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Lynda Loveland: When are boys just being boys?

Posted January 16, 2013

Lynda Loveland

I have a guy friend who often regales me with stories from his childhood. Stories about him and his brother doing things that are so unbelievable they must have driven their parents to the brink of insanity. Stories of destruction and chaos that blow my mind! Call me crazy, but I find them encouraging because he turned out perfectly fine and normal. It gives me hope for my son.

You think men are from Mars and women are from Venus? Young boys are from some distant galaxy! By himself, my seven-year-old son is, let’s just say, a handful. An angel he is not.

He’s caused more than his fair share of trouble. We’ve been working VERY hard on correcting his misbehavior. Well, now he’s teamed up with some other boys in the neighborhood and they’ve been getting their "naughty on," trying to outdo the other. He may very well be the ring leader. I’m not sure.

Anyway, his most recent escapade was ding-dong-ditch. He rings a neighbor’s doorbell and then runs away. There’s nothing quite like lighting a fire under people who live just a house or two away. After I found out, I took him around to all the homes and made him apologize, plus he was grounded. We’ve had countless talks of respecting people’s property.

Yes, he ticked off a bunch of people. It was absolutely wrong. But is he just being a boy when it comes to something like this? Now mind you, there are other things we’re working on with him that are not part of just being a boy.

Should I worry he’s going to end up in juvie or should I just chill about some of it and chalk it up to the sprouting of his testosterone seedlings? Cause he’s sure keeping me awake at night stressing about it!

Lynda is the mom of three and co-host of Mix 101.5 WRAL-FM's Bill & Lynda in the Morning. Find her here on Thursdays. Click here to find her on Facebook.


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  • clif4 Jan 21, 2013

    It's simple...

    If he does something you might see in an episode of "Leave It To Beaver", you shouldn't worry.

    If it's something you might see on an episode of "Cops", then you can start worrying.

  • carrboroyouth Jan 17, 2013

    computertrainer, I guess I misunderstood you. My apologies. I still think people think boys are girls are more different then they actually are. I disagree about the higher standard part though, from various personal behaviors to grades in school, people have very different ideas of what is acceptable for boys and girls. It's not right and I hope those notions change.

  • Terkel Jan 17, 2013

    "Boys will be boys" states that it's OK for boys, and ONLY boys, to push limits. They're supposed to smile at all costs, be quiet, act dumb so the boys don't feel threatened, and above all, be "good little girls". Which means smiling at all costs, acting dumb so the boys won't be threatened, being quiet...

  • computer trainer Jan 17, 2013

    carrboroyouth- what I meant is that Boys tend to do more things that people CATCH them doing, that are considered wrong, bad, whatever you care to call it. I was not saying ringing and running is particularly a "boy thing". Boys are just wired a little different, AND to be honest, folks tend to hold them to a higher standard.

    I suspect that with that parenting being done, he will grow up just fine.

  • bugsp1981 Jan 17, 2013

    at least it is not a paper bag with some droping in it and lights it and then rings the door bell. Better watchout for Halloween

  • whyalltheproblems Jan 17, 2013

    since he's 7, the countless talks are probably going in one ear and out of the other. I personally don't think there's anything harmful with what he's doing. However, I get the respecting other people's property..and really wish more parents would enforce that too.
    I would put my son in the position he's putting your neighbors in, with his sisters. turn the table so to speak, and see what happens.
    I'm sure he doesn't like it when his things aren't respected. Plus, since you've talked to him and he's still doing it, he's not respecting you either :(.

  • carrboroyouth Jan 17, 2013

    "Boys will be boys," is an excuse. Ir's an excuse that holds boys to a lower standard.

    Would you treat this situation differently if you had a daughter who did this?

    Confession: I ding d*ng ditched (WRAL won't let me use that word, apparently...) my neighbor when I was a little girl. It's not a "boy" thing, as computertrainer says.

  • computer trainer Jan 17, 2013

    Folks, boys and girls ARE different, to many degrees. So, yes, he is doing BOY things. It is a test to see what he can do AND what he can get away with. You are doing the PARENT thing and making him take responsibility for what he has done.

    I have to ask though, how are you finding out what is going on?

  • kadavarius Jan 17, 2013

    I agree wholeheartedly with Killian. This is NOT a gender issue (most things are not), and treating it as such is an open invitation for bad behavior to be justified/excused by what body parts he has. Plenty of girls do this, and plenty of boys do not - it's all about raising kids to be good *people*, not to be good girls/boys. Address the issue as one of a kid needing boundaries and guidance - you know, parenting - and not of some ridiculous excuse to trivialize it.

  • piety409 Jan 17, 2013

    Dr.James Dobson's book Bring Up Boys is a must have in everybody's library.