I’m going to preface this with, this may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it is certainly some phrases that have driven me nuts while I’ve been raising my two boys over the years. Raising boys has been the hardest, grossest, weirdest, but fun time of my life. I never knew a small person could smell so bad after only being outside for an hour. I also never knew so many people would have an opinion on the aesthetic appeal of my newborn’s penis. *shrug*
“You know he’ll hate you when he’s older because you didn’t circumcise him”
Ok, I’m going to start with this one because it’s a hot topic right now. With the new documentary on Netflix, and people beginning the anti-circ movements, this seems like a great starting point. I chose not to circumcise my son *gasp* I know. My reasons were private between my husband and I, and we came the agreement that the choice was not ours to make. If my son wants it later in life, I’ll happily take him to have it done, but I couldn’t do it. I’m not putting anyone down who has done it, but for me, I just couldn’t and honestly it has nothing to do with the documentaries, or other people’s opinions, I simply didn’t want to have my baby cut on. Which leads me to my first thing to stop telling moms of boys, “You know he’ll hate you when he’s older because you didn’t circumcise him.”
Honestly, I’m sure my kids are going to hate me for a lot of reasons, and I doubt the look of his penis will be the top of those reasons. Making him do his homework? Probably. Telling him he can’t have a new iPhone? Definitely. And I’ll be real with you, if he hates me because I didn’t cut his penis, I will happily offer to pay for the procedure for him to do it. But telling me my kid is going to hate me later in life because I didn’t do it isn’t conducive to anything. It’s done, I didn’t do it, making me feel like crap because I didn’t do it isn’t going to change anything. You may not agree with my choice and that is A-OK, what is not A-OK is you having a comment on my son’s body and my choice not to alter it. Mind your penis (or lack thereof).
“Boys will be boys”
Y’all I could literally SCREAM every time someone says this to me. This is the ultimate slap in the face when raising boys. You are telling me that there is no way to stop the behavior, and that because he was born a male, he is allowed to behave this way. First of all, no. Boys will be boys is not an excuse for boys will be little jerkoffs. Boys will behave the way in which they are raised to behave. If they are raised that, because they are a boy, they can do whatever, whenever they want, that is exactly how they will behave (*gasp* it’s the same for girls). Kids mimic what they see, so if you allow their behavior, they’ll continue to do it. I’ve vented to some people on the terrible behavior of P, and all I get is “boys will be boys,” do tell me how that helps the situation? You essentially just told me to let it go, let him continue this terrible behavior, because, innately, he’s a boy and he’ll continue to do this. If you don’t have anything constructive to say when a woman tells you about her son’s behavior, don’t. say. anything. It isn’t hard, just zip the lip and smile and nod, it’s better than being condescending.
“That’s all children…”
Here’s another one that just irks my nerves, “all kids do that.” OK, awesome! So like, let’s stop letting them do that? I don’t care if every kid out there kicked a kitten, I would still be appalled when my child does it. Now if all kids wanted to wear polka-dotted socks, that’s harmless, wear them socks all day kiddo. But when it comes to bad behavior, just because it happens with some kids, doesn’t mean you have to allow it in your house. This comes especially into play when I talk about certain behaviors (lying, talking back, tantrums, etc.). I get all kids are going to have bad days, I’m not naive or dumb, but excessive bad behavior shouldn’t be written off simply because all kids have the tendency to do these things. Just because little Ben down the street screams in his parent’s faces and slams doors, doesn’t mean I’m going to allow it my house because, “Hey, they all do it!” I want to raise my kids not to follow the masses, not to be like everyone else, so why would I write off their behavior as OK just because other kids do it? I don’t know how other parent’s handle it, but for my sanity, I can’t just terrible behavior. We have to draw the line in the sand somewhere.
“You know he’s like this because…”
Unless you’re a therapist, stop telling me why my kid is the way he is. Yeah he’s gone through some crap at a young age, but when do we stop letting that dictate the rest of his life? Or with BabyE, when people tell me I’m spoiling him from holding him so much. What?! He’s a BABY. Babies can’t tell you their needs, they just expect them to be met, so yes, I will hold and cuddle this tiny human I created until my arms are tired. Because one day I won’t be able to pick him up so easily. One day he won’t like my hugs. One day he won’t want my kisses. So for now, I’m living in the moment with my kids. Stop telling women how they are raising their kids is wrong. Unless she’s feeding them bleach for dinner, then of course, let ‘er know.
None of know what the heck we’re doing in this parenting thing, so unless you have some stellar Super-Nanny advice on how to handle these little creatures, keep your diagnoses, and opinions to yourself.
“Oh look, he’s got a girlfriend”
Ok, ew. He’s a child. This is another one that can be filed under stop sexualizing kids. This also makes boys think that they can’t be friends with girls because they get the “oooooh you love her.” The girlfriend thing really only bugs me when it comes to the baby, because, just no. With the older hooligan, he could very well start to get little girlfriends, but right now I want him to know he can be friends with a girl without it having some different connotation. Let kids be kids. When he wants a real girlfriend, we’ll cross that bridge when it comes, but for now I want him to be able to catch lizards and worms with the girl next door because he likes playing with her without someone commenting that they are on a “little date.”
In summary, stop telling us everything we’re doing wrong. Parenting is hard enough without your judgement, Judy.