I am constantly amazed at the energy levels that my boys have. When I am reaching the point of exhaustion, they are still ready for more action. Recently after a busy and somewhat frustrating day with the kids I met up with a friend who asked how everything was going. I must have rolled my eyes as I commented that the activity level never slows to which she responded “Yes that is how boys are-and aren’t they great!” I have thought about her comment a few times since then and have really let it sink in. What am I really conveying to my boys when I make negative comments about their energy level or other boyish trait? Will they grow up thinking that their mischievousness and aptitude for staying on the move is somehow wrong? I don’t want these future men and leaders to think that their adventurous nature is well- not natural.
At other times when I have had my wits about me, I have been able to redirect their energy in to positive activities like telling them to go outside and jump 100 times on the trampoline in less than one minute instead of jumping between the couches. I think that redirecting their energy to appropriate activities is the key to helping them and me keep my sanity.
In general, boys tend to play in a more rough and tumble way, and tend to be bigger risk takers compared to girls. These characteristics are tied to the higher level of testosterone in males than females. So while women can blame certain moods and behaviors on hormones, men and boys can utilize that same reasoning when moving at 90 miles per hour. Hormones are not the only influences that shape how a boy behaves. Parental influence, and societal factors are also influences on what shapes a boy.
Being a single mom with two boys does present its challenges in understanding just what makes these boys tick. I know in double parent families a lot of times the dad can reassure the mother that the desire for a BB gun, or playing a game like football so roughly that their arms and legs get scraped up, but they go on with the game-injuries unnoticed is quite normal behavior for a boy. I may not always understand why they do certain things, but I am committed to my boys and helping them to grow up healthy and happy.