This is a sponsored post.for the past 14 years, i've been a boy mom. i have three boys who have given me a lot of experience in this department. i wasn't sure until this year, if were any differences between raising boys and raising girls. and since my little girl is only nine months, i still am not 100% sure. but, i did get the privileged of speaking to Dr. Eric Troyan, a pediatrian at Kaiser Permanente in Mission Viejo. he and i got to chat about the differences between raising boys and girls.
as i expected, there are some major differences. of course these are just generalizations, and there can and are similarities in all children, but during Dr. Eric Troyan's 17 years of practice, he has learned that there are definite differences in how boys and girls learn, behave, and of course grow. he gave me some great advice to share with parents of boys that may help things run smoother at home.
Boys Have Higher Amount of Energy
this is probably a given. many boys have higher energy levels. they tend to do things before thinking it through, which is different than girls. girls tend to observe and are better at reading expressions and surveying the scene. boys don’t do that. boys exhibit higher risk behaviors. they are more active in their behaviors – skateboarding, pranks, messing around with their friends. you may feel that your son breaks everything, gets hurt all the time, and takes risks that he shouldn't. that's because they don't think before they do. it is important to make sure their environments are safe, that they wear helmets, and not play with objects that can cause harm.
Boys Need Consistent Discipline
constant discipline is important for all children, but it is even more so for boys. the reason is – girls tend to pick up patterns and can figure out by observation what is right and wrong. but boys tend to learn by doing and experimenting. even if they know something is wrong, many times they will try it anyways to see what happens. only then will they understand the consequences and then learn what happens when they do certain behaviors.
so, it is important when boys do something wrong for the first time, not to overreact and give harsh discipline. when they do something new…a bad behavior that is, it is important for parents to sit down and talk to their sons about what just happened. then talk about what will happen in the future if they do this behavior again. once their son knows a certain behavior is wrong through experience, then it is important to follow up with the consequence that was discussed the first time he did it.
Dr. Troyan couldn't stress it enough how boys need CONSISTENT discipline. knowing what to expect is very important. believe it or not, taking away screen time is a very effective form of discipline for all ages. time outs work too, but are only recommended for ages below seven years of age. after age seven, having the child go to his room or being away from family or friends also works.
it is also important to reinforce the good behaviors. whenever they do something well or being good....tell them. let them know what behaviors get rewarded. and don't forget to hug your boys...they need just as much love and attention as girls do!
As Boys Grow
you will find that in boys, the bulk of teaching and learning happens around 3-5 years. then, there will be a period of time where life gets much easier. however, when the teen years arrive – you will see some regression. especially around the ages of 13-14 and the beginning of high school. parents may see their teen boys act like they are 3 years old again. they start being more impulsive, and more aggressive. parents....try to stay calm! take it down to a lower level and re-teach your son how to behave again. if you go back to basics and re-teach them what is right and wrong, by 16-17, boys will again show more positive behaviors.
as boys get older, they may express that they'd prefer a male doctor. that's fine. let them have that preference. make sure they are comfortable with their doctor and other important figures in their lives. they need to feel comfortable coming to them with problems and questions they have.
as mentioned before, girls are better at expressing themselves. where boys struggle to express how they feel. this is why it is important to screen boys for depression. talk to them and talk things out, try to help them tell you their feelings. and when it comes to sexual behavior, make sure boys understand the risks associated. have a male figure in their life talk to them as well. boys may worry a lot during puberty. this is because girls reach puberty earlier and start acting older and maturer earlier than boys. boys don't know how to act around them. boys have their rapid growth later – at around 11-14 years…or beyond. this is when they start exhibiting more explosive behavior and reactions.
Nutrition and Sleep in Boys
as you know, it is important that all kids get the proper nutrition. it's common with boys to eat more junk and lack balanced nutrition. it is really important the they don't skip breakfast. drinking enough water is especially important, especially with non-athletes. it has been found that boy athletes often drink the necessary amounts of water.
staying up late is common for teens. kids have sports, homework, and lots of extracurricular activities which lead to them staying up late. it is important for teens to get 8-10 hours of sleep if possible. but, girls tend to be able to deal with less sleep than boys, who just can't handle it as much. you may notice more explosive behavior, grumpiness, and anger when your son is sleep deprived.
see....an angry teenager who needs more sleep LOL!!!!!
wow! it was a great refresher course talking to Dr. Troyan about raising boys. he confirmed a lot of my thoughts and feelings on raising boys and also helped better explain how my boys brains and bodies work. even after three boys, i am always looking for advise on how to raise them up right. Kaiser Permanente Orange County has a great team of doctors that have made me feel very comfortable as a parent.
the great thing about Kaiser Permanente Orange County, is everything is under one roof. most Kaiser Permanente Orange County locations include pharmacy, lab, X-ray services and more. plus, there are locations throughout Orange County, as far north as Brea and as far south as San Juan Capistrano, including Tustin Ranch, Foothill Ranch and the new Radiation Oncology Center located at the Anaheim Medical Center. wow…this is the kind of service i look for in my healthcare.
if you have missed the posts i have written about them, here they are:
My Trip to the Kaiser Orange County Farmers Market
Tips for Having a Healthy Pregnancy
Our Family’s Visit Thrive Walk at the Orange County Great Park
Great Tips on Mens Health
Tips for Helping Families Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
Remembering the Baby Milestones