9 Helpful Tips for Raising Well-Rounded Sons
Raising well-rounded and thoughtful sons can feel like a challenge. Some young boys can struggle to grasp social graces, focus more on games than socialising with others, or have too much energy that prevents them from focusing correctly.
There is nothing wrong with kids who behave like kids, getting their boys trainers dirty while they run around outside. But as we get older, building skills that allow us to be more adjusted to the real world is vital, and starting to learn those skills young is a huge advantage.
Encourage Hobbies & Special Skills
All children have a unique gift or talent. It may be sports-related, academic base or a creative flair that allows them to express themselves. These talents may appear in a traditional school setting, but plenty of children shine after the final bell has rung.
After-school sports training or creative classes allow your child to hone these skills and build a passion for them. However, if finances are a concern, don’t dismiss the power or unstructured play. Not only will they build motor skills, but they can practice creativity, problem-solving and imagination skills.
Read, Read, Read
You can never start too early when it comes to having a dedicated daily storytime with your son. In addition, reading and having access to a variety of books allows for language learning, building reading skills and promoting further success at school.
Furthermore, creating a reading routine before bed offers your child valuable bonding time with you, unaffected by the activities of the day.
Applaud and Praise Efforts
According to research done through Standford university, a person’s mindset largely influences their behaviour for adults and children. And when it comes to parenting, it is largely encouraged to praise your son for hard work and dedication for completing a task or achievement instead of simply labelling him as ‘smart’ or ‘bright’.
The reason is those with a fixed mindset are more reluctant to attempt something challenging as they believe their success comes from an innate ability with which they are born. In comparison, those who have a growth-based mindset are more likely to challenge themselves because they believe in building and learning more skills.
Following directions and finishing tasks are often skills that develop slower in boys compared to girls. To encourage these abilities early on, ask your little one to perform a small task that will benefit you in completing an activity. For example, ask him to fetch you a spoon to stir while cooking. He will actively work on these skills and find a sense of achievement when completing them.
Eat Dinner Together
Don’t worry if your cooking skills aren’t on par with the likes of Gordon Ramsey. Your child will greatly benefit from the educational and emotional rewards of sitting down to a meal more than making up for dinner.
Informal conversation topics like asking about their day or what they are learning at school show your son that you are interested in his day and that you value learning more about others. They will quickly mimic your actions and return the questions. Additionally, it offers another prime opportunity for family bonding, especially in households with varied and busy schedules.
Respect Different Learning Styles
Just because you require complete silence to work does not mean your son shares similar learning needs. Understanding and respecting the best environment for them to learn not only helps them thrive in the ideal setting and teaches them to be mindful and respectful of what others need.
Your child will feel heard and understood by your consideration and will ultimately thrive in their learning and studies.
Don’t Shut Down Physical Activity
Boys tend to have a lot of energy, which they usually filter into running, jumping and climbing. If they are not allowed this opportunity, that energy builds and can be released in less healthy or productive ways.
Never prevent your son from actively using his energy; instead, teach him to know that there is a time and place where he will need to learn how to better manage his energy levels, like the classroom.
Even in these progressive and entitled times, boys are often expected to stifle their tears and minimise their emotions. So when you can see your son is getting upset or emotional, encourage him to express his feelings in a safe and nurturing environment, as long as he isn’t being destructive or becoming out of control.
Once he has calmed down, talk to him about his feelings and the cause behind them. Then, teach him how to properly label and express his emotions so he can better identify them in the future.
Provide Endless Affection
Studies have shown that parents tend to have less physical contact with their sons than their daughters, a trend typically starting during their toddler years. But the reality is both boys and girls need and thrive off of physical contact and affection.
As some boys get older, they will start to shy away from hugs and kisses, especially with their friends around. But even if they claim they don’t need it, it is highly likely something they still want. So find ways to show affection in ways more comfortable for them, like a quick hug before they leave for school or a rub on the back while cooking together.