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Boys will be boys

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boyA woman who employs only teenage boys asked this question: “We make so much noise about girls’ waywardness, what about the boys? They smoke, drink and engage in other wrong-doings but we tend to accommodate their bad behavior until it is too late.”

She could not be too wrong, one would think and perhaps one might add that some parents, mothers especially, appear to overlook their son’s misbehavior until they cannot put in word in their children’s lives anymore.

It is possible that they are not aware they do this as somebody pointed out. Mothers may not know that they neglect to teach sons discipline because they see the girl as particularly at risk of going astray, if she is left too much to her own devices.

The mother’s concern is that the girl, who must get married someday, must be packaged well for the future through a good home training, so she lavishes more of her time to teach her correct etiquettes to the neglect of the male child who they think would learn as he grows. They feel rewarded when he grows in height with a ‘robust mind’ to go with it.

Although I agree that boys’ behaviours differ from the girls’ way of life, I still think that both sexes need the same amount of strict training.

Naturally, boys are more active and rather rough; these traits tend to make them want to have their way forcefully, a behaviour which we call stubbornness. This rough nature is heightened in the early teenage years when he sees himself as grown-up and may challenge all authority.

However, parents need to differentiate stubbornness from what we call normal boy behaviour and put a stop to it early; stubbornness in a child is the refusal to take instructions. It is frustrating and it makes parenting difficult. And stubbornness is most of the time, a boy’s behaviour. You should discourage stubbornness because your 14-year-old son cannot understand life better than you do.

For example, when your normally sweet and loving 13- year-old boy turns an absolute monster all of a sudden; not long ago, he was very helpful and would ask to help you grind pepper. These days, however, when you ask he would stuff his hands into his pockets, ready for argument. And when he does agree, he takes the whole day. He is angry for no reason and refuses to discuss what troubles him.

What is happening? You may wonder.

There is nothing wrong with him at all. He is passing through a normal phase in a lad’s life, sadly however, it is this time that some parents may lose the grip in their upbringing because they may choose to beat, scold or even let him do as he pleases. But the early teenager has to be handled with care, it is the time a child could meet with the wrong crowd; we hear of boys as young as 13 being taken into secret cults, taking part in stealing or in the more serious armed robbery.

If your boy behaves as if he is s law unto himself, it is the hormones passing through his system now. Your parenting style may have to change, too. If you are the mother who screams and nags, this is the time to talk calmly to him. Discuss with him as you would with another adult; he sees himself as one and you may have to do so to make him listen to you.

Do not talk with anger or he would think you criticize him too much and would not confide in you. If he is difficult at home, it is possible his teachers are not having it easier. Ask to see his school-books, draw a time table; you may have to sit down with him to make sure that he does his home work.

If your gentle approach does not work, you may threaten to withdraw some favours like his going out to play football. Do not give him the impression that he is winning the war and that you will give up.

Motivate him a bit, remind him of that fast car he admires and advise him that only hard work will make him achieve it. Make sure he follows your instructions, point out his good qualities and tell him that you refuse to allow him to slow down because you know he can do better than he believes he can.

Be firm, a boy who is stubborn is testing you to see how far he can go. Instead of giving in, make more rules and make sure that he does as he is expected.


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