Boys: Toddler to Teen Relationship Building
For the last 32 hours my home has been filled with a dozen 15 – 16 year old boys enjoying a bevy of guy like activities! Random fun, lots of laughter, time around the firepit and a trip into the woods to play airsoft – capture the flag style!
We also had a major Kinect track and field meet last night, as well as a barbarian feast – big boys eat lots…constantly! I think I made pancakes for an hour this morning!
Our home has always been open to kids and I have thrown more parties than I can count. Kids wanting to hang out at your home doesn’t just happen – it requires effort that begins when they are toddlers.
My little toddler boy always loved cars and tracks. We were blessed with some hand me down car tracks (thanks cousin Hall!) and cars of all sizes rode on those tracks. My son and his little playmates would run tracks all through my living room, over the coffee table, through my kitchen – where ever their imagination took them.
As he got older he continued to enjoy the tracks and cars, but also gained a new fascination with trucks and dirt. So a section of our yard became dirt and a large lidded tub sat nearby that was filled with dump trucks, back hoe’s and bull dozers of various shapes and sizes. (Hand me downs, yard sales and gifts.) Once again little friends were invited over to play, and get dirty with him.
I have had linen closets emptied and every room in the house covered with some amazing indoor tents, children have vivid imaginations and the adventures in those tents have been a joy to be a part of.
I have shared before that my son and I do have a tendency to come up with some interesting boy activities – great birthday parties and messy mud pits to name a few. Each activity designed to allow a boy to be a boy and explore his world the way God wired him to. With wild abandon and curiosity that is always experiential.
I encourage all moms of boys to allow your sons to go for it in their little boy ways and allow them to get messy, be tactile, and experience life and their surroundings the way God designed them to. It’s only dirt and dirt cleans up, cuts heal, even broken bones can mend – their little man in training selves need to do things in their male way.
Admittedly at times I don’t get it and I call my husband…”Uh, the boys want to swim in the little pond out back, that’s so gross, there could be snakes, should I let them?” My husband’s reply, “They are boys honey, of course let them, just be nearby and have them throw rocks around to scare the snakes away.” Yeah…I don’t get it fully – but I embrace it.
As a result of my decision early in my sons life to go with his bent towards adventure and messy he has become courageous and has an assurance and quiet confidence that he can do anything he puts his mind to. He is mindful to remain safe and play smart, but he does not experience life with fear or see himself incapable of much. Courage is an admirable trait in a young man.
I strongly encourage you mom to make your home one where boys are allowed to be boys and adventure is encouraged – in door and out door adventures.
I also suggest that you prepare really good food for your son and his friends…and they’ll keep coming back!