Tips on raising resilient boys to help them thrive.
By Maggie Dent.
Maggie Dent is an expert in helping Australian parents raise resilient, strong and loving men. Her passion for helping boys comes from alarming statistics, revealing they’re more likely to take greater physical risks, get injured in accidents and sport, and face bigger mental health risks as they grow into men.
When Maggie holds parenting lectures, the room is full of mostly women – mums wanting the best advice on parenting their sons.
Help boys feel secure.
Boys may be expected to be tougher than girls, but in reality, all children can feel berated and vulnerable in certain situations.
Tip: Give your boy small cues to remind them they’re loved. For example, a little tickle, wink or high-five.
Boys develop language skills a lot later than girls.This is because the right hemisphere of the brain develops more so than the left. When boys become frustrated, they can sometimes default to anger since they don’t have the words to express how they’re feeling.
Tip: Use hand gestures as well as speech to explain what you need or want them to do. Boys also respond to visual signs more than verbal, so avoid calling out to them from another room.
Build bridges of connection.
Building little love bridges, or moments of connection, makes boys feel like they matter. Boys need to see constant loving action as well as verbal affirmations of love.
When boys are naughty it can feel like they’re intentionally being disrespectful, rude or forgetful. Reframe that idea, and know that at times, they really can only focus on one thing, and that they’re not good with change. If we understand how our sons process information, and accept they are genuinely more forgetful than girls, more allowances can be made and frustration can be kept at bay.
Tip: Try to avoid enquiring about school immediately after the day has finished — they’re exhausted and need time. Allow them to come to you when they’re ready to talk, and create moments of loving connection that they can hold on to.
Curb physicality and roughness.
Men are biologically wired to be physical. They have a larger amygdala and more testosterone, so their type of play can be quite rough.
Tip: Keep it safe by setting simple guidelines: try avoid hurting yourself, others, and damaging things.
Expect testosterone surges.
Boys have testosterone surges around the ages of 4, 10 and 14. Be mindful that this can mean excess energy for them.
Tip: Keep boys physically active in large spaces outside the home. Also, set them exciting, challenging tasks that require concentration – they’ll be much calmer afterwards.
A friend of mine was recently asking me how I started my blog and why.
Well I started it as something ‘on the side’ of being a SAHM. Don’t get me wrong being a SAHM keeps me very busy and I love it, but sometimes I enjoy interacting with others including other adults.😉 I know some may have the opinion of ‘mmmm your not interacting if it’s words on a page’ well I am, I may not get a verbal response that I can hear, but I do get loads of emails and a few are brave enough to write comments on either the FB page or webpage. I feel done are worried about commenting publicly as there are many people out there just waiting to ‘shut down’ other people’s thoughts and feelings. What we must remember is that everyone had thoughts and feeling so why shouldn’t they feel like they are now to express them without fear or scrutiny?
I explained to her that my blog is me expressing my stories and experiences and allowing others who have also experienced similar to relate. Quite often people are a ‘closed book’ and don’t always want to speak up or feel they can share personal experiences without being judged.
I write about many different things in order to capture a larger audience. I have readers who are not mothers, but enjoy my recipes and fitness posts (sorry I haven’t posted any of late, I promise I will again soon). I have readers who are male who possibly like the female perspective, and well yes I have female and other mothers read my blog.
My readers come from everywhere any anywhere. I currently have over 6000 readers / followed (whom I’m very grateful for) across many mediums including, Twitter, linked in, Facebook and my webpage and rest assured they are not all my friends. I personally don’t know that many people. 😉
Social media and blogging is a way of people communication on various topics, subjects and issues. It reaches a very broad and large audience. I read many blogs and I sure others do also.
I was googling ‘personal blogs’ and was reading on why others start their blogs.
Below is an interesting perspective on personal blogs and how and why some start.
Settlements and chores with marriage and divorce.
I recently read an article in Australia’s Marie Claire magazine about divorce settlements and how they are being settled.
To my shock these things are now being divided almost into a spreadsheet of what the women did around the house during the marriage and put a number on. For example, each load of washing was valued at $25.00.
After reading more into this breakdown it also detailed ‘babysitting duties’ at $25/hr, cooking at $15 per person per meal, school runs at $20/hr and so on.
So these women say have 3 children ranging from 5-15 years old and are married for 17 years and now getting settlements based on what they ‘earns’ during their marriage raising their families?
Please explain to me how this works?
I thought that being a mother was a blessing and not a job?
Why should we be paid or compensated for being given this privilege?
I understand that when we do become mothers and like myself some choose to become a stay at home mum and raise our children instead of keeping our careers and having our little ones in full time care, this is our choice. So why when things don’t go as planned are women expecting to get a lump dime pay out to compensate for loss of earnings?
The article I read had the woman seeking half her husbands superannuation, which I understand she hasn’t early any in the past however many years as she has been the home maker, but why is she entitled?
Along with half the super she is seeking the lump sum payment which looks a bit like this.
* 1 x load of washing per day @ $25 per load = $175 x 17 years = $546,976
* Baby sitting @ $25 per hour – 5 hours per day, = $125 x 5 days per week, the time she is at home alone each week day with the / her children = $625 x 15 years = $
* 6 x dinners per week @ $20 per meal for 5 people = $600 x 17 years = $
* Daily errands = $20 per hour @ 3hours per day = $60 x 7 days = $420 x 17 years = $
* Ironing @ $25 per basket x 2 baskets per week = $50 x 17 years =
* cleaning the family home @ $25 per hour x 3 days per week = $75 x 17 years = $
* Packing school lunches @ $10 per lunch, 3 x children.
10 years for the eldest @ 5 x days per week, $50 per week @ 40 weeks per year x 10 years = $20,000
5 years for the Middle child @ 5 days per week $10,000
1 year for the youngest @ 5 days per week $2,000
Total = $32,000
So this all equals $2,278.53 per week
Which equals $118,483.82 per year
Over 17 years equals $2,012,355.00
Keep in mind this doesn’t include her going for half the superannuation not half the combined assets.
Is this fair?
With the average Australian annual salary being $75,000 per annum what would you expect from your partner if you were to divorce after 17 years and raising 3 children?
Would you expect or want half his superannuation?
Would you expect a lump sum pay out similar to the above?
Who actually can afford to pay out over $2 million dollars in a divorce settlement?
Another article that I found interesting was one where the husband worked out what his wife’s annual salary should equate to if being paid on parental duties only. Surprising it’s $97,000 per annum – this is not including house hold chores.
Have you been divorced?
Do you find this fair?
Email me : email@example.com
Where to start?
A huge thank you to my followers, between the website, Facebook and twitter I have almost 5,000 readers!
Thank you for reading my blog and supporting me. I’m very humbled.
I must say I do read everyone’s comments, my apologies if I don’t post them all I get quite a few, which I love and again am humbled by and thank you for taking the time to write me and comment on my posts.
So to answer some of your questions, and again my apologies if I don’t answer yours directly. Please feel free to email me directly and I will get back to you. Noordinarymummy@gmail.com
No I haven’t had any formal writing education. I simply write what I feel, or experience or someone I know has experienced.
Yes I may not have the best grammar or spelling, most of the time I am blogging from my phone and predictive text can sometimes work against me.
Yes I am a big believer in family. My hubby and little boy who is almost 2! – where has this time gone? These two mean the world to me. I’m also exceptionally close to my sister, her hubby and their 3 children and always will be. I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs with my mum and dad but no matter what, I will always have them in my heart and best interests. My little brother and I are close and I know we will always have each other’s back.
I’m honest with everything I write, it may sometimes seem brutal or too much but unfortunately we live in a works where not everything is rosy and not everyone is kind.
My hubby says I have a heart of Pharlap. Those whom I treasure I will always protect, I don’t give many second chances and I don’t tolerate idiots.
I have only been blogging since February 2014. Within this time I’ve possibly opened up to many people/strangers more than I have in my life. I’ve been very protective of my experiences I guess with the fear of judgement and sceptics, however I am extremely comfortable in my skin and my life now and have grown to not care so much about what other people think of me. It could possibly be age and life experiences that have taught me this trait. I think I’ve past comment previously, I am a strong personality and we all don’t have to get along in this world. We all have our own opinions and we are all entitled to them.
My website is built through Web Hub Hosting using WordPress. I built it myself.
Yes I get some negative feedback, we can please everyone 🙂 however those that continue to read something they don’t appreciate, shouldn’t read it. Simply put – if you kick your toe on a coffee table, would you continue to deliberately do it again? By logging onto my blog and continually reading something that you are only going to be negative about, or whine about, am I the fool or are you? I’m not asking you to log on. You are choosing to log on and read.
Parenting whilst distracted.
I’ve previously written an article on a similar subject but I feel very strongly about it and recently read a very informative article by an extremely reputable paediatric specialist. This was also on SBS recently so I felt I needed to share this information from someone who does know what they are talking about.
Their words are easy to understand and this makes absolute sense to me.
I’m not saying there is no place for technology, we live in a very technologically advanced world, however what I am saying, is that there is a time and place for it.
Our children are only young once. Enjoy the time.
Have a read and let me know your thoughts.
Parenting while distracted.
I’ve been a pediatrician for 20 years, and I thought I’d seen it all. But not long ago, when a father brought his 2-year-old into my clinic, something happened that has me deeply concerned.
Written By Jane Scott
Source The Washington Post
11 AUG 2014 –
I’ve been a pediatrician for 20 years, and I thought I’d seen it all. But not long ago, when a father brought his 2-year-old into my clinic, something happened that has me deeply concerned.
Upon entering my examining room, I found father and son sitting together, eyes downcast, each silently scrolling and tapping on smartphones. During my initial exam, the father directed most of my questions to his frowning toddler, who indicated that his ears hurt, and I quickly discovered that both eardrums were red and inflamed.
“Guess what?” I said to my small patient. “Your ears hurt because you have an ear infection. But we can give you medicine and make you better.” I smiled at the little boy and his father. Immediately, the child picked up his phone and pushed a button. “Siri,” he asked carefully. “What ear ‘fection?”
At age 2, a few minutes on a smartphone isn’t a big deal; screen time is a part of growing up today, and most parents try to set appropriate limits. But when a child so young turned to a machine for information instead of to his father, it made me wonder: Just how limited was his parents’ screen time? What I saw was modeled behavior — a child who has learned that when he has a question, Siri, and not Dad, is most readily available with an answer.
It’s hard to say for sure based on this one moment, but there can be no doubt about the larger trend: Parents today are probably the most informed and involved generation in history. And, yet, in the company of their children, they often act as though they’d rather be someplace else. That’s what they’re saying when they break eye contact to glance at their push notifications or check Facebook when they think their child’s distracted. The parents are present, their attention is not.
In my practice, I see evidence every day of how such inattention affects kids. It’s expressed in temper tantrums and separation anxiety, and older children who resist discipline. Most parents are taught that this is all normal, that children are biologically wired this way. Not exactly. Yes, all of this is normal attention-getting behavior, but it often is preventable.
Consider the results of a March study by researchers from Boston Medical Center who carefully observed caregivers and children at fast-food restaurants. Out of 55 caregivers, 40 used their mobile devices, and their absorption was such that their “primary engagement was with the device, rather than the child.” In many cases, the caregivers expressed irritation when the children tried to get their attention. One observer watched a woman push a small boy away as he took her face in his hands in an attempt to get her to look up from her tablet.
It’s possible all those adults were following an urgent work email thread. More likely, they were on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. A 2011 Nielsen poll found that people with children use social media more than those without. Maybe these adults were reading an article shared by another parent. Maybe they were making plans with friends and family. But they were definitely communicating to their children that they were less important than whatever was on those devices.
This might seem absurd to today’s parents, who feel like they give themselves to their children in ways previous generations never imagined. But the undivided attention that children need from us is in jeopardy. Most people just don’t realize how much time they’re spending online; what feels like a few minutes is often a half hour or more. When we are with our children, we need to be with our children — not with them except for the part of us that’s reading emails, tweeting and checking Facebook.
Another reason for parents to put down their phones: Though Facebook may provide community, it can also promote competition and unreachable standards of perfection. Through Facebook, we read an endless litany of our friends’ boasts about their children. It’s enough to make a person wonder what she’s doing wrong because her child prefers plain pasta over the curry special or “Old MacDonald” to Chopin. Though most parents would say they’re not competitive in this way, many worry privately that they might be short-changing their kids.
Social media has a place and a purpose, but too many parents are creating unnecessary stress by trying to be in two places at once, while modeling to their children that online relationships take precedence over real ones. In an era of constant distraction, we must decide what’s more important: heeding the constant ping of our devices or telling our children, in word and deed, “I am listening. I am here. And there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
‘Call me Sasha’ by Geena Leigh
Whilst on holiday, I’m between sailing up the gorgeous weather, playing with my adorable little man and blogging I read an excellent book.
I seldomly read so being able to find the time to read and finish the book exceeded my expectations. I’m not sure what drew my attention to this book or why I purchased it, I think perhaps the cover? Subtle yet attention grabbing. That doesn’t really make sense does it…?
Anyway I struggled to put this book down and within 2 nights I had read it cover to cover. The whole 296 pages! I know it’s not the longest novel but for someone time poor this is the first book I’ve finished reading in about 2 years.
I know most of you probably read constantly and finish your books, however I generally find I get distracted or bored with reading and rarely finish the book I’ve started. My husband says I’m ‘fast twitched’ or a ‘go getter’ that I always have something that needs doing and ‘can’t sit still long enough’ or ‘can’t relax’. 🙂 yes I’m not usually one to laze around and generally do like to be doing something.
This book is a cold hard truth about this woman’s life. She is such an inspiration. What she endured throughout her life is almost unbelievable.
In many parts or chapters of this book my mind was saying ‘as if’ ‘poor girl’ or I would get a sense of anger inside if me and have a urge to protect her. This is possibly also mothers instincts 🙂
If you like me seldomly have time to read, for what ever reason – I will not judge you as I am quite time poor. I climb into bed generally exhausted, and within minutes I’m asleep, preparing myself for a new day of mummy and wife duties along with play dates, household chores and trying to think up new and exciting things I can do with my little man. So of your after a great read, that isn’t too long – (I find 500+ page books overwhelming) may I suggest you read this. ‘Call me Sasha’ by Geena Leigh. Such a well written memoir. I certainly look forward to her next book.
Below I’ve copied and pasted a snippet I found about the book. I hope that you also enjoy it.
If you have a ‘must read’ please key me know, I’d love to read something that my followers recommend 🙂
News.com.au writes –
TO SAY that Geena Leigh has lived a full-on life would be an understatement.
She left home at 15 and started working as a sex worker a few years later, eventually turning to drugs and developing a heroin addiction.
She travelled overseas, working as a sex worker in London and Greece before returning to Sydney as a 21-year-old.
When she was 33, she had a drug overdose when she was with a client, who revived her by performing CPR and then complained that she wouldn’t finish the job.
Finally, after more than 19 years in the sex industry, she’s managed to get her life on track and find a loving partner and a job she’s proud of.
In her new book Call Me Sasha, Geena Leigh opens up about her past as a sex worker, detailing what life is really like for a lady of the night: