Monday, April 24, 2006

On Raising Boys

So we go to the dentist today. Meaning, I take the kids to the dentist. They do fine & while I'm talking to the receptionist -- going through insurance stuff & setting up next appointment, they throw each other onto the couch & crack up. Not just laugh, I mean totally crack up.

And it's the kind of stuff that as a parent you know you shouldn't allow - because somebody will get hurt (you'll put an eye out with that thing!) but that just looks like so much fun.... So I half-heartedly tell them to stop. And of course they know it's half-hearted - and they don't.

Finally get them out of there and Max is instantly Red Ranger - and Nathan is Blue Ranger. And they karate chop and ninja stalk each other all the way home.

I somehow get them calmed down watching Tom & Jerry & we get set to read a book before bed. Nathan starts to tell this story about how he hurt his knee (which he did) and how all these "bad guys" were mean to him and kicked him and pushed him. I said that if indeed that did happen - that he should please tell somebody! Either myself, his Dad, sitter, teacher or Max.

Max looked at me "Why me? Because I'm tough?" "Umm, no - because you're such a good big brother." "Well, I am tough. I can kick those bad guys in the butt!" "But you know, sweetie - it's better to be nice than tough." "Yes, but I"m nice AND tough."

End conversation.

So then I'm left thinking about negotiating the whole nice vs tough thing. And if it has to be a vs. And of course he could be both... but how do I explain it.

And as I sat there, head hurting because I was spending so much precious time/energy worrying about this - I told myself to just get a grip. And -

Just wing it.

1 comment:

Gwen said...

So many things with raising kids require balance. It is daunting. Charlotte has been really enjoying soccer this season and she works so hard and has such a lovely attitude (seriously, who is raising all these whiny maggot children?), that she appears to be better than most of her team. But when I tell her how proud I am of her hard work, she responds that she must be good because she's so talented. And maybe she's a teeny bit talented, but that's not what I'm trying to praise her for. So then, I'm thinking, do I destroy her self-confidence by being brutally honest or do I just keep saying the same thing over and over? I've gone with option b, by the way. I think these issues are a combination of intense repetition and living what you're preaching, both toughies.