Boys Will Be Boys

I have the most incredibly cute 3-year-old toddler boy. His smile is infectious, his kisses are big and slobbery, he loves to hug and cuddle with me, and he is extremely encouraging and flattering. Yet, he is stubborn as a bull, defiant, and extremely headstrong. How in the world am I supposed to deal with him?!

Last night during dinner, just like many nights before, he gave me a hard way to go to eat his dinner. He was constantly standing up and moving around, playing with the food on his plate, chewing the meat and spitting it back out, and picking through everything. Before you say “well, maybe he just didn’t like what you made”, I made his favorite foods: chicken nuggets, corn, and rice and beans. Just the night before, he demolished (literally) a plate of rice at my grandmother’s house. So I really couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t eating his food. To make matters worse, me threatening his life (which normally works) just made him look at me. It was super frustrating. But, this also sparked a heated debate between several people and I on whether you can change/alter the characteristics and personality of a child at a young age.

I was never one to believe in astrology signs being able to spell out the characteristics of a person. But, as I got older and actually dated more, I came to realize that although they aren’t 100% accurate, they tend to be pretty on point. I say this to say that my son is a Sagittarius. And so is his father. Their characteristics traits are curious, outgoing, friendly with a great sense of humor, loves change, stubborn, hard to settle, creative with their hands yet won’t sit to learn, careless and inconsistent, and in these two particular men’s cases- extremely defiant. Everyone says that my son is a spitting image of his father and grandfather; I don’t see it. But- my son acts exactly like him. It’s so crazy. How can I change his personality? I can’t make him not be stubborn or defiant. One of the debaters said to me last night “if you correct it while they are young, you can mold them into who you want them to be”. I don’t agree with that- I believe that trying to change my son into how I want him to be will only make him sneaky and manipulative. The other debater made the point that “personality traits are different- those change with what you experience and the situation you are in”. Which is true- but for adults. Now- kids do pick up habits from other kids through social interactions (school and playground play) but that isn’t their personality. My counter argument was “can you mold and change the characteristics of a sexual predator or a child who identifies with the opposite sex”. Characteristics and personality is who a person is- there is no changing that. You can tame it (which was my defense argument) but actually changing it is impossible- short of a brain injury causing them to lose their memory. But would that even alter who that person is?

Can we really change who a person is- mold and shape their personality at a young age? I can teach my son values and morals- not to lie, to help others, to be nice to friends, to stand up for those who can’t stand up for themselves, to give selflessly, etc. But can I change him being stubborn and defiant and energetic? Do I want to? And even if there was an actual way to change a person to be who we wanted them to be, HOW would we do so? I do not believe in beating my children. I was beat ferociously as a  child and it didn’t do much other than make me believe that my father hated me. So I don’t have any intentions on repeating that pattern with my children. I will however threaten them into compliance. That normally works pretty well. But if I decided that molding his characteristics would be beneficial to me as his mother and make it easier to parent him, how would I do so? And would it change the fun, energetic, happy, creative, friendly and helpful little boy that I have now? Maybe I should just change the way that I deal with him in order to make my life a little easier. I know that I am instilling great morals and values in him because when he is with others, they praise how much of a polite, helpful, and friendly young man he is. Dealing with his stubbornness and defiance is annoying, but those traits and qualities will help make him a great business man in the future- so would taking those away from him be beneficial?

I guess the bottom line is- can we change who people are? And if we can, is there a way to do it that won’t affect them in a negative way?

Be legendary King’s; be extraordinary Queens!

tootles!

-xoxoxo

You’re Acting Like A Girl!

Being a new parent, I consciously make the choice daily to not raise my children the way that people and society tell me I should. I am raising a young man and a young lady. I teach my daughter that she can do whatever, play with whatever, and be whatever she wants. I have a princess tomboy and I encourage her to be her own unique self. I have a rough cry baby for a son and I encourage him to be himself. So why do people keep telling my son how to act?

We have gone from generation to generation teaching our sons that they should not cry, they should not show any emotion, and that they should keep everything bottled up inside. What good has that gotten them? We have grown men walking around unable to express emotions, unable to deal/cope with stressful situations, and addicted to drugs or alcohol or sex as a way to manage their emotions. But we are still teaching our sons that they shouldn’t talk about and find HEALTHY solutions to their problems. Not on this side! I tell my son to use his words. Tell mommy what the issue is so that we can find a solution. Cry when you are frustrated or scared or angry, and wrap that up and figure a way out. Everything that I teach my daughter, I teach my son. I refuse to raise an emotionally crippled member of society because society thinks it’s too “feminine” for a man to express himself. Don’t get me wrong- my son is a cry baby. He cries about everything. And it frustrates me. You say no- he cries; you tell him it’s bedtime- he cries; you tell him it’s time for school- he cries (in hindsight, it’s actually really funny). But for me, that’s ok. He’s expressing to me that he’s not happy about something. When he cries, I prompt him to use his words and tell me what is wrong. I am teaching him to deal with the emotion, get it out, then find a solution for it. Just like a normal person should!

Men (and boys) are not pussies because they cry. Men (and boys) should be able to open up and share how they feel about situations. Men (and boys) should be able to be comfortable doing anything they want to do without being judged by anyone. My son plays with blocks and cars and balls and rocks, but he also plays with his sisters toys. That doesn’t make him less of a boy (especially because he’s always ripping her toys apart. Lol!). My son still sucks 2 of his fingers. That doesn’t make him less of a boy. My son likes to play in my hair, and rub soft fabrics between his fingers. That doesn’t make him less of a boy. I am tired of other people telling my son to stop sucking his fingers, or to stop crying, or to stop touching fabrics. Especially grown men who are emotionally crippled and don’t know how to express themselves. My son can tell you EXACTLY what is wrong with him, and if you guide him with questions, he can also tell you how to fix the situation. I know grown men, age 30+, who cannot do that. I think I am doing a damn good job.

If I could have one super power, it would be to heal people’s emotional instabilities. Being unable to process and work through unresolved emotional issues has caused more damage to self and others in more generations than we admit to. I’m ready to bet my future business success on the fact that every man reading this post right now has an unresolved emotional issue that they have not been able to work through because they don’t want to seem “weak” or “feminine” by other men. And women. To be honest, I believe that now more women are hanging these unrealistic emotional expectations over their male counterparts heads and causing more crippling emotional instability. At this point in my life, all of the men that I am associated with are encouraged by me to express how they feel about situations (both good and bad). And yes- it is frustrating trying to pry that door open that has been ingrained in them to remain closed. Building trust and understanding with these men that I love, and establishing a healthy rapport that will allow that release, is a LOT of work. But for the men that trust me enough to open that door, the progress is phenomenal. I am by no means a fixer; but if I love you, I want you to be healthy. The same exact way that I want my son to be healthy. If you need to cry, let’s cry together. Let’s deal with this together. Then, let’s figure out a solution (if there is one) together.

Men- YOU ARE NOT WEAK IF YOU SHOW YOUR EMOTIONS! And real women will love you more because you are able to express those emotions. I don’t know about other women, but I want a healthy relationship and a healthy marriage. And the only way to have that is if we are both healthy- emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Let’s make this work King.

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

tootles!

-xoxoxo

He Was Just Playing, He Didn’t Mean It….

I am prompted to write this post because just a few days ago, I overheard my neighbor laughing outside on her steps (I always keep my bedroom window open). Being a naturally nosey person (judge your mother), I looked out the window to see what was so funny. She was sitting on the steps, and the guy that she was talking to was KICKING her. And she laughed, said “ow, that hurt”, and continued to let him kick her. For at least 2 whole minutes (I already said I was nosey so don’t even ask why I was still watching, ok?) I stepped back and said to myself “he is abusing her”. And she was letting him think that it was ok. And that made me think about whether I had been abused in any of my past relationships, and why I thought it was ok to let it happen.

If I could go back to my 6-year-old self and teach her any 1 valuable lesson, it would be to not believe anything that a man said to me, starting with my father. Abuse- in any form- has negatively impacted more people in my generation than we are willing to admit to. Growing up, I remember my father telling me that I was dumb, stupid, and useless. I remember him being frustrated with me not understanding HIS way of teaching me my homework, and getting severely beaten because of it. I remember not hearing any positive words coming from him towards or about me. And as a child, my father was the FIRST and MAIN example of how a man should treat me, Things didn’t start off right… I remember being teased by my cousins (and it wasn’t until my adult years that I realized that they were innocently playing around with me) about how skinny I used to be, my glasses, my big lips, and how much I looked like my father. Because I was already coming from an abusive background, that caused damage. The only relationship that I was in that was actually abusive (verbally and psychologically) was when I was with the father of my children.

Hurt people hurt people. And that is by no means my way of making an excuse for how I was treated in that relationship. But looking back, I can see how he was damaged and took advantage of me who was also damaged. I remember him telling me that he could never see himself standing at the altar with me walking down the aisle to him because I was “too fat” (at the time I was wearing a size 12 in pants), and that I needed to “fix my skin” because my acne and blemishes made him not want to kiss my face. I remember him calling me dumb or stupid when I didn’t do something that he asked me to HIS perfection. I remember him telling me that I was a “shitty excuse for a mother” after I had my children or that I would never find anyone else to love me the way that he did. When I got out of that relationship and asked myself WHY DID I STAY?!!, I could only answer with “I thought that he loved me”. That’s a warped sense of love, huh? I admit, I had low self-esteem, but I was also coming from a home where my father told me that I was stupid and dumb and worthless. I’m not sure at the time that I thought that I deserved anything more. Thank God for wake up calls!

So that leads me to ask- why do women (because let’s be honest- it doesn’t matter the age, we all let men treat us like crap) allow these men to abuse us verbally, physically, emotionally, and psychologically? If we come from an abusive home, how do we know to not accept that in any future relationships? How can we open our eyes to see that hey- this ain’t right! And you know what’s crazy? We KNOW that abusive relationships should be avoided, but when we get into one, we make all of the excuses in the world to justify the behavior. Why! I am asking myself that question as well because I should’ve known better than to stay with my ex in that relationship. Why do we think that the small pushes, punches, degrading word slips, etc. won’t increase into full-blown abuse? Low self-esteem is the leading reason why people (both men and women) fall into negative and risky situations. Bad friends, bad influences, peer pressure- these are all direct casualties of low self esteem. We need to raise our young better. It starts in the homes.

I want to say that I regret that relationships, but I was blessed with 2 wonderful children because of it, and I learned who I am, who I’m not, and who I want to be with from it. I pray that my daughter doesn’t go through what I went through, and that the young lady across the street doesn’t go through it either.

Be mindful of your words and actions- you never know the effect it will have on someone.

Be legendary Kings; be extraordinary Queens!

-tootles!

xoxoxoxo