Little Boy Energy
Ah how I love little boys! Especially mischievous, wild, naughty
little boys. Such exuberance for life. Do you really want them to
be sitting quietly and calmly instead of taking the world by
storm? A punch on the arm means, "Hi, come play!" Another
little boy knows what it means. A little girl thinks, "He's so
They get dirty - don't stop them! Let them jump in puddles,
wrestle on the ground, scramble under fences, hunt bugs, dig
holes, make tracks.
Say, "Looks like you've been having fun! instead of "Look at
those pants! How am I gonna wash that?!" Doesn't matter - play
clothes are.....PLAY clothes!
Little boys have a crazy amount of energy. Expect it. It's not
bad to have a lot of energy - it's GOOD! They have way more
energy than you do. If they don't get it out in good ways, they'll
let it out in ways you don't like - arguing, yelling, bouncing off
your walls, not sleeping.
Good ways -
A trampoline. So much energy in one spot.
Pool - same as above
A hill and anything with wheels - up and down, up and down.
A dog that chases sticks.
Another little boy to chase, a tree to climb, a rope ladder hooked onto a wall, a fence, a tree, or thrown over a steep hill.
Raising little boys requires serious tactical planning - What are we going to do today to release energy?
If the plan is school, homework, TV, shopping, that's a recipe for trouble. TV and computers keep them quiet but that suppressed energy is still there and will show itself in ways you don't like.
Some really crazy fun:
We bought a lot of garden soil (needed it later) and let the boys ride over the mound, slide down it, make tracks and roads for matchbox cars, make really great mud, dig caves. They had so much fun I delayed the gardening so they could enjoy it longer.
Also bought some straw bales (to use later as mulch). 4 bales with a piece of cardboard made endless cubby house combinations. As the bales started to fall apart, we put the hay in the small space between the house and the fence and let them spread it out into a deep pile. Then they tunnelled under it, jumped off ladders into it and made "nests".
Friends have bought a small outdoor fire cauldorn so little boys can build a fire and roast marshmallows. Bron (profile mother) has an outdoor pizza oven, also for fire building, but the food the boys make is much better than marshmallows. One house I visited and coveted had a little backyard area called "Tom's campground".
Then there's pets. Yeah, they are smelly and messy but the play value is very high.
Some indoor fun - climb inside sleeping bags and slither down the stairs
Hold a rope in front of a big pile of pillows, doonas, stuffed animals and let him run, jump and dive. Next time hold the rope a little higher.
Fly paper airplanes out a second story window and race down to get them - up and down, up and down
We put a firepole in our house. Wierd but so useful.
I know I go on about this subject! But if you can provide fun at home OFTEN instead of rarely, your little boys will be happier and far easier to manage. Their energy is spent, well, maybe just slightly used.... and they feel less pent up, less aggressive, more cooperative, more physically ABLE to do those things grownups think little boys should do like sitting down and doing homework.
The cub scout rule is "Keep them so busy having fun that they have no inclination to act up" You don't have to wear yourself out entertaining a little boy every minute, but you do need to be aware of his energy, his need to get it out, how he feels when he can't, and how he behaves when he contains a ridiculous amount of energy. Even a child with a serious behaviour, attention and focus problem, handles it better when given a physical outlet. Behaviour issues for this and every kind of little boy improve when provided with physical fun.
There is a new term for cooped up kids - "container children". Kept in containers like car seats, strollers, bike seats, computer chairs where they may or may not be having fun. The point is they are NOT moving and using energy. You will often see little ones at parks strapped into strollers because they are easier to watch. They are contained. In the 1950's and 60's every family had a play pen where baby was put in a little wooden jail so he couldn't stray into trouble and mum could get things done. We now think that is shocking, but find our own ways to keep them contained.
(Energy of course does not only belong to little boys. The most energetic and fun family I know actually consists of five daughters.)
So I just wanted to ask you to think seriously about this aspect of child raising because many modern lifestyles seem to have the really strange idea that little boys are not alot of trouble......and if they ARE something must be wrong with them.
No, something is wrong with the lifestyle.