I have what Dr. Dobson would call a “strong-willed” boy. He is sometimes in his own world where everything revolves around what he wants and when he wants it. I’m learning to deal very carefully with this type of personality as I’m realizing he is going to push every button I have.
Don’t get me wrong – I love my son. He is a miracle boy and has brought such joy and laughter to my life. He’s determined and intelligent, has a great sense of humor and a wonderfully loving personality. However, he is a strong-willed, justice-oriented, my-way kind of kid. He’s a lot to handle.
I’m learning through prayer, Bible study, a bunch of help from family, teachers, daycare providers, pastors and friends that there are special ways to handle boys.
First, there is no one way to parent boys. Yes, there are techniques that generally work across the board, but no two boys are alike. Good luck finding that perfect formula. I’m here to tell you there isn’t one. Lots of prayer, lots of advice-seeking, lots of reading and trying things out.
Second, I’ve learned that boys are particularly physical and as such, need tangible explanations to help them understand what they need to do and are responsible for.
Third, I’ve learned that boys don’t need long-winded conversation or lecturing to understand your point. This is bad news for me. I’m a circle-talker. I like to drive home a point (or two, or three). This doesn’t work for boys. They will fall asleep or check out after the first 30 seconds! Elevator speeches work well for boys. Get yours ready next time he has a meltdown, attitude, or momentary lapse in judgement.
Finally, I’ve learned that when I ask God to help me figure out how to navigate this parenting thing, He answers every time. HE NEVER FAILS! Believe me, I’ve had to pray A LOT over the last few years with my strong-willed boy. It seems when I slow down and let my emotions go, He is able to step in and give the answers I’m looking for – even if it means my humble request for backup from some strong, caring men in my life.