Encourage reading and academic achievement. Your son might not rank as the world’s most avid reader, but, dad, make it fun and he’ll be interested! Talk to him about successful male role models who read a lot (Abraham Lincoln for example). Don’t rely entirely on books for teaching your son, take into account that he might learn best by doing.
Developmentally, boys are not as advanced as girls so be aware of this when deciding the age that they should start school. Because girls can have a twelve month edge on boys maturity-wise, boys who start school on or before five years of age might have an uphill battle.
- Let him prove himself. Remember that boys become adults by proving themselves. Even simple games can become a test of their mettle. As a dad, provide your sons with safe proving grounds so they don’t have to resort to illegal or dangerous ways of testing their masculinity. Encourage wrestling matches, participation in school sports, and other healthy outlets for competition.
- You! You have the best vantage point on understanding your son and appreciating his differences. After all, you were once a boy yourself! Remembering your boyhood experiences – both good and bad – might be your best counsel in raising a healthy and successful boy.