I don’t have pink frills and glittery princess stuff in my house – except in my own closet. I only have boys.
In a house full of testosterone, I’m the only female here and my kids know it. I’m the “queen” or “princess” of the house and am reminded on a daily basis that I’m the “boss”.
My boys put me on a pedestal – my ego is constantly boosted by their crazy love. Both of them want to marry me when they grow up. What more can a mom ask for?
Respect. Empathy. Integrity. Gratitude. Honesty. And so much more.
These are the values that I’m trying to teach my boys because more than anything, I want them to grow up to be stand-up men.
I worry about our youth and how kids are growing up quicker than ever. I think about self-entitlement and self-esteem issues in kids these days. I worry about bullying and the relationships between boys and girls as they enter the tumultuous teen years.
So right now, I’m trying to teach my own kids to be respectful human beings, to be caring, understanding and loving. I want them to be generous, thoughtful and show respect and kindness.
They look to mommy and daddy as a role model – that’s a huge responsibility. We are their teachers and we need to set a good example.
I’m trying to teach my boys to deal with their emotions, whether they are angry, scared, disappointed or sad. Communication, even at this young age, is so crucial – I want them to be able to come to me to talk about anything. It has become routine to have dinner together every evening and everyone shares something about their day.
I always try to have my boys put themselves in other people’s shoes – empathy is such a valuable social skill. I ask them, “what if YOU were the one that got hurt? How would YOU feel?” I hope this will help them to stop and think before they speak or act.
I don’t believe in too much praise – just the right amount and the right KIND of praise. I’d rather praise them for something they DO rather than something they are. “I really liked how you helped mommy out by bringing the dishes to the sink,” rather than “you are so cute” (although I can’t help but say that from time to time).
If my kids break a rule or show “bad” behaviour, following through with consequences is crucial – they need to learn respect. Being honest is a value that we strive to instill in our boys too.
Dad spends lots of time with the boys. Playful roughhousing or playing sports together is their ‘bonding’ time – and studies show boys learn to control their physical impulses and regulate their emotions this way.
One way boys learn how to relate to women is learned through watching their dad – they watch how he interacts with me. Being witness to a loving, respectful relationship between mom and dad also shapes how boys will treat their future spouses. Although I just can’t wrap my head around them dating one day, I want them to know how to treat a woman!
My boys are head-strong and adamant about getting their way; I hope they will learn to compromise but I do enjoy seeing them persevere. When they’re adults, perseverance in the face of adversity will help them succeed, especially during life’s many challenges.
Most importantly – I want my kids to learn to be confident and have a positive self-esteem. I want them to love themselves and always strive to be and do the best they can.