All my children hold their own special place in my heart and pose their own special challenges. I wouldn't necessarily say that one or more of my children are more "difficult", just that there may be a couple that require me to put more effort into my parenting. We'll just say they won't stand for lazy parenting.
A little while ago I was straightening a shelf and came across one of my pocket books, Mother to Son. I've shared from the Mother to Daughter one in the past, but thought I would share some of my favs from this one today. With 3 boys I think everything in this book applies to at least one of them! Enjoy.
IN THE BEGINING
Spend as much time with his as you can. This is for your sake, as much as for his.
Know that your job in life is to feed him, love him, and point him the right direction.
If you wait until he cries to pick him up, you're teaching him to cry.
He will need a nap every day for the first five years. So will you.
Relax. Throwing food is normal. Heck, throw it back! (love that one)
Don't forget, he needs one on one attention from you. (This one can be hard for me, but I think even just a snuggle in bed, just the two of you in the morning, counts.)
Practice staying calm. This will serve you well in his teenage years. (Amen.)
For reasons unknown, he will want to sit in your closet and play with your shoes. For hours! (so true)
THE TODDLER YEARS
Remember, boys tend to be competitive about everything. It will make no sense to you and sometimes scare you to death.
From you, he'll learnt he importance of telling the truth. be a good model.
Teach him how to make a peanut butter sandwich. This could be his main source of sustenance for the next ten years of life.
He will want a bike. He will fall off. He will live.
Your purse will always be a source of mystery to him.
Don't let his father forget that his son is still a little boy.
Don't tolerate his tantrums. EVER!
He will always want to show off his injuries. Act horrified!
Try not to spend time arguing. make a decision and move on.
No matter how much he protests, put him in his car seat. In the backseat.
Be prepared when taking him shoe shopping. Boys test new shoes by racing down the aisles of the shoe store. (This one made me laugh. SO TRUE!)
Teach him to help you out around the house.
If he comes home filthy and muddy, have no qualms about hosing him off before letting him back inside. (Sometimes it's okay to just give them the soap too.)
Always be his cheerleader.
Generally speaking, your advice in picking out soccer or baseball shoes is not welcome.
Be prepared: The price of his athletic equipment will make you consider taking out a second mortgage.
He'll always look for you at his games. Sit where he can see you.
If he gets cut from a team it will be one of the worst days of his life. And yours.
If he's old enough to play, he's old enough to carry his own equipment. (Amen!)
Tell him he had a great game. Even if there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. He just needs to hear you say it.
Walk him to school for as long as he'll let you. (I still walk my 3 youngest into school, even tho my 8 year old bolts as soon as we hit the door.)
Teach him to hang up his clothes, even if it's easier to just pick them up yourself. (Some days I struggle with this one. )
When he dresses himself, tell him he looks great. Don't worry about what others think.
Get to know his teachers. They now spend as much time with him as you do.
He will want a puppy. He will love it. You will clean up after it. (Or possibly a goat.)
Join the PTA/PTO. Become a homeroom sponsor. Volunteer as a classroom aide. Know what's going on at his school.
Give him a Valentine's Day card every year. He'll say it's corny, but secretly he'll always look forward to it.
Treat his father with love and respect. Show your son that being am an is a good thing.
Don't tolerate meanness.
Stand up for your morals. Don't give in. He might protest now, but eventually he will model himself after you.
Make sure his home is a haven of love and peace.
Demand respect. At all times.
Prepare to spend the next few years in the car. (And depending on how many you have, this could be more time than you can imagine!)
He will want you to be his friend. But what he really needs is a mom.
Everything will smell better when he starts using soap. And deodorant. Regularly. (remind constantly how important these two things are)
Do not let one single disrespectful comment slide.
He's ready to learn about girls. He can either learn form you, or from MTV.
Make sure he does volunteer work. It's a proven way to make him stop thinking about himself.
Feed his friends. You'll learn about them - and your son - as they raid the fridge.
Be unified with his father. (And when you're not, don't discuss it in front of the children!!)
Insist that he let you know where he is at all times.
Don't let him spend every dime he makes on her.
He will need you to explain the way girls think. His dad can't help him here.
Be careful not to attach special meaning to any of his girl friends. They will come and go.
Make sure he knows that his grades matter more than ever now.
If he knows he can come to you with a problem, he will.
Hold him accountable for his actions.
Don't be concerned with him disliking you. Instead, be concerned with him respecting you. (AMEN!)
When he's driving and you're in the passenger seat, don't scream, have a panic attack, or claim he's trying to kill you. Be calm. Be calm. (this one has proven to be a little tough for me...)
Learn to listen without judgement, or even talking. (I struggle with this one too. But I think I'm improving. My son would probably disagree.)
Apologize to him when you screw up. (!!!!!!!!!!!)
LEAVING HOME (This is a very short chapter. I'm going to put them all here)
Ask him to please never get a tattoo involving the word "mom".
Tell him you will always love him.
Remind him that beer is not one of the major food groups.
He will tell you that you're the best mom in the world.
Hug him fiercely.
Tell him to call you.
Remember, he'll be back. He's hungry.
Let him go.
I just LOVE these little books. My daughter does too. I find them next to her bed all the time. Thank you Harry and Melissa Harrison for writing them.