6 Myths and Truths About Raising Boys
In traditional Kikuyu culture, when a child is born, a professional woman is enlisted to announce the birth. She does this by ululating loudly and joyfully so that everyone in the Village is aware. 3 Ululations signifies the birth of a girl. 5 Ululations mean a boy has been born.
I was equally joyful when my son was born. But the thing about being a mum in 2016 is that you will hear a lot of opinions about raising your child. Experts, well-meaning friends and even complete strangers will all have something to say.All this can be confusing especially for a mum who has no experience of being a boy. Here are six truths about raising boys from someone who has raised one:
1) Boys are expensive
News that your bundle of joy is a boy was probably received with a mix of joy and a little disappointment. The latter because you were not going to have that mini-you that you could go to the salon with and wear those mother-daughter outfits with. You also may have felt a little relief because having a boy meant you were going to spend much less. After all, all boys need is a few hundred shillings for a haircut every other week. That is what you thought.
But the truth is that boys need as much financial maintenance as girls. They may not need weekly salon visits but they will want superhero masks and costumes, branded caps, t-shirts, toys and shoes. These things are not cheap. And during infancy, the price of diapers for boys and for girls is exactly the same!
2) Pink may actually be his color
When you found out that you were expecting a boy, I am sure you filled the closet with dapper little outfits in shades of blue. Men wear blue, right? Well, not quite. Pink maybe your little one’s color of choice.There will be raised eye brows and you may hear that you are turning him into a sissy. No need to panic, your little boy will turn out just fine regardless of the flowery trousers. If it looks good on him, let him rock it.
3) Boys are cuddly
Boys run, jump and smash things. Your little boy is a ball of energy. If he is above three, you will need to stock up on band aids for the cuts and bruises. But this isn’t the only side there is to boys. They are also sweet and cuddly and they give the best hugs. They may not know how to communicate it but they want to be held and kissed, maybe even more than little girls.
4) Boys Never Stop
While your little princess may agree to sit quietly on the couch so she doesn’t get her dress dirty, your little boy will be constantly on the move. He will run around so much he will make you dizzy. Don’t even bother getting your voice hoarse trying to get him to stay still because he won’t. The good news however is that he learns by being on the move. He is not being destructive, he is learning. Just keep him occupied and busy.
5) Boys may be harder to discipline
If you have children of both sexes, you may find it harder to get your boy on the straight and narrow path. No, it doesn’t mean that boys are hard-headed. It just means they have different inbuilt negotiating skills.
They may sometimes like to push the limits. Just telling them not to do something might not be enough to stop them; you actually may need to give him a reason. Phrasing instructions and limits as statements, not questions, will help with this. State clearly what is expected of your child, and the consequences if it is not done. This works just as well with girls, who may or may not be more naturally compliant.
6) Boys will love you
If you are a mother of all boys, you will probably receive words of sympathy. Boys are assumed to be hard and unemotional. If you are a mother of boys, you may worry that you will never get to experience the soft passionate love that girls can give. The truth is that boys love intensely.
If there’s more than one of them, expect them to have competitions about who loves you most. When he grow older, there will be no tantrums or silent treatment. He will just love you. And this love will last to adulthood.