Friday, April 15, 2011

10 Things I Promise Not to Do to My Boys

When I found out my first child was a boy, I thought, “What am I going to do with a boy?” I grew up in a strongly female household: my mom, my sister, and me.  My dad was there, but hid in the bathroom a lot. Nearly all our pets were female, although my sister decided her hamster was male, and who really knows about fish?

I figured my son would come out already muddy and scraped up. Thank goodness I was wrong. My first son, and now my second, taught me to assume nothing and expect everything. In light of that, I came up with a list of 10 Things I Promise Not to Do to My Boys.

1)   I will not force you to play sports. However, if you want to, "Play Ball!"

2)  I will not assume you want to read only about boys. After all, adventures are adventures, regardless of who or what is having them.

3)  I will not expect you to be tough. You feel pain just as much as I do, perhaps even more as it’s newer to you.

4)  I will not only give you “boy” chores. It is my job to show you how to take care of yourselves, and that includes more than mowing the lawn or taking out the trash.

5)   I will not limit you. If you want to build skyscrapers, become a chef, be a nurse, be a stay-at-home dad, my first question will be, “Does this make you happy?” My second will be, “How can I help?”

6)  I will not stop reading to you, until you beg me to stop. Just because you learn to read, does not mean you no longer want to be read to.

7)   I will not mock, belittle, or demean you. You can be silly, ask any question, or try something new without fear. You want to wear your clothes backward, fine. You want count, out loud, to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” all the blue cars we pass on a five-hour journey, go for it. You want to skateboard off the roof, umm, no.

8)  I will not assume the worst. When you misbehave, you often have a good reason for doing what you did, even if it was inappropriate. My job is to guide, not punish.

9)  I will not force my worldview on you. I will explain my opinion, then encourage you to explore the world and ask loads of questions, so you can develop your own take on life.

10)  I will not stop loving you. No matter what.

So far, I’ve been pretty good about this list.  Number 8 trips me up occasionally, especially on a bad day when the boys are getting on each other’s nerves and I need a huge Cadbury Dairy Milk bar.

After getting over the initial panic of having a boy, I find that I quite like having sons.  I get to experience life in a whole new way. They’re a blast to hang out with. Of course, now my home is filled with males: my husband, my boys, even the cats, for goodness sake! All this has made me understand my father a bit better.

Maybe I’ll go hide in the bathroom for a while.

Article by Sarah J. Wilson


  1. I love this post. I have struggled with #8 as well, and my boys really didn't appreciate reading "girl" books after about 5th grade!

  2. Thank you for the comment, SmallWorld. And welcome to Homeschool Review!