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Raising a Boy in this World

October 20, 2017 in Motherhood - 2 Comments

Raising a Boy in this World

October 20, 2017 in Motherhood - 2 Comments

This post was written in exchange for a tee from Simple Little Apparel; however, all opinions are more own. 

I gotta admit that when we found out we were having a boy, I was bound and determined that I would ensure that he had equal part truck to doll ratio in his toy box and that he would have other colors besides blue in his closet. I wanted to be sure that he had books to read on a variety of topics, that he was able to explore his own interests (and not what I or the world dictated they would be) and that most importantly, he would learn to love the Lord and love on others the way God calls us to.

Flash forward, I now have an incredible and spirited, 17 month old (say what?) who is coming into his own and showing us all what he is made of. He is demonstrating his own unique interests and “free” will and along with that it is encouraging and challenging us as his parents at the same time to truly think long and hard about what it means to raise a little boy in this world.

You see, despite all of my option giving, Asher still seems drawn to many stereotypical “boy” things. I’ll admit, it actually surprised me how many of these things he was drawn to automatically without (known) influence from us or the outside world. Our little man loves seeing how things work. He loves building creations out of legos. He loves “vrooming” around with his toy cars and watching the garbage trucks pass our house each week. He loves pointing out daddy’s tools in the garage, and loves reading the same book about construction machines each night when given the choice. From a worldly perspective, he is “all boy”.

But just like the stereotypical comment “you throw like a girl” and other similar ones referencing females, the mentality we’ve all heard time and again that “boys will be boys”, just doesn’t sit well with me. Using these statements first, imply that “all” of a certain gender act or are expected to behave a certain way. And second, when thinking specifically of this “boys will be boys” mentality, it appears that it can all too often serve as an excuse for misbehavior, claiming that it is simply just “typical” behavior for males. While even at his young age my son may enjoy doing many typical “male things”, I am also doing my best to be conscious of the fact that we are not letting him get away with behavior that we may not otherwise had he been a girl, because “boys will be boys”.

I love what author Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie shares in her TED Talk, “The Danger of a Single Story”. She states that “the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete”. That being said, yes, I am a woman, and yes, I probably couldn’t pitch an effective ball to save my life. But that doesn’t mean that if I worked at it and desired to do it, that would be the case. My little one is a boy, and he does love to knock down towers and be a little mischievous some times. But that doesn’t mean that he also isn’t capable of being kind and compassionate and of taking the time to think about how the decisions he makes may affect himself and others as he grows older.

As many of you know, I am a teacher. In opening up a discussion on this topic with students, be it little ones or those at the college level, I like to share a few nursery rhymes. You may have heard this first nursery rhyme growing up as a kid. I know I did. It goes like this:

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails
And puppy-dogs tails,
That’s what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice,
And everything nice,
That’s what little girls are made of.
Robert Southey (1820)

But what I didn’t know until recently, and many others may not either, is that it was actually rewritten over a 100 years later by a woman named Elaine Laron in 1974. The new version goes like this:

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Love and care
And skin and hair
That’s what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Care and love
And (see above),
That’s what little girls are made of.

Again, it’s not that I don’t believe that there isn’t some truth to the first version. But I do believe it is important that we don’t put our children in boxes because of their gender. That being said, I am not oblivious to the fact that the world often already does this for them. And I am also not oblivious to the fact that there are inherent differences between us as males and females. But it is my goal as a parent to ensure that my child grows into the individual God has intended for him to be, and in order to do so he must not only have self-awareness but awareness of this world’s underlying assumptions and expectations so that he can determine how to navigate them effectively. It is my goal that he knows that while sometimes we may make mistakes and even do things we aren’t proud of, that these experiences teach us and we can (and should) grow from them. They are not something that we can simply brush off because society tells us because we are a man or a woman we can do so. It is my goal, above all, to raise a boy who becomes a man of integrity. A boy who will show the world just how smart, kind and generous boys can be.

You can get your own sweet little “Boys will be..” tee by heading over to Simple Little Apparel. They have an assortment of other adorable tees for little ones to check out as well.

kristahapp

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2 Comments

  • newpartydaily October 24, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    This is such an awesome topic! I am too a boy Mom and don’t believe in boxing children. My son does boy stuff but he is also kind and compassionate. The shirt speaks volumes!

  • The Salty Mamas October 25, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    I love this. I was the same way with my son (who's now four and SO "boy") but that doesn't allow bad behavior. You can be dirty AND respectful, and I expect nothing less.

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    Hi, I'm Mrs. Happ! I love Jesus, Mr. Happ and being a mama to our little man. I live off of a steady stream of bone broth, kombucha, Spanglish & top knots. And when I'm not busy chasing a toddler, I love me a good creative endeavor. Welcome to our "HAPPy Healthy Casa". I'm so glad your here. Read More

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    • And just like that, our babe is three. And while in the scheme of things, three years is a blink, it feels like our life before you was a lifetime ago sweet boy. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We celebrated today with all of your favorite things- LEGO building, swimming, trucks, cake baking, sweet potatoes and sausages, Grandpa and a whole lot of frosting 🤪. Needless to say, while much more low key than birthdays’ past, I’d say today was just as special. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In honor of birthday número tres, Asher helped me whip up this Paleo Tres Leches cake from @sunkissedkitch. I’ll admit, I went the easy route on the frosting and just sprang for some @simplemills vanilla, because sometimes it’s nice to have ready-to-go and delicious at the same time. And it was clearly a hit, because this kid downed three pieces 🍰. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Check out more cake eating and a walk down memory lane from birthdays and party themes past in my stories today. 
Happy 3rd Birthday Asher man! We love you! .
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#3rdbirthday #toddlerhood #bilingualkids #bilingualbaby #happy3rdbirthday #littlepiecesofchildhood #motherhoodiscolorful #motherhoodthroughig #cutelittleinspo #lifecloseup #birthdaydecor #holdyourmoments #childofgod #childhoodeveryday #littlefamiliesofig #littlehumans #theheartcaptured #the_sweet_life_unscripted #modernmotherhood #countitalljoy #let_there_be_delight #mommydiaries #healthytoddler #healthyfamily #mommyandson
    • Often times when I’m sharing a new veggie or one that Asher is still “learning”, I will pair it with something to dip it in. I don’t know about your kid, but mine loves to dunk (and occasionally bathe himself 😜) in nearly any sauce. And while yes, there are many times he just uses the vegetable as a spoon, he is at least bringing it to his lips and exploring it in his own way. Which is one step closer to taking a bite. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Today for snack I created a little dipping station for our cauliflower florets using the following:
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1. Guacamole ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2. @kitehillfoods unsweetened yogurt with a swirl of honey ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3. @motherraw italian dressing
4. Hummus ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
5. @gothamgreens vegan pesto
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For more fun ways to serve  cauliflower throughout your day, head on over to the following mamas’ feeds to see how they love to dish it up to their families as well:
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@mamaknows_nutrition
@thenaturalnurturer
@heather.happykidskitchen
@mamamakesfood
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Next month we will be featuring a different veggie, so stay tuned!
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#eatyourcolors #eatyourveggies #healthykids #eattherainbow 
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Thank you, Asher, for reminding me that even when life seems to rain on my parade, to not lose sight of my goals. Thank you for reminding me of focusing in on what’s right in front of me. And thank you for providing me so many moments of sheer joy these past few days by allowing me to be a part of yours. I want to bottle up every part of this trip and not only remember it, but strive to live each day as if “it’s a day at the beach”. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Swimsuit: @kortnijeane .
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#joyfulmamas #celebrate_childhood #celebrateeveryday #littlebitsof_life #parentingblogger  #learningthroughplay #makeitcount #lifecloseup #lifewithlittles #cutelittleinspo #bethegood #littlefamiliesofig #the_sweet_life_unscripted #our_everyday_moments #let_there_be_delight #makeitblissful #theheartcaptured #countitalljoy #sensoryplay #consciousparenting
    • 🍯 GIVEAWAY 🍯 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It’s pretty much a given that our child takes a good tumble at least once a day. Which is why as his mom, I knew it would be important to bring one of our go-to “owie” fixers with on our trip. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Did you know that Manuka honey 🍯 contains potent and effective properties that when applied can actually mend and nourish our skin. Not only that but it serves to create a moist, low pH environment conducive to healing as well as protects against infection. This all natural wonder is a staple in our “medicine” cabinet, and as a mom, I appreciate that it’s the real deal when it comes to both its ingredients and supporting healing. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This week, in honor of Mother’s Day, I’ve partnered with @firsthoneynz, to give away some of their high quality,  Medical Grade 12+ Manuka honey first aid products to support you and your family. Their ointment and honey-infused bandaids are a huge hit in our home, and I love that whenever we have a tumble Asher now asks for a hug and some honey to make it all better. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Head on over to their page to learn how to enter, and be sure to check out their site and register for their newsletter as well as in this latest edition I’m sharing a list of all of my favorites for a “Mother Nature” inspired first aid kit. {Scroll for a sneak peek.}
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Whipped up this little airplane themed snack during nap today in hopes of kicking off our afternoon packing marathon on a high note🤞🏻. I’ll admit, it’s not the most beautiful food-themed aircraft I’ve ever seen (not that I’ve seen many 🤷🏼‍♀️), but it’ll get the job done. It’s slim pickins’ around here grocery wise right now, so I got creative with what we had on hand. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Celery, @traderjoes raw almond butter and an apricot in front for the base. Cucumber and yellow carrots for the wings and tail. And @lovegrown Power O’s topped it off for the windows. And of course, no flight is complete without some banana and @kitehillfoods yogurt clouds. .
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    • #ad Let's face it, the majority of the time that we take our children to the doctor's office, it isn't because everything is roses and we are just stopping in for a casual playdate. Aside from well-child visits, it's usually because we are headed there to evaluate a bump, bruise, rash, cut, scrape, cough, ache, pain, the list goes on. There are so many unknowns for us as parents as new things arise with our kids, but it's important for us to remember that most of these things are unknowns for our kids too. And not only that, but when you couple it with heading into a situation where they aren't sure exactly what to expect, it can be a bit anxiety inducing for many children.
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That said, while we can't avoid all the germs and tumbles of childhood, we can do our best to prepare our children so that they feel safe and comfortable under a clinician's care when these things do arise. Today on the blog I am sharing in a variety of ways you can work to prepare your child for a positive experience at the doctor. Strategies, for instance, like using books and engaging in pretend play, ahead of time, are ones that have proven beneficial for Asher time and again before heading to not only his pediatrician, but dentist, chiro and beyond. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In addition, I am also sharing all of the deets on this new handheld exam kit called TytoHome we just got our hands on. Using this device and corresponding @tytocare app on your phone, one can actually perform guided medical exams with a clinician anytime, anywhere. Seriously all, we met with a practitioner from the comfort of our couch. Talk about making a "visit" to the doctor no big deal! Learn more details about the device, it's features and where you can buy one in my post.
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