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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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    • Just your typical morning tower building. 😋
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#ad Not only do we enjoy crafting top notch towers over here, but we appreciate using top notch supplements as part of our daily routine as well. I started using @ancientnutrition Bone Broth Protein a few years back to support my gut and immune health, and I’ve only grown to love this company, their products and what they stand for more since. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
In addition to our Bone Broth Protein, some other products we are loving lately include:
*Multi Collagen Protein Strawberry Lemonade 🍋: Supports skin elasticity and healthy joint function, not to mention it’s perfect for sipping in the summer time.
*Keto Cocoa: Chalked full of MCTs, adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms, we love adding this to smoothies, making hot cocoa and even pancakes with it (see my stories from today 👏🏻).
*Ancient Probiotics -Ultimate: One of my favorites to keep in rotation when I need some intense support. In addition to a diverse probiotic blend, it also contains an Ayurvedic herbal blend with herbs like turmeric, ginger, etc. *Fermented Ashwagandha: I don’t know what I would do without this little herb as a busy mama. It supports a healthy response to stress and cortisol levels in addition to energy and focus. 👌🏻👏🏻
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So now I’m curious, if you could build a tower out of some of your favorite supplements, what would you use? #ancientnutrition
    • 🌱Asparagus Painting 🌱
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I know I always say vegetables make the best paint brushes. But asparagus may be top dog when it comes to mimicking the real deal. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
We practiced some letter tracing today with this vegetable, and I let Asher pick out some all natural paint from the refrigerator to use for dipping.
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His choices today: Organic Maple Syrup 🍁, @tessemaes BBQ Sauce and @sirkensingtons Chipotle Mayo. Quite the array 🤷🏼‍♀️. He dipped, traced a few letters, and then basically just went to town using his asparagus as a spoon to indulge in all of his “paint” selections 😂. Kinda figured that may be the case- and I was 100% okay with it as each time he snagged some sauce he also put that asparagus in his mouth and even ventured to try a bite. Plus it made for a great sensory experience as he was covered in it all by the end. .
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#toddleractivities #totschool #totschooling #preschoolathome #learningwithmommy #playbasedlearning #learningthroughplay #littleoneslearn #earlylearning101 #wonderandawekids #activitiesforkids #activitiesfortoddlers #mydayswithkids #tagfromtheheart #craftymama #creativechildhood #kidssnacks #toddlerfood #eattherainbow #iteachbilinguals #bilingualkids #homeschoolblog #kidsactivitiesblog #earlyliteracy #sensoryplay #sensoryactivity
    • D is for Dates. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
(Or as we call them in our “casa” - Dátiles.)
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We love dates over here and they are darn close to being called a staple in our home. We love wrapping them in bacon for mealtime. Stuffing them with nuts, nut butters or vegan cheese for snacks. And we love adding them into smoothies and treats if we are looking for a pop of natural sweetness. This fruit is chalked full of potassium and fiber and rich in antioxidants, and thus, I think it deserved to receive a day of recognition 😉. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This morning Asher helped me pit our dates and combine them with other ingredients like avocado, hemp seeds, coconut and cacao powder to create this “No-Bake Chocolate Avocado Bites” recipe from my incredibly talented amiga @thenaturalnurturer. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
After we created our balls, I asked Asher what he would like to roll them in. I told him he could choose three things, and I would choose three so we had a variety of different tastes. Asher chose to roll his in food-dyed sprinkles, cinnamon, and coconut. I chose walnuts, hemp hearts and beet powder for mine. And yes, in case you are wondering, they taste as heavenly as they look.
    • 📖 My Story: Part #2 📖 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Life seemingly went back to normal as I knew it after my health scare my junior year. (See Part #1). I was ready to move forward and enter into my college years and into my first career as an elementary school teacher. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Through that time I would notice on and off that when I ate certain foods they seemed to “run right through me”. And that my gut maybe wasn’t “pleased” with my choices. But, let’s be honest, it tasted good, and I wasn’t really gaining any extra weight, so it couldn’t have been that bad right?
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Flash forward a few years into teaching, I came down with what appeared to be hives all over my chest, neck and face. The doctors thought I was having an allergic reaction and prescribed me steroids to calm it down. After a few days, it hadn’t gotten any better. In fact, it was getting worse. Which is when they decided to do a strep test and realized I had been misdiagnosed and actually had a case of scarlet fever, which is caused by the same bacteria as strep throat. Thus, after being on a steroid for several days, I was now put on an antibiotic protocol as well. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Needless to say at the time, I had no idea about how I could use probiotics, diet or supplements to support me through this. I just thought once I finished my course of meds I’d be good as new. However, what I learned the hard way was that after years of not caring for my gut the way I should, and after countless rounds of antibiotics in high school and now, my gut, and in turn, my body had finally reached their tipping point. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
To be continued...
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Outfit: @fabletics Use the link in my profile to snag it or check out their other options to best match your shape and style. #myfabletics #moveinfabletics
    • Popsicles. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Sticky fingers. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Sweaty hair. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
No pants. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This is what most days entail right now, and we are soaking it all in. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I spent some time this morning refreshing a blog post I wrote last summer about this time entitled “9 Front Porch Activities for Toddlers”. While we love getting out and about and exploring our community this time of year, we also love hanging right outside our own front door. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The post highlights different learning, sensory and family activities with minimal prep you can do alongside your little one on those day’s you just feel like laying low. And, while they are geared toward toddlers, all are still things that are certainly appropriate for preschool and even early elementary as well. {Link in profile}. .
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#creativekids #toddleractivities #kidsactivitiesblog #kidsart #summeractivities #preschoolactivities #totschool #preschoolathome #teachermom #homeschoolingideas #naturalmama #unschooling #wildandfreechildren #freerangekids #raisingragamuffins #learningthroughplay #the_sweet_life_unscripted #themagicineveryday #alldaykids #let_there_be_delight #lifewithlittles #healthykids #homeschoolblog #celebrate_childhood
    • My two favorite refreshers during hot summer days:

1. Watermelon and cucumber water to hydrate 🥒 🍉 
2. Essential Oil “Cool Down” spray to sooth my skin 💦 
Here’s the recipe:
5 drops Peppermint
5 drops Lavender 
3 drops Eucalyptus

Add to a 2oz spray bottle. Fill the remainder with half unscented witch hazel and half distilled water. Shake er’ up, and it’s ready to go!
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Spray Inspo: @byoilydesign .
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#ecofriendlyhome #holisticliving #parentingblog #healthylivingblogger #mombloggers #momblog #holistickids #healthykids #nontoxicliving #healthblog #healthbloggers #healthyfamilies #oilyfamilies #oilyfamily #plantpowered #nontoxichome #cleanbeauty #diybeautyproducts

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