I was blessed with 8 kids, whom I love so very much. The first 6 are girls. They range in ages from 22 down to 13. They are such a joy, and my older girls are my greatest friends at this point. Not only are girls daughters their whole lives, as the saying goes, but they are the best friends you could ever have as they age. However, when the last two boys arrived, I will admit I was worried about how I’d parent them after so many girls. Fortunately, I had a lot of loving friends with boys who came to my rescue with their tips for raising boys which I’ve found incredibly helpful.
It seems as though some parenting styles limit affection toward the boys of the family. I instinctively felt as though I wanted to show my sons as much affection as I showed my girls. So far, so good. They seem very receptive to my hugs, in fact my oldest boy is very affectionate towards his family as a result of being shown affection. My little guy is somewhat tougher, but he enjoys outward affection from both myself and his dad. I think offering affection is a confidence builder for boys and girls alike, at least it seems so in my house. I strongly suggest it.
Dump the “Toughguy” Approach
I never put down my daughters for being somewhat tomboyish, and I take the same approach with my boys. If they want to push my daughters’ dolls in the stroller, or dress a doll while their six sisters are engaged in a doll playing session, my attitude is why not? So far, they aren’t any less boyish as a result of those activities, and it allows them to engage in playtime with their sisters.
I’m finding that my girls were much better at reading between the lines and seeing the grey areas in life than my boys seem to be. I think that gives girls somewhat of an advantage. However, boys aren’t on that page. They seem to see things more literal and in black and white. That’s what I have to keep in mind when I’m about to lay down a discipline for my boys. I have to be very specific, and to the point. I find it’s best to explain my reasoning for the discipline very well, and what I expect of him as he carries out the consequences of his wrong doing.
Life Skill Building
I think we can all agree that cooking, cleaning, laundry, and all of those types of life skills are part of life for everyone. Make sure your son understands that clearly. My children’s father was very good at cooking and cleaning before he left his parents house, and I plan to have these same circumstances regarding our boys. Their dad is great at cooking, and involves the entire family, boys included with those tasks. I’ve just begun having our 10 year old participate in dishes, taking out trash, and laundry. I think having those basic life skills gives boys the same edge just as it does for girls.
Source: Personal experience