For mums, parenting a little girl can often come naturally. There is always the option of falling back on your own childhood memories to guide you as a parent. Even if you grew up with brothers, there are some aspects of raising boys that just can’t be prepared for. From the infatuation at a very young age about certain (ahem!) body parts to the rough and tumble of daily play – here are some things mums have told us they wish they’d known.
He will love you like no other
Boys can be boisterous, abrupt, rough and above all, larrikins – but they can also be incredibly gentle and loving, loyal and proud. It’s often said that a little girls first love is her father; the same can be said of little boys. The relationship mums have with their sons is often unparalleled. Any woman who has ever had a mother-in-law knows that the mother-son relationship is a mighty one indeed. Mums will also speak fondly of the joy of seeing their partner and son bond – whether it be over lego, sports or dolls.
Boys love planes, trains and things that go bump!
Even if you go to pains to stock the nursery and play area with play kitchens and unisex doll houses, chances are your little guy will still seek out anything with wheels that drives, digs, mixes or flies. Matchbox cars will seem to breed in your handbag and you’ll be able to extract a solid 30 minutes of entertainment watching activity on a construction site.
Boys don’t stop moving
There is just something in their nature that doesn’t allow them to sit still. From the moment they get out of bed in the morning to the moment you tuck them into bed at night, they will bounce from one thing to the next, scale the dining room table and give you a near heart attack approximately every 15 minutes. Their daredevil side will only grow as they get older – from scooters, to bikes and skateboards – chances are you will spend a decent amount of time patching up skinned knees or driving them to Emergency.
Clothes shopping is easy and the arguments are few!
Anyone who has a little girl, as well as a boy, will tell you dressing a girl can be a much tougher challenge! Dresses, skirts, tops, hairbands, clips, matching hats and later – jewellery. It is endless. Then they start deciding they simply must have a say in what they wear and dressing a girl becomes a lesson in patience and fashion styling every. single. day! On the whole, boys are much easier to dress and buy for. A range of t-shirts (long sleeve for winter, short sleeve for summer), jeans and shorts – and you’re set.
It really is true – it starts from a young age. From the moment they’re aware of it, boys are obsessed with their body parts. The size comparisons seem to start almost as soon as they’re able to talk and when you start toilet training be prepared for pee to be everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
Baby boys seem to come with their own rudimentary versions of “Dad” jokes. You can almost guarantee at some point you will be called “poopy head” or “poopy bum”. “They have to incorporate poo into anything and everything,” Bree, a mum of two boys, said.
Don’t compare your boy to girls
It’s scientifically proven that boys develop and mature at a different pace to girls. They mature more slowly, particularly when it comes to language development, social skills and their fine motor skills.Try to resist the temptation to compare your son to your daughter, or a friend or family member’s little girl. Just like girls, they will mature at their own pace, intellectually, physically and emotionally. Sometimes that means they’re still very much a boy trapped in a man’s body by age 25 (just ask any woman who has dated one!) – but think of it this way – he’ll still be your little boy regardless.