13 January 2011

Reflections | My Boy



Boys are such complicated, yet simple, creatures.  I found that to be true when I was a teenager beginning to take an interest in boys.  I find that to be true still today –having married one and now also raising a mini-version of the one that I’d married. 


Josh is such a special and precocious child –often wise beyond his years in many respects, that I have to constantly remind myself that he is only 5.  That I must respond to the boy he is, –especially in moments when he pushes my buttons, –and not respond to the sullen teenager that he at times sounds like.  That oftentimes, kindness and gentle understanding are far more effective than stern warnings and yelling.  That sometimes I just need to chill.  That I need to firmly establish and strengthen our trust in each other now, rather than later. That I need to slowly let go, yet always be there for him whenever he needs me.  Josh is turning 6 next week and growing up fast.  On the one hand, I celebrate that, but on the other hand, I long for him to stay “boy” for a bit longer…


On a related note -


I attended a parent workshop at Josh’s school tonight called “Supporting Boys in Literacy and Numeracy.”  The talk was delivered by Dr. Ian Lillico, founder and CEO of the Boys Forward Institute and an international consultant in gender, boys’ education, and middle schooling.  The talk was about an hour and 45 minutes long, but I would have gladly sat there and listened for twice or thrice that long if he had continued on talking.  I found myself, in turns, nodding along, laughing, smiling, getting reflective. He’d touched on mainly issues relating to boys, but many of what he’d said might apply to girls as well.


I haven’t had a chance to thoroughly check out his site, Boys Forward Institute, but from what I have seen in my initial browse, it is chock full of insightful information about raising and supporting boys, literacy, transitioning boys from primary to secondary school, 50 ways to improve your child's attention span and behaviour without drugs, etc.  In the section Insight Into Boys alone, there’s a list of archived posts and articles that look at peer pressure, boys and homework, boys and praise, bully-proofing our boys, just to name a few.  I’ve already bookmarked the site and will definitely be back to read more this weekend.  Do check out his site.  I think there is a treasure trove of information there.

For those parents with children of both genders, do you find yourself responding differently to your son(s) and your daughter(s)?

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