09 November 2011

"Let's Go For It!" Boys are natural competitors

We are reading through the book by James Dobson, Bringing up boys.  Today's chapter 11 is all about how our sons are born natural competitors, and any of you who have a son know this!

"Boys love a challenge and nothing excites him quite like winning."

I see this clearly with Julia and Mark when they are playing, they love to race.  Ready, set, go!  And they are off, and usually Julia wins with her very long legs, but that does NOT make Mark want to give up he tries with all his might to win.

And in gymnastics, our mommy and me class, he loves a new challenge.  Last week they learned how to do a new jumping move on the trampoline and Mark lit up when he got it right.  They also learned how to do a backward roll, my was he PROUD of himself.  Challenges are exciting for boys, that's why they excel at sports!

"This masculine thirst for conquest has led not only to numerous wars but also to daring adventuresome feats that benefited humanity."
*Discovery of the New World in the 15th and 16th century
* Other great exploits of that era

"It is likely that your boy also possesses a measure of this competitive and adventuresome spirit.  If you has a parent understand and respond to this nature, both you and your son will be more in sync.  As a place to start, you need to teach him not only how to win but also how to lose gracefully."
 We've all witnessed parents who didn't do such a good job of this at sports games when they are yelling awful things at their children or refs to get them to win win win.  There's nothing wrong with winning but we don't want to discourage our boys we want to INSPIRE them, and we don't want to criticize our boys we want to CHALLENGE and teach them.

I don't think you can ever compliment your child enough or encourage them.  Building up their self esteem and letting them know your love is unconditional is important.

Teaching your child to lose gracefully means, tantrums and yelling are NOT allowed.  Teaching them that people are more important than a winning a game IS important.  And they are going to model our attitudes, so we need to watch what WE say about other kids, other parents, and our sons coaches.  Our words and actions are a lot more powerful than we may think.

"Your attitude will shape the future behavior of your boy.  If he sees you acting like a spoiled kid, yelling at the umpire or referee, taunting other players, and throwing tantrums when things go wrong, your son will behave just as badly."

So the big lesson for us here is teaching our children how to deal properly with their anger, disappointment, and frustration is key...and I'm still learning how to properly deal with these things so PRAYER for God to help is also a necessity.

Dobson also brought up the example that our children will disappoint us at times, but you know what?  They are allowed, they are little people and we all make mistakes...it's in those times that we say, "That's okay, son, you'll do better next time."  Think about how kindly and compassionate the Lord deals with us when we mess up.

Teaching your child self worth and value simply because they are a creation of our Heavenly Father is very important as well because then when they do fail they won't hate themselves.  They will know that another's judgments of their skill or power is not a judgment of their personal worth.

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