Boys! Boys! Boys!

Boys! Boy! Boys!

There’s absolutely no doubt about it, boys interact with the world in much different ways to most girls.

They learn differently.
They engage differently.
They play differently.
They talk differently.

My little guy doesn’t stop moving…unless he is asleep. He roams around exploring his environment nonstop!

He constantly picks things up, carries objects around, pokes things, rams things into the walls, jumps off things, throws things, rips books(aggghhhh this one slays me!) manipulates them in strange ways & ultimately often breaks them.

He sees the world differently, & he certainly makes me look at my own behaviour on a daily basis. I had no idea such a gorgeous little fella could just about drive me around the bend so many times in one day!

My husband & I often joke that we wish our son had come into our lives first, as then we may not have been lulled into a false sense of ‘nailing this parenting gig’ with our daughter. She would sit, colour, draw, play independently and watch TV for extended periods of times. My little guy? Not a flippin chance. The longest I have ever seen him sit is through one episode of the Wiggles!(Another form of parental torture we seemed to have escaped with our daughter!)

But the truth is that boys brains really are wired completely differently to girls, and this fact cannot be dismissed when it comes to understanding how they develop. With a bit of understanding & realistic expectations, we can approach our boys’ behaviours in a much more positive way.

Here’s a few facts about boys that are worth mentioning:

Boys learn by doing – their little hands need to be constantly touching, poking, pulling, prodding or shaking something.

Boys live minute to minute- they get so engrossed in whatever it is they are doing, they find it hard to move on from an activity

Boys only hear 70% of what we say – so make your words count!

Boys default to anger – they may be feeling sad, lonely or hungry but it all comes out the same. This is why we often see lots of angry outburst and aggressive behaviour in our boys.

Boys need food – all the time! Chomp! Chomp!

With all of that in mind it really is also important that we never dismiss our boys challenging behaviour as normal! Phrases like “Oh he’s such a boy” or “That’s just what boys do” can often allude to the fact that certain types of behaviours displayed by boys should just be accepted.

Lots of families tell me that their boys are physically violent or aggressive towards parents – mothers in particular. Being violent or aggressive, whilst seemingly age appropriate amongst young boys, (whose brains are still developing) is still something that should never be tolerated on any level. A 2 year old boy who hits his mum, grows up to be a 9 year old boy who hits his mum.

Like all children, little boys need to be taught how to understand that their emotions are linked to their behaviour. The way they feel influences how they act and respond in certain situations.

So let’s keep these Top 5 things at the forefront of our minds when dealing with boys behaviours:

  1. Aggressive behaviour of any kind will NOT be tolerated. Parents need to protect themselves from an aggressive child. If need be, hold your child’s hands so that they cannot hurt you or themselves. Send a very clear message that “It is OK for you to feel angry, but violence will NOT be accepted in our family!”
  2. Children under the age of 3 have no ability to emotionally regulate. The pre frontal cortex in their brain does not start growing until the age of 3-6 years. This is why children throughout these ages find regulating their emotions very difficult. Boys are not always actually feeling angry – it just often comes out this way!
  3. Punishments or consequences do not help young children move forward in understanding how to manage their behaviour.
  4. Talk a lot about emotions and feelings in your family. By sharing your own emotions and modelling how you manage them in front of children, you can help them learn about how they can start to understand their own big feelings.
  5. Boys need just as much love, connection, cuddles and warmth as their sisters, so provide lots of opportunities to engage with our boys in nurturing activities, as well as the rough & tumble play that they so desperately crave.

Ah- boys! Can’t live with them. Wouldn’t live without them!

Keen to chat more about your child’s behaviour? Chrissie is ready & waiting to share all of her expertise with your family. Why not come along to one of her positive behaviour workshops –  click here for more information.

Chrissie Davies - Child Behaviour Consultant

Love Chrissie x x

“Empowering families to create the perfect mix of chaos & love”

About the Author

Chrissie Davies

Chrissie Davies is an educator, author, speaker, child advocate, parent and founder of Chaos to Calm Consultancy. With more than twenty years of experience achieving positive, game-changing results for countless families under her belt she is a sought after presenter. Offering a fresh approach to understanding and raising children in a modern world, Chrissie is particularly passionate about creating happier and safer home and classroom environments.

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Chaos to Calm Consultancy would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurung people of the Kulin Nation.We acknowledge the elders past, present and emerging - particularly the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents who walked before us supporting and connecting their children to the earth, water and community. Always was. Always will be.

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