A Wife Loved Like The Church

Raising Little Boys: 7 Lessons of a First-Time Mom {A Guest Post}

Posted on: November 16, 2011

I love my girls. Like, deep-passionate-they-are-my-all type love. And frankly, I think girls pretty much rock. But when we found out that we were having a little Joseph, I was thrilled. Boys seem like little cuddly Tasmanian devils to me {meaning, cuddly little balls of energy}. Yet, I have no real mommy experience when it comes to little men, so I was super glad when Alicia agreed to do a guest post on her thoughts on raising boys. 

I am the oldest of 5 girls (with one little brother thrown in the mix). Tea parties, dress-up, coloring princess pictures, quietly reading, imaginary fairy games, and painted toenails were common affairs.

Now, I’m pregnant with my second BOY. Our 1st little boy is almost 2 and of all the things listed above, there has only been a bit of quiet reading. But there has been huge fascination with things like bikes, tractors, dinosaurs, trucks, sticks, sand, water, noise, and BUGS. I’m just beginning my journey of learning how to raise little boys, but so far I’ve discovered that:

1) Mess = fun. The same goes for noise. Which means that this quiet-craving, neat-freak mama has to relax. Toys were meant to be dumped out in loud crashing glory. Puddles are perfect for splashing. One of my son’s favorite activities is to “help” me wash the dishes, which means more work on my part. It involves water on the floor, dishes rewashed, and squeezing my 7 1/2 month pregnant self in between the counter and the chair that he stands on. But is it worth it? Oh yes.

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2) He needs to take risks. On the playground, I step back and try not follow behind him every step with cautionary “be carefuls.” He’s very young, so the risks aren’t very big yet…but I know that will change.

3) The fact that “boys will be boys” does not mean that my son has to be an ill-mannered, reckless destroyer. He can respect boundaries and learn to use his “quiet voice” when the baby is sleeping. Being a boy is not a ticket for disobedience. And little boys can learn manners at a very young age! Lately, my reward (after much patient training) has been my son’s sweet voice saying “Tay-tu, Mommy!” (Thank you, Mommy!) and “Pees” (Please).

The Police and the Bad Guys (April 13)

4) He needs a firm hand. I’ve learned to command instead of suggest. Mommy’s word goes. I cannot be swayed by the waves of his emotions or will. When I enforce my words, life is simpler and happier for all of us, and my son is content.

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5) Regular “rough love” is a must! Tickles, pillow fights, and chases are like medicine to him, and his squeals of delight are like medicine to me.

6) The cuddles and affection of a little boy will fill your heart to bursting!

Hangin' (not sure why we're turned wrong way)

7) Having a little boy is thousands of times more glorious than I thought it would be. There is always adventure around the next corner.

What is your biggest challenge or lesson learned in raising little boys? 


–Alicia is a tea-drinking, book-reading, sushi-eating, candle-lighting, bread-baking gal who loves her family and all things domestic. She is a stay-at-home-mom to one squishy little boy (with the second on the way), wife to Andrew, and blogs regularly at Alicia’s Homemaking.

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22 Responses to "Raising Little Boys: 7 Lessons of a First-Time Mom {A Guest Post}"

I love this post! Both of you are amazing mothers 🙂 Growing up with three brothers and no sisters, I was thrilled to have two little boys because I grew up loving the adventures. My biggest challenge raising boys has been using the firm voice and not wavering with their strong wills. My best lesson learned so far is the one Alicia said about noise and mess = fun. I am learning to let it be and enjoy.

Thanks Jodi! I am really looking forward to being mama to a little boy, and love all the bits of wisdom you and Alicia have shared!

I have a boy and a girl and my boy is peaceful, mostly calm and thoughtful and my girl is very energetic, wants to do everything her way, a bit naughty and needs a VERY firm upbringing. So there are differences, but I think it has more to do with the kind of character than the sekse. Love Amelie

Amelie – I have a friend with a similar situation, where her boy is more calm than her girl. Totally their personalities, for sure. It’ll be fun to see how Joseph fits into our family and blends with our daughters as he gets older.

I would agree. I’m speaking to the characteristics of boys “in general” in this post (and based on my own one-son experience). Who knows what my next little boy will be like?

Great post! We have a girl and a boy and I am happy that we had our daughter first because our son is so much more lets say energetic!!

What a great post Alicia! I am 31 weeks pregnant with our first-a little boy! I can do all things girly, and love spoiling my two nieces so I’ve been a little worried about what I’m going to with a little boy. (Dirt and bugs are not on my list of things I’m particularly interested in…) Thanks for your words of wisdom-it’s encouraging to have a little insight into the adventure I’m about to embark upon!

Casey – Congrats on your bundle of joy! We had girls first and I was a bit nervous, because I am smack dab in the middle of four brothers and was afraid of “girly” stuff. But, I totally embraced it. 😉 Now I’m looking forward to all the “boy” stuff with Joseph. Except for the worms. Ha!

Casey, that is so exciting! Yeah, dirt and bugs are (were) not on my list either, but it’s amazing how your feelings can change when you see your little one’s eyes LIGHT up in amazement.

you nailed it!!! i have 4 boys (ages 9, 7, 4 1/2 and 5 weeks) and one girl (3) we have many “rough housing” times but they are still well mannered when we go out! well most of the time, we are still working on it though:)

This is a great post! When I had my son, I was a little unsure of what to do. He is now 3-1/2 and a complete “cuddly Tasmanian devil”…he does wreak havoc everywhere he goes, destroys paper books, makes cars and trains out of anything inanimate like crayons and blocks. He is 110% boy and I wouldn’t change it for the world. You are so right about rough love. And the needless worrying about him getting hurt while playing…just Monday afternoon he had managed to climb on top of the playhouse and sit contentedly like he had climbed Mount Everest. I waited inside the screen door to see how he would get back down and he managed completely on his own. It’s amazing how they are so different from girls. My daughter is 5 and would never have dreamed of climbing on top of that thing!

I love how different boys are from girls in how they rough house. Julia would never dream of climbing onto the roof either. And she repeatedly asks why boys don’t want to always play house with her at school. 🙂

I know! It is hilarious to me how my son could care less about dolls or pretend cooking/tea. So funny.

Great list and great perspective. Really enjoy that you mention embracing rowdiness AND manners! Thanks so much for sharing your heart and experience.

Also I find it most important with our son,and any child who is strong willed to be firm and not crush their spirit. Which, is a difficult balance I’m still learning.

I totally agree about the balance! This is something I am always having to work on – how to let them be themselves but also not letting them dictate our family.

Some of my favorite times are when Squish and I play outside and he’s free to yell, hit the ground/trees with sticks, run, climb, and play with sand. It helps balance the times when he’s required to sit still/be gentle, etc. 😀

No boys over here, but I love this post. Before having my 2 girls, I have had plenty of experience working with both boys and girls as a preK teacher, tutor, in VBS, etc, but I can imagine that mothering a little boy would be very different from mothering little girls or simple being a little boy’s teacher. I have one nephew and I can tell you that his needs and likes are different from my girls. There was a student in a child development class that I once took who was trying to argue with the entire class that boys and girls are EXACTLY the same! What?! Yes, there are similarities, but no way are they the exact same. Anyhow, thanks for sharing this Alicia.

This is precious. No kiddos of my own, but little boys tend to terrify me, haha! I appreciated this post. 🙂

Expecting our 2nd in February, and not knowing if it’s a boy or girl (we like the surprise 🙂 ), when I read posts like these I wonder if/how I’ll have the energy it seems little boys require if we have a boy 😛 (Our 1st is a relatively calm little girl.) It’s fun having friends with boys so I can learn from them if we have a boy 🙂 (I am the 5th of 8 girls, w/ my 2 brothers being the youngest of the whole “clan” 🙂 )

Having started like you, Sarah, with two girls and then getting a boy third, I will say that your guest poster is totally right on! Esias has challenged all the things I thought about my parenting (in good ways of course!) . He craves noise, action, and adventure. Even though my girls are by no means “princessy” and quiet, calm all the time, Esias has raised the bar around here! It is so much fun and a joy to see him be just as his Creator meant him to be! I also agree with your poster that “boys will be boys” is not an excuse for misbehavior, but it sure helps me remember that it’s in his DNA and (usually) it’s not something I’ve done to make him crazy! 😉

great post! i have 3 boys. so could relate to lots of this post!

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