Thursday, April 3, 2014

Boys Will Be Boys

Recently, I was reminded of just how much I hate the phrase “Boys will be boys…”! As soon as some boys (regardless of their age) get too rowdy or get into trouble, their parents immediately play the boys-will-be-boys card.

“Oh, Jr. didn’t mean to hurt Michael when he punched him in the eye. He just was too caught up in the moment.” “Nonsense, my little Tony’s a good little boy. He was merely having too much fun when he knocked over your daughter.” “What?! You want me to punish Joey because of a little roughhousing? He wasn’t bullying your son; getting into scraps is a normal part of being a boy. Your son will get over it.”

As a mother of two VERY energetic kids--one of whom is an 8-year-old boy--and as someone who has worked with many kids over the years, I know kids can be crazy hyper and unpredictable. And the more kids you put in the same room, the more the hyperness and unpredictability multiplies. If you don’t know how to handle a large group of children or how to diffuse the chaos, kids can eat you alive and try to take the building with you!

Children are still developing their reasoning skills and self control, so problems are bound to rise up every now again. Still, I would like to know when did being a boy become equal to being violent and aggressive? When did society decide that we should be giving boys a pass on bad behavior simply because it’s in their genes? I’m just not buying into all of that hype.

I know what some of you are thinking...I am a woman, so who made me an expert on boys? I never was a boy, so how could I understand what it’s like to be male child? Well, for starters, I was a tomboy. Plus, I have a total of five brothers and plenty of cousins. Also, some of my childhood best friends were boys. So, I may not have been born a boy, but I’ve learned a thing or two about being one.

And I insist that boys don’t have to be “boys”--at least not in the distorted sense of this old phrase. Instead of waving off bad behavior because of gender, I choose to see the unique talents, love, compassion, kindness, and strength of the rambunctious boys, and I try to bring out these positive traits in my own son.

My son is generous with his hard-earned allowance, quick to lend a hand, hardworking, protective of his little sister, and gentle with our pets. Every now and then he does something that touches my heart so much that I tear up with pride. When I see him displaying the qualities that I’ve spent years molding that this is what being a boy is all about...this is the type of behavior which should cause us to murmur “Boys will be boys…”! Yes, this is the legacy we should be passing on from father to son, not some lame excuse that turns our sons into nothing more than glorified beasts. Our sons deserve so much better!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Attitudes Are Shown AND Taught

As parents, we desire the best for our children.  We want them to grow up to be strong, healthy, smart, productive, caring, and happy adults.  We want to offer our kids a little better taste of the good life than we had ourselves.  A thousand amazing possibilities dance through our heads as we proudly watch our little ones grow, achieve, and evolve…until a temper tantrum, ungrateful comment, or I-can’t/I-won’t attitude brings it all to a screeching halt!

Immediately, our minds start racing.  Where did I go wrong?  I’ve taught my kids to be polite and say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.  I’ve encouraged them to do their best in everything.  I’ve tried to make learning fun and exciting   I’ve taught them to respect me and all authority figures.  I’ve told them it’s not okay to lash out in anger.  I’ve taught them so much…what happened?

Trust me.  We’ve all been there many times.  The truth is I’m finding myself there a lot more the older my kids get.  In my latest turmoil with my kids, I was reminded of something invaluable: we can’t simply ‘teach’ our kids and walk away.  Especially with things like attitudes and habits, teaching is not enough.  Once the teaching is over, the lesson has barely begun.

We must remind our kids of our teachings from time to time.  We should also be helping them reflect upon and grow to understand our teaching completely.  But most importantly, we need to create the best habits and attitudes in our children by repeatedly living our teachings.  Kids really do learn best from our example and they adopt our attitudes and habits...much more than we realize.

Recently, my 8-year-old son has been consumed with such a negative, impossible, and uncooperative attitude lately.  Of course, kids go through phases and have their difficult moments. However, I sensed there was something more to this.  Then, this week, I was going through my Facebook timeline to find something I had post a few days past.  It didn’t take me long before I realized that I’ve been excessively negative and irritable lately.

Of course, I have good reason.  My health hasn’t been the greatest lately, we are trying to fix a small financial crisis,  and I’ve been going through a difficult time overall.  It’s healthy to vent and express negative emotions; however, lately, I’ve let it consumed my day.  Instead of venting and then refocusing on the positives or finding constructive ways to deal with my issues, I’ve gotten stuck on the expressing part.  If my social media accounts are this full of negativity, how has my offline life looked like lately?  I can tell you it isn’t pretty!

Ultimately, I’m determined to bounce back from this situation and use it as a way to teach AND show my kids that life gets hard at times, but it’s never ok to allow it to leave you bitter or angry.  It is not fine to allow difficulties to rob your life of happiness, joy, and your healthy relationships with others.  And I want to help my son to see the positives in his life again, so he can be much more positive and happy about the ups and downs of childhood (and beyond).

It Is Time for Some Blogging--A to Z Style!

Dear friends, readers, and fellow bloggers,

It has been far too long since I blogged on a regular basis.  In the last few months, I’ve dealt with a myriad of health issues, as well as a growing number of responsibilities.  I am continuing to cyber school my son, which is requiring plenty of attention this school year to try to get him the extra help and one-on-one interaction that he needs.  I am also attempting to expand my writing career to e-Books and private clients--a very time-consuming pursuit as well.

However, my blogs are my creations--my little children, in a sense--and hurts to see them neglected so,  Consequently, I have made a last minute decision to jump headfirst back into blogging again by attempting the A to Z Blogging Challenge for the 3rd year in a row.  Like last year, I will be attempting this great feat with every single one of my blogs.  I know it will be difficult for me with all the obligations I already have, but I’m determined to stretch my writing abilities to the brink of insanity to prove to myself that I really CAN accomplish anything that I put my mind to.

To all of you who are attempting the A to Z Challenge, too, I wish you the best of luck.  May we all reach the finish line with our heads held high and with some new friends by our sides.  And for those of you who are choosing to continue to support my blog and my writing career by reading my posts, sit back and enjoy the ride!  Keep tuning in every day to see what great things inspiration and a little insanity can create!

Happy Reading & Happy Blogging,


Post © 2014 Amanda R. Dollak. Image Credit: Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Rolling Out New Blogging Plans

You may have noticed that it’s been mighty quiet in here lately. In fact, I’ve let my blogs go idle so long, I’m having to fight through thick layers of dust and cobwebs to reach you tonight. Well, perhaps not literally, but certainly figuratively. My mind has been bogged down by many things the last few months. There were two deaths in my family. I got caught up a little too much in NaNoWriMo. The holidays swept through my home. i had to deal with having a mega cold from h*** and a resulting fibromyalgia flare that left me reeling. And now my family is dealing with a medical crisis with my mother. Yes, that’s a LOT of dust and cobwebs, my friends.

However, I’m hard at work planning, revamping, and brainstorming, so I can give a fresh face to my blogs in 2014. So stay tuned. I have a feeling my blogs are going to be more awesome than ever before. It’s time to turn my blogging up a notch and go bravely into deeper blogging territory. Sounds like a lot of fun, huh?

Stop back next week to check out my blog renovations. And thank you in advance for understanding as I fumble my way through the transition to something bigger and better! Take care, my friends, and thank you for your continued support in my blogging adventure.

© 2014 Amanda R. Dollak