“Oh, Jr. didn’t mean to hurt Michael when he punched him in the eye. He just was too caught up in the moment.” “Nonsense, my little Tony’s a good little boy. He was merely having too much fun when he knocked over your daughter.” “What?! You want me to punish Joey because of a little roughhousing? He wasn’t bullying your son; getting into scraps is a normal part of being a boy. Your son will get over it.”
As a mother of two VERY energetic kids--one of whom is an 8-year-old boy--and as someone who has worked with many kids over the years, I know kids can be crazy hyper and unpredictable. And the more kids you put in the same room, the more the hyperness and unpredictability multiplies. If you don’t know how to handle a large group of children or how to diffuse the chaos, kids can eat you alive and try to take the building with you!
Children are still developing their reasoning skills and self control, so problems are bound to rise up every now again. Still, I would like to know when did being a boy become equal to being violent and aggressive? When did society decide that we should be giving boys a pass on bad behavior simply because it’s in their genes? I’m just not buying into all of that hype.
I know what some of you are thinking...I am a woman, so who made me an expert on boys? I never was a boy, so how could I understand what it’s like to be male child? Well, for starters, I was a tomboy. Plus, I have a total of five brothers and plenty of cousins. Also, some of my childhood best friends were boys. So, I may not have been born a boy, but I’ve learned a thing or two about being one.
And I insist that boys don’t have to be “boys”--at least not in the distorted sense of this old phrase. Instead of waving off bad behavior because of gender, I choose to see the unique talents, love, compassion, kindness, and strength of the rambunctious boys, and I try to bring out these positive traits in my own son.
My son is generous with his hard-earned allowance, quick to lend a hand, hardworking, protective of his little sister, and gentle with our pets. Every now and then he does something that touches my heart so much that I tear up with pride. When I see him displaying the qualities that I’ve spent years molding that this is what being a boy is all about...this is the type of behavior which should cause us to murmur “Boys will be boys…”! Yes, this is the legacy we should be passing on from father to son, not some lame excuse that turns our sons into nothing more than glorified beasts. Our sons deserve so much better!