Tuesday, March 22, 2011

In Defense of the Boy

I came across a definition of a boy a while ago that I just loved:

Boy (noun) "noise with dirt on it"

Lately I have been thinking about that definition again, partucularly as I have had a couple of unpleasant experiences. Ones where Rupi has been growled by someone (an adult) for being..well, a boy. He wasn't bashing or hitting or intentionally scaring anyone, he was just being a boy.

Rupi is ALL boy. He wrestles, jumps, runs, shouts and tears his way through each day. He has an abundance of testosterone and energy. Just the way he should have. He is made that way and nothing we do can slow him down. And I don't want to. I don't see our role as confining and restraining, rather guiding and encouraging. We actively discipline him and are teaching gentleness but Rupi's expression of love is physical. And he's learning how to be tender and gentle. He's only two years old after all.

I just wish for understanding. In this feminised world, we need strong male leaders. Men who are not afraid and haven't been forced to change their male-ness for something less. Those men start out little boys who wrestle and hurl themselves off jungle gyms.

And I watch him all the time when we are out. Ask my family, I do not relax for one second. If Rupi hurts someone I am there in an instant getting him to see how it was wrong and apologise. I think it's a family joke how uptight I am when we are out!! So when Rupi is just playing and gets growled, or my nephew gets growled for the same thing, it's not right. They are boys and only playing. Loudly and boisterously, I agree, but they are not hitting and bashing, just playing.

I am sure I am not the only mother with a loud, energetic little boy- what do you do when you are out? How do you watch your boy? And what do you do when someone growls them for just playing?



mountain mama said...

if growl means what i think it means...

i just say, "wow...you all have lots of energy today...and everyday. i wouldn't want it any other way" loud enough for the growler to hear.

or...if the kids are doing something which is making me nervous {with or without a growler} i just draw their attention to something else...look at that butterfuly...let's catch it etc.

:) i agree with everything you said. i don't think i've relaxed one minute of my 8 years of motherhood while in public with the kids.

you're doing a great job mama!

Tiffany said...

I love that definition! Do you follow the M.O.B Society blog? It's great! It's for Christian Mother's of Boys. It has great encouragement and is a place to share our blunders.

Penny said...

O how I hear you!! Great post xx

Maranga Mai said...

I cannot cope when someone growls my son! Firstly - I would never growl someone elses child unless I had a great relationship with them and their parents (namely: family) Secondly - I believe children are constantly learning. Discipline (or 'growling') without explanation is a wasted opportunity to teach the dynamics of relationship and courtesy.
While my son is not loud or boisterous, I am painfully aware of my own nature. I am very bossy and verge on over-protective, and seeing as he is a huge, HUGE blessing from God, I want to raise him as a Man of God (he is 10) and strive to NOT make him into a mini-ME!

Boys must be all of that.
Dirty and Noisy.
Crazy yet Grounded.
Aggressive but Respectful.


Anonymous said...

Can't say I've got any answers but it is also true that boys have a testoterone surge at 2 and 4 and my 2 year old is SO physical and full of energy. I'm not that brave to confront people but I guess you could ask yourself where it is happening and avoid situations that will create undue stress and telling off for Rupi where you can. If it is a child-friendly place then I'd probably try to make some counter-comment in a light-hearted fashion along the lines of 'there's no need to worry I have an eye on him and his decibles haven't managed to break anything yet.. ha ha' and hope it makes them think too...

Gail said...

Yep, I'm pretty quick to intervene when I think my boy is acting inappropriately - which is not often, but does happen (cept it happened at church on Sunday when I looked over and he punched another child in the forehead because he was frustrated with the other boy! I swooped in!!). Boys are SO physical and LOUD. I think he makes more verbal noise than the girl, but hers is conversational, his is play and sound affects. As I type this he is "knocking down a city" and that involves space crafts. The noise, the NOISE! It's just how he is.

Venessa said...

I dont have a boy so I will never really know how to answer that question. What I do know, is that a 2 year old should just be allowed to be 2! It sounds like you are doing an amazing job being his mom!

Anonymous said...

This strikes such a chord with me. When my eldest was barely two we were asked to leave a playgroup because he wouldn't sit still and listen to music. He wanted to dance, run, jump, sing along...he was (and still is a lot of the time) boisterous, energetic, full-on and a bit crazy. Needless to say I left the group AND told them to shove it (seriously). It sounds like you are doing a great job with Rupi, and I firmly believe letting kids be kids (and boys be boys) is the best thing for them. Let them grow into the unique little people they are meant to be. :)

tartankiwi said...

Oh, that definition put a smile on my face! At 3 months my wee man is not quite there yet, but thinking of my brother when he was a boy, it definitely applied. I will be keeping that in the back of my mind in the years to come.

Anonymous said...

first let me just say those pics are
What a cutey
and yew...boys...have two of them myself...3 if you include the husband
this house can get very loud at times

I agree with your post here Sammy
boys need to do their thing....we can't "manage" them all the time
I suppose in the past I have just tried not to take others reactions personally or be offended...because as long as there as those who judge, there are equally and maybe even more, those who encourage and appreciate.

love and light

Simoney said...

Yeah Sammy.
You go girl.
Mama Lion.
Boys will be boys.
We teach them to care and say sorry and be gentle to small things...
But when they play they are LOUD.
they run jump yell wrestle and fling themselves off stuff.
It's the way they are meant to be.
You ARE doing a great job. So relax a little OK?
Just a little. Cos your boy is a delight and anyone who can't see that needs their eyes checked.

Shelby said...

I definitely have a son who gets growled a lot. Love that expression, by the way. The area where we live has growlers to spare!! Like you, if he is being mean, of course I immediately respond to that, but if he is just being a boy, I don't respond much at all, and he is pretty good at ignoring it. The older and more experienced I get though, sometimes I gently, but firmly tell the person that I am watching my son and Inapprove of his behavior. Most people won't go any further than that with you. We get it especially at the playground because I allow him to jump from high places, and that just seems to bother people. :)

jennohara said...

He is so so so adorable!! Makes me want a little boy! I love the definition. Too cute!

Andrea said...

Love this post. I'm making lots of mental notes as I will in a year or so be able to relate. My best friend has a boy that sounds a lot like Rupi, and I think it's awesome! What great things they will grow up to do with such committed God-fearing parents!!

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