A few weeks ago, I noticed with horror that my son and another boy (from music class)were fighting on our front lawn. I had a strong urge to stop the violence, but I checked myself and watched just a bit longer. I noticed they were both equally matched, and both were enjoying themselves immensely. Ahhh, this must be masculine fun.
I again noticed this aggression the other day as David and a few children from church were playing on some playground equipment. I watched in disbelief as my gentle son sat at the top of the slide and kicked a boy in front of him down the slide. They both laughed as David slid down after him.
It’s funny, because I would probably make a rule like “Absolutely No Fighting” and “No Kicking.” Instead, I’m pondering discussions like “Make Sure the Other Child Is Having Fun” and “Wrestle with Boys Only.” I want my son to be a man. As I have said before, I’ll be interested to see how his God-given personality develops. It will be fun to see the mind of a boy develop into a man. I can see how easy it is to force him to think and act like a woman. I want him to be kind and gentle, and I still do think those qualities are important and masculine, but I must not be intimidated by the masculine part of him. Aggression is not incompatible with kindness.
Oh no, this what I have to look forward to soon! 🙂 Having grown up in a family of four daughters, no boys, I’m not always used to some of this ‘boy’ behavior. I have thought alot about treating boys as boys and not as girls. In schools, I think boys are forced to act like girls and are punished for behaving like boy. I tried to remember this when I worked in education. I know my father in law as a school administrator told the teachers to not punish boys by taking away recess; they need it, he said.
Good for your father in law! I’m quite against taking away recess, too (for boys and girls). I’ve recommended having the offending children running (or walking) laps while everyone else is playing.
Isn’t it comforting to know that God promises to give us wisdom? I might be able to bluff my way through girls, but not boys. (I say that tongue in cheek, of course. I need wisdom for both; I just might recognize my need for wisdom with David sooner than with Bethel and Laurel.)
Lol Michelle. Don’t you love it when our kids scare us like that? J/k. It’s a relief when you realize that there are no mean tensions, just normal boy aggression.I have noticed how important it is for our boys to have a daily outlet for their natural God-given aggressive tendencies.
Part of my problem is that I’m afraid some of the aggression is simply awkward social expression. I don’t know what “nerdy” aggression looks like, and how to avoid it. Any thoughts?
Martha Pryde says
Michelle, you sure ask the questions that make me think and I don’t know if I have any useful thoughts.I tend to think of nerdy aggression as a kid unknowingly going overboard in play thinking that the other person is having as much fun as they are, but not picking up the nonverbals or even verbals that “hey,that is enough already”. It may look the same as non-nerdy aggression, the difference being the heart motive.That’s why, I have found, it pays to investigate(like you did).If the other kids is enjoying the aggression and no one is getting hurt, I don’t see the problem unless of course the other mom is nervous about it lol.
Yeah, motivation… That’s a good one. I’ll have to remember. You’re right about verbal and nonverbal cues. I think that’s a helpful way of distinguishing the good from the bad. I just hope my kids aren’t destined to a life of nerdhood because I’m socially backwards, too. 🙂