Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Absolute Necessities for Little Boys: A Mother's Guide to Sanity

Little boys are adorable and fun, but any mother with a boy can tell you that sometimes they are a little TOO much fun (if you know what I mean).  As a mother of a girl AND a boy, I can tell you with a surety, boys and girls are different.  Boys are much more driven by a need for movement, and the movement is usually far more haphazard and rough than what a mother of little girls is used to.  Their ability to hold still and be quiet is far less than little girls of the same age.  On top of all this running, jumping, careening and what not, they also like to get their hands into everything.  Boys are very inclined to not just observe, but to manipulate their surroundings.  This usually leads to a lot of broken items and messes. 

I've seen a lot of lists, lately, of things every mother of little boys should know or do, or things every little boy needs.  I would like to add a list of my own, from my own experience.  It isn't a feed good, flowery, guide with 17 different things.  It is the short, down-and-dirty, mother's guide to having little boys and making it a little easier. 

In my experience, doing the following things leads to better days, happier boys, and a less-stessed mom.

The Absolute Necessities for Little Boys: A Mother's Guide to Sanity
1 - Go outside.  As much as possible.  Seriously.  Studies show an indirect correlation (meaning as one goes up, another goes down) between a boys risk of ADD and the amount of outside free-play he gets.  Sports are ok, but free-play is most important.  Make sure he is getting it, even in bad weather.  I read a quote from a very well-reknowned preschool saying "There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate attire."

2 - Snacks.  Keep them on hand (lots of them) and be sure to feed him good, healthy meals.  He needs fuel for all that energy he is burning!

3 - When doing quiet activities or art projects, remember his need for manipulation.  Painting and coloring are fine, but you will probaby find that he tires of these projects faster than your daughter does.  In his world, finger painting is better than brush painting and sculpture is far superior to painting.  You might want to try craft projects that require tearing paper and getting messy (papier mache anyone?).

4 - Go outside.  This is a good first response anytime he (or you) is starting to go a little crazy.

5 - Let him get messy and even incur (minor) injuries.  Don't spend your entire day trying to keep your son clean and unhurt.  The way boys play, there will be lots of bumps, bruises, and muddy clothes.  Just remember, this is how he learns and explores.  Don't take that away from him.  Instead, buy stock in Band-Aids and Wet Ones. 

6 - Did I mention to send him outside?

What is on your list of absolute necessities?


  1. These are all great suggestions! The little boys who have are a bundle of energy especially need that time outside to exercise or they will drive you and everyone else in the house nuts!

  2. My parents got a huge box of wooden blocks for my brother, he loved to spend time building things and knocking them down. It was great! (Once he learned not to throw them, that is...) When I went to college he would take pictures of his creations and email them to me.

  3. Thanks so much for this post. I have a little guy who is 16 months old and I'm continually amazed at how different he is from his older sister. I've kind of been at a loss knowing how to keep him happy...but some toy cars, a ball and some fingerpaint later he is having a great time. I am looking forward to some warmer days to play outside!