The Price of Pleasing a Boy

ten and one dollar bills in wallet

Isn’t very high really. There are so many things I can do:

  • listen to him describe the next gadget he’s going to invent
  • watch him leap off the ladder into the pool for the umpteenth time
  • have a good stock of freezer pops at the ready
  • wrestle him to the ground and give him a good tickling when the need arises
  • give him a job to do and tell him how wonderful he did when it’s complete
  • welcome his friends into my home
  • tell him I love him
  • follow through when I tell him I’ll get him some juice in a minute
  • listen to him jabber on about whatever thought enters his head
  • let him drink soda-pop at home every once in a while
  • tell him he’s terrific
  • tell stories about him that make me smile, especially when he can hear me

That’s just a partial list, of course. The point is that I only have to make small efforts to build my relationships with them. Sometimes I forget that and think I have to make grand efforts. Which overwhelms me. So then I do nothing at all.

One of my big goals this summer was to try and improve my relationship with the older boys. We’ve battled enough over school that I honestly wasn’t feeling real enthusiastic about them 6 weeks ago. Not much of what they did made me laugh.

Digging out old giggles about them has helped. The above list has helped too. The biggest thing has been just making the effort.

Sometimes it’s easier to think I’m too busy doing ‘important’ stuff.

When really I’m not.

Now that we’re on a better track, I hope we can stay here.

Earnest Parenting: tips to empower parents.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • PandaBean July 31, 2007, 4:53 pm

    All the things on this list are so true! And all of them are cheap to free. I hear so much about “child guided” “parenting”, because of all the low self-esteem issues now-a-days, but if more parents did some of the simple things off this list, there probably wouldn’t be as many issues.
    It is amazing how important it is to children to have us simply listen to them. Even when it’s about the same thing over and over and over again, it’s important enough to them to want to tell it often, therefore they should be important enough for us to listen often.

    This is one of the reasons I’m an advocate of having a stay-at-home parent, preferably the mother, since God designed us to be the primary child-caregivers, because our children may have the most important thing in the world to them that they /have/ to tell you, but if you are too tired from working all day, and need to get dinner ready, laundry done, children to bed, house cleaned, etc etc etc and all before /you/ can try to get to bed at a decent hour (HA!), it leaves very little time to spend listening to them, let alone spending any sort of good quality time together.

    Okay, I’ve ranted long enough. I’ll leave off now. πŸ˜€

    God Bless!

    Reply
  • Joe Cheray August 3, 2007, 11:30 am

    Yanno just the other day my 7 year old told me I was a good mommy because I spend time with him and I don’t fight with him and I love him.

    When it is all said and done our children are the only ones we have to watch out for. I love my son dearly and would give my life for him. We have been through some stuff let me tell ya. So I try to make sure that he knows that he is loved and cared for.

    Reply
  • Hawaii Health Insurance July 14, 2008, 4:50 pm

    It is rough.. Single father of a 9 year old, i know. He is soo excited about his actions 24/7 and always has something for you to look at. And you want to do grand things, but the little things do make a difference. Im guilty of brushing my boy off alot, because he shows things that are insignificant to me… i will make a better effort to listen just to let him know im there to hear it all πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Amy July 16, 2008, 10:34 am

    I struggle with the repeat requests. I know it’s developmental but usually 3 repeats of the same “Look at this” is my limit. Hubby has actually been excelling in this area lately. He will stop what he’s doing and focus his complete attention on the boy and have an actual engaged conversation. After a few minutes, he politely explains he has to get back to work, gives a hug and an “I love you” and the very happy boy wanders off. It’s amazing! I just gotta pull my patience together and stop thinking that my agenda is so stinkin’ important.

    Of course there are times when you CAN”T pay attention, but I think the Love and Logic strategy of saying ‘We’ve talked a whole lot today and I’m sorry but I can’t anymore because I have to finish x. Thanks for understanding.” would work.

    Thanks for my reminder on all this!

    Reply
  • San Antonio Lawyer September 15, 2008, 3:32 am

    Spending time with your children should be made sure everyday no matter how busy we are. Even if it’s just watching tv with them, or eating dinner together. What matters is we have little time to talk to them ask them how was their day and stuff.

    Reply
  • Gadget Mania September 16, 2008, 7:32 am

    You just hit the nail on the head about doing very very small yet comforting things to please your little boy.

    Many a time, we fail to do the most basic thing we need to do to comfort him – open our ears and listen!

    Reply
  • Amy September 17, 2008, 12:13 am

    San Antonio Lawyer and Gadget Mania, thanks for stopping by! You’re so right, it’s the small things that add up with our kids, isn’t it?

    Reply
  • San Antonio Attorney September 19, 2008, 2:28 am

    men are too easy to please than women

    Reply
  • Comment draguer October 2, 2008, 8:27 pm

    I made my girlfriend read this article and she found it very funny! Good work it was very interesting

    Reply
  • Prismas Basalticos October 14, 2008, 10:52 am

    I admire you for trying very hard to build good realtionships with your children. For busy working moms like us, It’s quite difficult isn’t it?
    -M from Mexico

    Reply
  • Amy October 15, 2008, 12:18 am

    San Antonio Attorney, Comment draguer, and M from Mexico: Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. And thank you also for letting me know you liked the article.

    Yes, building relationships can be difficult. I think it’s easier for some than others. I do have to work hard to extend myself. It’s worth it though.

    Reply
  • Comment Draguer October 15, 2008, 11:39 am

    I have to admit your list is really cool! I am a man and I laugh my ass off when I read it and most of it is true… I think my girlfriend does the same lol

    Reply
  • Rachel Suites October 28, 2008, 10:18 am

    Aww I love this list especially the last one, so cute

    Reply
  • Brad Poker November 18, 2008, 11:48 am

    I wish my mom cared about me as much as you do about your kids, you must be a really great mom πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Amy November 19, 2008, 1:31 pm

    Brad, awwwwwwww. Shucks. Thanks! It’s possible your mom cared more than you realize, but circumstances got in the way. I’m going to hope that for you. Do you have kids?

    Reply
  • Credit rapide December 3, 2008, 1:16 am

    I showed your article to my girlfriend ans she really found it funny! Thanks for sharing such a great article.

    Reply
  • Amy December 5, 2008, 3:09 am

    Credit Rapide, glad you liked it.

    Reply
  • Pasta n More December 28, 2008, 4:11 am

    I love the list! My daughter is only 3 months old, but already I’m loving everything about her. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do a post like this for girls some day. Right now, I just love watching her smile. Is there a better feeling in the world? I think not.

    Reply
  • Amy January 7, 2009, 1:07 am

    Pasta n More, congratulations on your new daughter! It only gets better from here. And no, there’s no better feeling than seeing your baby make eye contact and smile.

    Reply
  • Wachat January 8, 2009, 9:28 am

    Excellent points, I’m ready to bookmark the list, so I’m ready if we someday get a boy πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • Amy January 13, 2009, 2:28 am

    Wachat, good luck with that! Do you have kids already?

    Reply