Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Boys will be boys (unfortunately)



I am at the end of my rope with our 5-year-old JL. I love him so much but he will certainly be the end of me. He is so intelligent, so loving and cuddly, so articulate. He has amazing athletic ability. Everything he tries, he's good at it the very first time. He's also a boy. 100% all-American boy. He loves to climb. Everything.



This is JL climbing our doorframe. He likes to call himself Spidey.

He also likes to play rough. Here's what I mean:


This is our sweet boy after he was horsing around in the basement and hit a metal support beam with his eye/head. He cried for a while but he is so tough.




He wants to be a big boy but he still wets the bed at night. He wants to play with his big brother but can't understand how to get his attention without being annoying. He loves to play with his baby sister but always ends up playing too rough and she gets hurt. All of that I can understand but it's the other things that are driving me crazy...




We tell him, "You can only ride your bike to the house with the white truck (two houses away)"
JL hears: "You can ride your bike wherever you want as long as you don't get caught."

We tell him, "Don't pee in the yard."
JL hears: "Don't pee in the yard if anyone is looking. Also, if you're about to pee in your pants, then it's okay to just pee wherever."

We tell him, "Lower your voice. Again."
JL hears: "Blah Blah Blah, talk a bit louder to drown out the adults talking."




We are still searching for an effective form of discipline. Oh sure we do punishment, but that's not discipline. I've taught him to memorize the phrase "What will happen if I do this?" but to him it's just another game to play. He doesn't think ahead. He doesn't act remorseful after. He gets very caught up in the moment. Every moment. I can't tell if, when he's getting into trouble and we're yelling "JL! JL! Stop that! Do you hear us?!?! JL!!!!" he is ignoring us, or if his 5-year-old-brain has chosen to split off from the outside noise to just focus on the mischief he is getting in to. So, when he calls his brother an idiot, or jumps on the top bunk bed to see if it will hurt when his head hits the ceiling, or climbs on the roof of the house to grab some leaves from a tree, I have to wonder, is this JL? Is this something I need to punish him for? Or is this just a boy being a boy? At what point will I cross the line, where I try so hard to squash the bad behavior that I end up squashing his spirit?

My mom always said that she had faith I'd end up having a kid just like myself. She was right.

9 comments:

Tricia said...

Oh I hate it when our moms are right.

'That Girl' said...

Dangit! Me too. You just described both my boys.

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

I don't know. One of my boys is neater, calmer and more caring thank his sisters but my other boy is a lot like your little guy--wish I had some advice!

Don Mills Diva said...

I can't tell you how much I love this post. It have a 2.75 year old BOY and you really captured what it's like to parent him and to worry about the line between civilizing him and crushing his spirit...

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

Oh geez...I have one of those...but it's my girl..Hey remember me, crazy Grasshopper Pie lady..I thought you had emailed me that recipie, but I can't find it, and DS wants to make it...Could you possible send again...or if I forgot to ask...Ugh..how many more days till school??

Blarney said...

Hmm ... no answers here. Have you spoken to anyone professionally about it? I know this is a fine line for many but I worry you are beating yourself up more than you should by this post.
Thanks for stopping in the other day & good luck.

Nap Warden said...

Ouch...I have one little boy. I am not ready:O

Larissa said...

OOh, this sounds like my little guy... except that he's only TWO. Yeah... the death of me, indeed.

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Remind me to forever keep J. away from Grant. - we would pull our hairs out one by one as we watched them turn gray.

KEEP BELIEVING