As you know, I have two lovely but very active and boisterous boys. Sometimes it can get a bit much, because it’s tough for them to sit still. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re hyperactive or have ADHD, I think they’re just being boys. But in an adult world, it can be tough to be children, especially young children. Having children is a funny ice breaker with strangers you wouldn’t ordinarily talk to. Often, especially the older folk, are understanding about the noise and activity, and I’ve been asked countless times to try for another one, so I can have a girl. My usual answer (in jest), is always, “What if it’s another boy?”. This morning, the lady at the alteration shop said, “男的也是要养，有人要也是没有“, which of course basically sums up my sentiments as well. If it’s another boy, so be it. All the better for the soccer team.
With such active kids who won’t sit still and listen to everything that their Mummy tells them, it’s hard to tell whether you’re doing a good job trying to raise “good” kids. Sometimes I wonder whether as parents to (young) boys, we have a tougher time than parents of girls. Sure, everyone says there are also girls who are very active, or some boys who aren’t as active, but tell anyone you have two (or more) boys, and they’ll be quick to have a little empathy (or sympathy?), almost in a take-my-hat-off-to-you kind of way. Not really like we mummies of boys have a choice right??
Recently when I brought the two boys to meet up with some friends, one friend remarked that boys really are so active – if it was her niece she’d be sitting at the table with the adults, doing some colouring or other (assumedly sedentary) activities. I guess it was intended to be an observation, but boy (no pun intended) did that leave me feeling sometimes like I got the raw end of the deal, like, WHY MEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
I’m not sure if there is an easier gender to parent, but it’s certainly tiring looking after boys, especially ones who feel compelled to constantly be on the move, engaging with people or exploring. I’ve also been finding that it’s not been an easy task keeping active children in check when they’re out. I was glad, however, to recently read Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children, on The Natural Child Project page – lots of great other reads there, do check it out!
More specifically, this point:
4. We don’t allow children to be children.
We somehow forget what it was like to be a child ourselves, and expect the child to act like an adult instead of acting his age. A healthy child will be rambunctious, noisy, emotionally expressive, and will have a short attention span. All of these “problems” are not problems at all, but are in fact normal qualities of a normal child. Rather, it is our society and our society’s expectations of perfect behavior that are abnormal.
Amen to that. Next time I feel embarassed, I’ll try to “thicken” up my skin, and try not to pass on the embarassment to the boys through punishment. Who cares what strangers think, as long as I think I’m doing the right thing for the boys.