Sunday, May 8, 2011

Trying times with boys....VENTING the embarrassment!

Oh blog if you will!?!

How many of you have boys?

How many of you have very active boys?

How many of you have very active boys that do not do well with kids that are their own age or younger?

How many of you have very active boys that do not do well with kids that are their own age or younger...AND especially girls?????

Yesterday, started off like any over exciting day... We all got ready, checked everything off the list, and packed up the car to be gone for the day. Our first stop...a 2nd birthday for sweet little Addison.

My son spent the whole car ride going "Happy Birthday candles!" "Happy Birthday, Addy!" I was excited for him, because he's starting to remember his friends and gets excited when we go to certain places (Pap Bob's House, Bungie's House, Rissy's House, O-Libia's House, and now Addy's).

I, on the other hand, start to get nervous. My son is now two and half and he just gets too excited when we are with other kids! Which is fine when we are places like, at the house of the kids that I nanny for, because they range from 7-12, so he can be a little rough on them or fight over toys and not really hurt them and they understand not to hurt him. The problem is when are with kids that are his age or younger, he is just WAY TOO ROUGH! Forget the fact that he doesn't like to share (that's normal for the age), but he will literally run up to, even the youngest kid, and just take whatever they are playing with. For whatever reason (something in the water that year or just my bad luck) it always seems to happen with little girls. My son takes their toy (sometimes a little roughly), runs away, and the girl if left shocked and crying her eyes out!

When we are out at playdates, I feel like he's just this big bully. I hate that!

So, yesterday, we're at this birthday party and it starts off with just us and another little 18 month old guest. When she starts playing with a ball that my son wants, he runs up and takes it from her. This little girl had her very sweet Grandmother by her side, who suggested that they move to another area and play. I let the first one go, because so many people say that this is "just the age, don't worry about it". Then, I took my son aside and told him that we were playing with kids that were smaller than him and he needed to be a nice boy, share, and be a good listener to Mommy and Daddy. I was hoping that by giving him my expectations he would have a better idea of what to expect.

He was okay for about 5 minutes before he basically bypassed this little cuties grandma and jumped into the ball put with the 18 month old. I looked over and saw grandma trying to get the little girl out and Matthew just creating ciaos! I got him out and we took a trip to time out, but time out is very tricky when you are not at home...and just doesn't seem like it works anywhere near as well. I hoped it would have some effect though. It didn't....

A little while later, my husband was "taking charge" and trying to keep my son and the birthday girl happy with a little game of basketball or something. I saw my kiddo take a ball and the next thing I knew, the birthday girl was bawling her eyes out! Hubby said that they bumped heads. While I checked out the birthday girl, my son, who did not shed a tear, was back on the slide and playing like nothing happened. that's probably the first 30-45 minutes of the party and we were there for two hours. But you get the idea of how the playing went.

The icing on the cake came about 15 minutes before we had to leave. My son had jumped into the ball pit and knocked it over from the inside. Ball EVERYWHERE...enter Host Mom and a look like..."AHHH! Who invited this kid!" I took Matthew out to time out again and told him that he needed to help me clean up the balls, which he did. But I looked around at that point and realized that all of the little messes around the room had come from my son! I had watched him pull out just about every box or bin or toys that he could and it WAS a mess! So, I decided that it was time for me to do a quick clean I needed a minute to regather my myself, because I was just starting to lose my mind!

While my family was all cleaning, the rest of the guests were singing Happy Birthday. We managed to get ourselves almost in vision of the cake right before the last line of Happy Birthday. After that, I went back to cleaning and took my little guy with him.

He was fine for a little while, and I saw his Daddy chatting with one of his pals. When my son ran out of the room, I was too worried, because he'd been doing donuts around their kitchen and back into playroom most of the morning and my husband was camped out in the kitchen. However, when a couple minutes passed and I did not see my son, I knew he was into trouble.

I ran out of the playroom and went for the cake. There was the birthday girl getting pictures and trying out her birthday cake...and my child with his hands all up in her business...eating the icing off of her bears. I grabbed him by the hands and took him out of the room and handed him to my husband...

Then I lost it! I don't know it was my pregnancy hormones or the feeling like "My son is uncontrollable!", but the waterworks opened up and I just couldn't stop! I ended up just sitting by a window for about five minutes thinking: "What is wrong with my mothering?", "What if my son just isn't a normal boy?", "What's going to happen when we have a new baby in the house!?", "How can this kid play so well at home, but act like this every time we are out?", "Why does he want to destroy EVERYTHING!", and "What the HELL did I do to deserve a child that acts like this?!".

I sat there for a while, just trying to pull myself together, but the tears just wouldn't stop. When they finally did, all I wanted to do was go. I was tired. No, I was exhausted! My intense emotions had just exhausted me.

Moms of boys, have you been there? I wonder if we just had more boys to play with, maybe I wouldn't fine my son to be so terrible with them, but constantly having girls around to compare him to makes me feel like just staying home.

Moms of boys, what do I do?


  1. Aw. Lauren.. I'm sorry this happened. Its really hard trying to be patient with your child when you're pregnant. I cannot tell you how many times I had to walk away and cry about it.

    I have no real advice though. I'm very blessed to have a daughter that is very good with other kids, especially younger ones.

    I honestly wouldn't know what to do with a boy. :P

  2. Lauren, I am sorry you had such a bad time. :(

    I mean this in the nicest way of asking but do you discipline him when he hits or pushes the older kids? I think that might be where to start. I know they are bigger and can "handle themselves" but he is basically just learning the bigger person wins and when surrounded by younger kids and/or girls he is that bigger person so here is where its going awry, ya know? He just needs consistency in how he should act I think...

  3. Boys are different. Very different. They do need more active time than girls and they do tend to be more physically aggressive. Don't worry too much.
    At 2 1/2, he is too young to be expected to understand the feelings of others, but not too young for you to explain those feelings. It's also too soon for him to show a lot of self control. :)
    My son was 22 mos old when my 3rd was born, and those months from 18-36 months were the hardest! I remember crying a lot, too. My husband was my hero back then, coming to my rescue all the time.
    Best advice I can give is... Don't be afraid to leave a party. Set clear expectations for your son's behavior. Remind him that if he is not behaving then he will have to go home/out to the car/whatever and then follow through (best done without getting emotional which is hard, I know). He's a smart little fellow. He'll try you, but stand strong. Eventually, he will learn that he must do xyz or he will not get to enjoy the party. It's hard work being a momma, but when this stage has passed it will be well worth it. :)
    We have friends who let their little boy be "all boy" when he comes to visit and it makes me CRAZY. But he is 5, not 2 1/2. BIG difference. :)
    And hey... This too shall pass, you know?! These trying stages of development come and go, but they don't last forever. Just keep on loving him and encouraging him when he does well. Also keep on expecting good behavior being consistent. It may mean being the "mean momma" sometimes. Better at two than at twelve, I think. ;)

  4. I somehow came across this, through Sally, and just wanted to say... that my child was wild and rambucous while all the other children sat and played quietly. We barely stayed anywhere longer than an hour and we would be gone. It's just too much to take them somewhere without your own timeout spot especially. By the way, we made a lot of trips out to the car anywhere we went.

  5. Thanks ladies. Lots of good advice here. It's been really hard not to feel frustrated with all of this. There's this part of me that wants to let him go and just let him do his thing, be a kid, and work out problems on his own instead of constantly being right there to correct him. I feel like it is important for him to know how to solve some things on his own, but I just do not feel like he is ready to do that yet.

    Honestly, it's been amazing to me that it is taking so long for him to understand and learn how he needs to be. He is a quick learner in general and constantly shows it, but going out is a different story.

    Then, there are also other things that come out when we are out that don't come up at home. Like, at the party we went to after this, he could reach the lock for the door and open it and walk out. He did the same thing at my parents house on Mother's Day. This isn't something we deal with at home, so it means we HAVE to have a timeout spot (which wasn't hard since we use the first step at home) but it just seems like he doesn't take it as seriously, because he is so excited for whatever is going to come next.

    Also, do you think that I need to be out and about for more playdates? I keep thinking, maybe part of the problem is that these opportunities for playing with younger kids are too far between, but then I feel like I'm asking parents to let their kid be a guinea pig with mine to help him act more appropriately!

    As for the older kids, I think he's less on the end of the bigger one wins, and more in the thinking of.....I can have whatever I want, because they kind of just stand back like he's a baby and let him play with whatever he wants. There really is never a fight over anything...and if there is, HE actually probably ends up getting it in the end. Not because I say anything like "Oh, come on....", but just because they don't really care about him taking it all that much.

    Although, overall, that is an interesting thought, because maybe the learned behavior is just "I get what I want". I know that almost on a daily basis he's taking Scott's DS. Sometimes Scott lets him, not because he wants him to, but because he doesn't want to fight with him. Maybe we're just not doing a good job with teaching him that some things are not his to touch. Interesting......

    How do you Mom with boys that are younger deal with them taking things from the older kids?

    Thanks again everyone....It was really hard to write this post and feel so vulnerable to the world, but sometimes it takes an outsider looking in to help you find the error of your ways.

  6. Lauren, Play dates are essentially guinea pig activity for everyone involved. LOL I think that's kind of the point! haha I can't provide several kids but can offer Addy. hahaha They really didn't seem to do that bad when it was just the two of them though, honestly so I don't know how much help that is. he may need the more "exciting" events...?? Not sure, but either way we are here to help "train" both of them with how to interact.

    It's a proven fact that kids will not comprehend the concept of sharing till around 5, so honestly none of us should expect that for a while we just basically have to show them not to take things or hit or kick or bite or anything like that while doing so. LOL

    I think teaching him what not to touch and being consistent with telling the older kids to tell him no and take it back and/or you doing so like you said is a good place to start! :)

    Remember, he is 2.5. He is testing boundaries. You are pregnant--your patience is short and you are emotional. You just have to do what you can right now! Choose your battles but try to be consistent and realize this is a trying time for all! :)

  7. I know you asked for mom's of boys to respond, but I just couldn't resist. I am a mother to a beautiful, very intelligent, and extremely active 2 year old girl. The events you described happen anytime we get around a large group of people. For some reason, she feels the need to entertain and she get so WILD (to say the least). Her (boy) cousin is 7 weeks younger and it's like the roles are reversed. He's the cry baby and she's the bully. At our Mother's Day dinner with the entire fam. including great-grandparents, Lucy went to time out 3 times before (praise the Lord) it was time for everyone to go! Her cousin's 2nd bday party is this weekend and I'm beyond stressed about how she's going to be. Like I've said, she's very smart and understands a lot of what we say so I am spending this week reminding her to "leave Jackson ALONE". We are making it a point to get Lucy to bed on time on Friday night so she'll be well-rested and ready to party. Also, getting her dad involved helps tremendously. I'm with her more and do most of the disipling and she is such a strong-willed child that she things of testing me as a game sometimes. We are very consistent with her, but sometimes Daddy's voice is much firmer than mine and it does the trick instantly. You're not alone!!!