Boys have imaginations that need to have the permission to be explored. With raising our three boys, I have found that there are things boys should do when they are young to help them with not only getting their imagination an outlet but build necessary skills that they they use into adulthood.
10 Things Boys Should Do When They Are Young
There is an obvious difference between a girl’s imagination and that of a boy. The imagination of both work amazing together but when not influenced by each other, you can see stark differences in what they come up with on their own.
It is through this experience of raising my own boys that I want to be sure to open the doors for my youngest child’s imagination to be allowed to blossom and grow without restrictions or invasions on my part. Please don’t read that to mean that I’m discouraging parental guidelines or supervision, because that is the furthest from the truth.
Boys and nature go hand in hand. Most boys naturally are drawn to creepy creatures, and slimy snakes, but often times aren’t given the opportunity to explore in nature to observe the way of nature and to build a relationship with the world around them.
It has been through nature that my boys have learn compassion and how to care for others. Each of them have a tender heart for animals, but this can also be portrayed in how they react to people.
Climb Trees and Structures
Boys needs to get their energy out, and face their fears, otherwise they will tend to be whiny and shy away from challenges. Our son would often get stuck in trees, and one of us would have to climb up to help him down. It was also during this time that he would whine over the smallest things.
We encouraged him to climb more trees, and face his fears that he can get down safely as well. To build his confidence, my husband attached a ladder to the tree to help him focus on getting to the top of the ladder. Once he accomplished this himself, he was also getting control of his emotions.
Build Legos and Other Building Toys
Boys will grow up to be men, and with that they need to have some building skills to save money around the house. The hours of building Legos and using K’Nex or Lincoln Logs to see how things go together will benefit them when they are doing things with their own hands as an adult.
Build Model Cars
Learning to read directions at an early age may not mean that they will read directions as an adult, but it will give them the skills necessary to see how parts form a whole. Model cars are the perfect tool to do this!
Having the accomplishment of putting together a model car, with tiny increments will build patience and perseverance in their character.
Build a Fort
All little boys know the joys of building forts with blankets, but to be given the permission to use a hammer and nails, with some scrap wood from their daddy’s garage is a boost of self-confidence and taking a pride in their work like you won’t imagine.
I have loved to see our sons being given that option to take some few pieces of woods and see what they can come up with. The smiles that come over their face, as they step back to look at what their hands and imagination was able to do is priceless.
Whittle and Carve
Boys love knives. Moms not so much.
I love to let my boys learn to whittle and carve early with soap, and then move on with sticks before getting into a carving project. The way that they learn responsibility when they are an owner of a pocket knife is one of the simplest ways to teach it.
Learn Weapon Safety
Once a boy becomes an owner of his first pocket knife, he naturally moves on to wanting more weapons. This is the perfect time to teach weapon safety and the value of a life. Once a pocket knife is given, we progress to a sling shot and bow and arrow, before working our way up to a BB gun and an air soft gun.
Our boys learned early that we do not kill an animal unless we plan on eating it. Knowing that they grew with a compassion for animals, this was an easy lesson to teach them.
Earn, Save and Spend Their Own Money
Teach a boy the value of a dollar, and the pride of earning money through hard work is a gift any parent can give to their sons (and daughters). The worst thing we could do for our children at any age is give them everything they wanted, especially if there was no work involved to receive it.
It is really a service to your sons to learn proper money management even at a young age of 4 or 5. I have some very sweet memories of our children spending their own money at yard sales and stores, and learning how to read prices to determine if it is a good deal.
All of my children, including my 6 year old, has demonstrated good money choices. I do have a son that loves to spend, but he also knows about keeping current on his bills and saving.
Take Something Apart and Put It Back Together
Two of my three sons have been born with the natural ability to take things apart and put them back together before they could talk.
These same boys are my right hands when my husband isn’t available to put new furniture together, or fix something that isn’t working. I love just giving them something and seeing what they will do with it. (My daughter is gifted with this skill as well, and better than her brothers)
Accept Failure as a Learning Experience
Failure is a teacher. It should be encouraged at a young age, instead of being viewed as a lack of ability.
It is only when a person, regardless of the age, learns to accept failure as a learning experience and a stepping stone to improvement that true growth can really happen.
Without this outlook, a boy could grow to be a man who doesn’t know how to deal with anything but perfection, and pass this requirement to those around him. This can harm relationships in his own family.
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