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Monday, May 21, 2012

Idle Hands or Give Me Five

May 20, 2012

This has been a tough week for our little boy (and his sisters for that matter) – not to mention Mom and Dad. There seem to be periods in our son’s life where he just can’t seem to control himself. His behavior covers the gambit from the mere annoying to the border-line dangerous. And the attitude ranges from mildly sassy to down-right disobedient. This week it was the worst in both behavior and attitude. We can normally handle it with a period of separation and a talk about acceptable behavior and/or attitude. Not this week. No sooner was had he rejoined the family then he was at it again. Separation was not working. Talking to him was not working. And giving him a dose of his own medicine was not working either. (By the way, I do not recommend this approach at all. Somehow it always comes back to bite you in the butt so to speak.)

We have been reading a lot about how boys were created to work hard, play hard….well let’s face it – do anything and everything hard. They wrestle, talk loudly, run, stomp, hit, climb trees (even ones that are only five feet tall), kick, conquer bad guys (even if the bad guy is his sister), vanquish monsters, and well you get the idea. Boys are a never tiring ball of energy and that energy needs to go somewhere. If we lived on a farm I would have sent him to the barn to muck stalls. If we lived anywhere else I would have sent him outside to run it off. But we don’t. We live in-town. Our yard is a nice 10x10 square patch of nothingness. We have a small pallet garden and I would send him out to work it but we didn’t plant anything this year and he usually pulls the good stuff up anyway.

That is when I remembered something I read in one of our raising boys how to books. I think it was Hal and Melanie Young’s Raising Real Men but don’t quote me, we have been reading so many. They had their sons do calisthenics when the mere act of being a boy was more than they could handle. So I thought ‘Why not?’ I pulled my son off his sister (who was screaming her head off) again and told him to give me five. We have a flight of 12 stairs and I wanted him to go up and down five times.

By the third ascension he was slowing down. By the fifth he was walking. When he rejoined his sisters he played with them well and everyone was having fun. It worked. For 15 minutes. Oh well, back to the stairs. I’d like to say it only took two times to calm the savage beast but when Dad got home from work we were still at it. I’d like to say we only had to do it that day, but I can’t. For the rest of the week we were sending our boy to the stairs. By Friday he must have climbed enough steps to get him to the top of the Empire State Building. Okay, maybe just a really tall office building, but definitely more stairs than I can climb.

The moral of my story is a simple one. Boys are not girls! Sounds obvious but how often do we forget this one simple truth. They were created by God to be boys who will grow up to be men who will conquer the world. My job as Mom is not to make them like me but to make them like Christ. I must embrace all that is boy (even if I have to grit my teeth to do it) and let him be a boy. I must find avenues for him to exercise that boyness. And I must protect his sisters from becoming casualties. 

Pray for me!

By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. - Ecclesiastes 10:18

I'DLENESS, n. Abstinence from labor or employment; the state of a person who is unemployed in labor, or unoccupied in business; the state of doing nothing. Idleness is the parent of vice.
Through the idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. Eccles.10.
1. Aversion to labor; reluctance to be employed, or to exertion either of body or mind; laziness; sloth; sluggishness. This is properly laziness; but idleness is often the effect of laziness, and sometimes this word may be used for it.
2. Unimportance; trivialness.
Apes of idleness.
3. Inefficacy; uselessness. [Little used.]
4. Barrenness; worthlessness. [Little used.]
5. Emptiness; foolishness; infatuation; as idleness of brain. [Little used.]


  1. One of our favorite sayings in our house is; Boys and girls are different! One of my greatest joys was hearing our grandson say it to his 'aunt Ella' the other day! LOL! Blessings and keep up the good fight mama!

    1. Thanks. I have found that if I don't laugh I'm gonna cry. Today was better so onward and upward.

  2. Sorry to hear about the rough week. I completely understand. Prayers for you all.

    1. Thank you for your prayers and your sympathy. We all need them from time to time.

  3. Keeping boys busy really does decrease boys getting into trouble. I've got 3 boys, so I know how it is. :)

    1. And I'm having trouble with one! That's why you're the energetic homeschool lecturer and not me :-)